Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Using SharePoint for Social Collaboration

Nine out of 10 IT staff and about two-thirds of managers and users say they are using social-networking technologies at work, according to a global study by Microsoft- and Accenture-owned services firm Avanade.

But according to ZDNet’s article on social collaboration, what most people take for social collaboration is just Twitter and Facebook, not SharePoint or other enterprise collaboration tools. And while these tools can have benefits at the business level, “they’re not integrating with documents, with organizational data, with the communications and directory services of an organization.”

According to the article, “If you ask the questions, ‘What are you using social for? What strategic business objectives is this supporting?’ it becomes more difficult for them to answer,” Hutchins said.

The important factor then, is to understand what social collaboration means for your company, what you hope to accomplish with it, and then take a purposeful approach to implementing strategies that meet these goals.

Just to give an example, Entrance has recently made Yammer available to everyone in the company. As we discussed in a recent posting, while Microsoft is working on integrating SharePoint 2013 and Yammer, the technology is less important than understanding how people work and tailoring solutions to that.

Even as SharePoint consultants who understand the best practices, so far we haven’t made a huge effort to incorporate Yammer into our day to day business. Not surprisingly, most people don’t take advantage of this social media tool as a result.

It has only been as our president and director of consulting have used it to keep Entrance apprised of their activities at conferences that I have really seen the benefit of this social collaboration tool.

Of the business and IT decision makers who have adopted social-collaboration tools, 24 percent believe they waste time or distract employees from their core jobs. But social media has become a big deal, even in the business world, and pretending that it doesn’t exist is not the solution.

The author of the ZDnet article argues ” to create a platform and then to use communications and adoption support to get the most value from it.”

For more on improving collaboration and implementing SharePoint to do so, check out this post!

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