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Understanding real-time collaboration tools for business

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Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

How will Facebook at Work fare in the corporate social network market?

Facebook at Work is a corporate social network tool positioned to rival Chatter, Yammer and other enterprise networking software. Can it succeed?

Facebook at Work has launched a new corporate social network tool to rival services like Jive, Chatter and Yammer....

Despite its success on the consumer side, will its foray into enterprise social networking take hold?

It could succeed, but it would have to do a lot of things right.

It's got potential but they have to make it extremely low friction. It has to be really easy to use and really easy to implement, and they have to answer these security questions that will certainly dog them all along the sales cycle. Every IT user and every individual user is going to be saying, "Wait a minute, this is Facebook. We don't even trust them with our personal information -- now we're going to be using them at work?" Even though we use them, we don't trust them, so I think that's a big deal.

The other thing is that this is very different kind of sale. Being a free consumer tool is very, very different from being an enterprise tool. It involves a whole different mind-set. They would have to be really serious about this, and that would mean creating a whole division staffed with people who knew the enterprise, because the people working on the consumer side just don't know what the enterprise people are up against.

Next Steps

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This was last published in February 2015

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Essential Guide

Understanding real-time collaboration tools for business

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How do you think Facebook at Work will impact your enterprise?
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By far, one of the biggest issues found with employees at my enterprise is the use of Facebook during work time. Facebook at Work looks like a great tool but I feel if implemented, it would negatively effect the work output and compromise security. Facebook is currently not allowed for employee use as it is a notorious time waster. Even with the new work tools, Facebook at Work will not be used at my enterprise.
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In spite of the numerous information security concerns raised, I do not doubt that Facebook at Work is indeed a viable corporate social network tool.
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I think you’re correct in that they will have to do a lot of things right. I think one of the biggest will be not just being another collaboration tool, but being a better collaboration tool. How are they going to stand out from the competition? Another thing will be in adopting (or perhaps positively disrupting) the enterprise mind-set and their approach to deploying changes at their discretion. The “we don’t trust them but we use them” mindset may play in their favor on these issues.
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