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December 2013, Volume 1, Number 6

Nail down enterprise social collaboration techniques

Enterprise social networking technology holds a growing allure for business executives looking to blend collaboration and camaraderie with a hard-nosed focus on the bottom line. But much like world peace and the end of poverty, "social collaboration" is more ideal than reality. The technology initially took off, followed by an almost equally rapid falloff. Two recent changes in the market, however, bode well for increased adoption of enterprise social networking software. One, vendors are finally acknowledging that they need to deal with the problem no one likes to dwell on: The notion of social collaboration -- everyone in the enterprise sharing information and working together -- is too hard to be left to the people who need to collaborate. And two, one of the best uses for the technology comes, ironically, not from connecting people to people but from connecting inanimate machines to people -- as well as to other machines. Driving these market shifts is the painful realization, now that organizations have some experience with...

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