I like the idea of using Social media within the enterprise to better the spread of information and knowledge. Most companies these days trade on being a thought leader in their particular niche or niches. The more that the general employ knows about the business, the better they will react to opportunities. I was reading Andrew McAfee - Harvard Business Review about company knowledge
He speaks of the take-up of internet technologies within the business and enterprise community, and how the most recent Web 2.0 changes are spreading through the community and show up in the general internet as Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter. Of course not many businesses want to air their dirty laundry in these open forums, so how do these technologies pervade into the Enterprise and what he calls Enterprise 2.0?
While he focuses on what kinds of companies might explore these technologies and options, I would like to focus on what technologies are enabling the enterprise in these areas and how they may help.
Many organisations use wiki sites internally to power their knowledge generation, and this can range from free tools such as http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki or http://www.dokuwiki.org/dokuwiki, or could be commercial pieces that interact with the external website or the support or customer site. The benefits of this are naturally to enable customers with information faster than before, but to still allow employees to collaborate and inform each other internally. Additionally this kind of information can emerge through the corporate blog or twitter feed (or even Facebook page).
Another aspect is that systems like Salesforce.com now come with a twitter-like service called Chatter, complete with mobile device support, tagging, linking to objects within the system. This allows for open discussion on business opportunities, partners, groups and so on, all within the standard platform for keeping sales and CRM related data.
Large enterprises will even have roles for people to manage and support this kind of information sharing to ensure that the good ideas float to the top and that the less important or relevant discussions and documents are relegated to deeper nodes.