Social Networking Applications Improve Intracompany Communications

In recent time, e-mail has grown into the primary form of communication within a business community. This article discusses how companies are finding that e-mail is becoming an outdated form of communication that can be very restrictive within an organization. In large organizations with workers dispersed in different areas, it can be a challenge to identify experts within a company or to access and share information that may be useful to others within a company. New Networking Applications for businesses developed by companies such as Yammer Inc., Tibco Software Inc., and Salesforce.com Inc, are allowing companies to promote a more efficient form of “collaborative communication”.

These Network Applications allow users to create specific “groups” that can follow particular projects or topics within a company. I feel this could be the greatest asset that these new applications can bring to a company. Working at a large engineering and consulting firm that has offices worldwide, I’ve found that it can be a challenge to find the right expert of person to seek out when faced with difficult project challenges. In many instances, there may be a colleague in a different office that was faced with a similar challenge that worked on a similar project, but no way for you to know that. These “groups” will promote this type of collaboration that will help companies communicate, share information, and work together more efficiently. An example discussed in this article was 7-Eleven, Inc. They have about 2,000 employees using Yammer to help employees working as field consultants share knowledge and information with one another. “Someone might post a picture of a display that worked particularly well in one franchise location, so that others can take the same approach in their areas.” It’s clear that these applications are improving internal communications and information sharing. This new technology that enhances collaboration will allow companies to be better at what they do, and improve overall company performance in the marketplace.

Do you think more companies will embrace social networking applications such these and implement these technologies? Do you agree that these applications can improve overall company performance and help them deliver better products and services? Lastly, Do you see e-mail being replaced by a more efficient technology in the business world in the near future?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577285354046601614.html

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7 thoughts on “Social Networking Applications Improve Intracompany Communications

  1. I think the companies that need to have a lot of group interactions and discussions especially large companies may be more likely to implement these technologies. For these companies, the social networking applications can help them better communicate with each other, discuss issues and solve problems as a group. Thus, enhance the efficiency and the performance of the overall company and help the company better deliver products and service.
    But for some small companies or companies that do not need too much interaction, maybe this application is not a necessary. For small companies, it is more convenient to discuss face to face.
    I think e-mail will not be replaced by other technology in the business world in the near future because almost everyone use e-mail but not everyone use networking applications. E-mail allows people to have time to write and response formally. And it is easy to keep the e-mails for record and sort them for future reference. Besides, e-mail provides people with privacy. The networking application focuses more on interaction and discussion so it may not fully substitute the e-mail in the near future.

  2. I agree with chunyanchen that these types of applications such as Yammer, Tibco and Salesforce can help foster communication within a large company and provide a forum for many diverse ideas and thoughts to be exchanged between employees. I thought an interesting point made in the article was the analogy of the water cooler, which described how people discuss things in an informal way, yet there is a formal documentation to keep track of it. It is only appropriate that with the social networking and interaction that allows people to engage with one another in their personal lives is used to facilitate communication in their places of employment.

  3. I think these social networking apps just give companies an alternative in terms of internal communication. For the company whose employees are social media-savvy, they are likely to be willing to apply those apps into their daily work. But it’s not a must. Other communication tools such as Msn live message or skype can also facilitate the group discussion with the company. I think implementing social networking apps or not depends on the corporate culture.

    And I don’t think email will be replaced by social networking apps because email is always seen as a very professional way of communication, especially in a business context. For the company whose corporate culture relatively conservative, maybe email is the only allowed communication channel.

  4. I think these tools are great when used correctly. The people in my company use Yammer to share articles mostly. I don’t think that’s the purpose. It’s probably more suitable to collaborate on projects together yet that focus is not there.

  5. Really interesting article. I’m in total agreement that in a large company or corporation, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. Now that the office is global and people can communicate remotely, it makes sense to have a platform where instantaneous updating can be utilized. Social media can keep all employees informed with project developments and the company direction. I think that by creating profiles, and project groups that update frequently, the company can utilize knowledge, experiences and other internal resources to get to the next level.

  6. In my opinion, internal social media communication can enhance the performance of a company because knowledge management is an important issue within big companies nowadays and companies would run more efficiently if people would share their knowledge. Nevertheless, the success of this new communication form depends highly from whether employees use it in a productive way. On one side there could be the risk that social media tools are used for private communication between colleagues. Also it could be the case that some employees don’t want to share their knowledge or their success stories. Therefore it would be important that companies motivate their employees to use these social media channels in the right way.
    However, I don’t think that these communication tools will replace Email since this is the way, employees also communicate with business partner from the outside. Always switching systems can lead to confusion. Therefore, I would say that social media is rather more likely to be used for information sharing within the company than for overall communication.

  7. I do not believe email will be replaced any time soon in the
    business world. Specifically, external communication is something that
    is very important/time sensative that would require compatible
    systems. Email works across multiple platforms, but if a company
    wanted to switch to a social networking platform for communication,
    all external interactions would require the other counterpart to have
    the same platform. This would be a logistical nightmare, and border on
    being impossible. For this reason I think email will always be a part
    of business until a new technology can bridge the communication gap
    between platforms.

    Internally, having networks to connect employees, especially in larger
    firms, seems like a very efficient way to keep in touch. I don’t think
    it will replace email, but it could put a bigger emphasis on an
    instant message form of communication, or a central location to check
    for status updates for cross department projects. While this has many
    advantages, I think it will take time for large companies to adapt,
    and therefore, internal networking platforms will not replace
    traditional communication methods completely. They will enhance
    traditional methods until gradually overtaking these methods but not
    eliminating them completely.

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