Microblogging eases into the enterprise

The ability for microblogging to show up alongside a user’s primary applications lets it mesh well with the daily work routine. "I like the term ‘ambient awareness,’" says Debra Lavoy, director of product marketing for digital and social media at Open Text. "Microblogging provides a running commentary of what’s going on in the organization, letting you keep your finger on the pulse without having to stop what you are doing unless a message is relevant."

A big net

Compared to e-mails, microblogging messages tend to reach a wider range of people, "some of whom you might not have thought about contacting or even known of their existence," Lavoy points out. When the message contains a question or a request for information, casting a big net can help identify new resources.

Open Text launched its open Text Social Media (OTSM) in August, which integrates collaborative and social technologies, and will be introducing microblogging shortly.

"OTSM users can have profiles, status, wikis and blogs, and document sharing in one application," Lavoy states. "Organizations can leverage their collective intelligence while providing speed and diversity in collaboration.

Social networking is helping people rethink their corporate culture. "The bad economy is pushing companies to be more aggressive," says Caroline Dangson, research analyst at IDC. "Many believe that now is the time to take more risks, connect the dots and get closer to colleagues as well as customers." She cautions that organizations that cling too strongly to a rigid hierarchy are likely to lose out on the opportunities for enhanced productivity and innovation that social networking can foster.

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