Tim Buckley Owen Searching for the killer app
Jinfo Blog

Thursday, 17th January 2008 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Tim Buckley Owen


At the end of 2007 we had the likes of Gartner and KPMG warning that corporate social networking might not be all it’s cracked up to be just yet. Yet now we have big names like Thomson, Experian, and KPMG again, saying ‘Go for it’. Let’s start close to home, with Thomson. On January 15, it trumpeted its entry into the business-to-business social networking market with the acquisition of Contact Networks, and its enterprise relationship management product ContactNet. ContactNet trawls data from address books, e-mail logs, customer relationship management applications and elsewhere to disclose, aggregate and prioritise a firm’s internal relationships with external business contacts. According to Thomson http://www.thomson.com/content/pr/tlr/tlr_legal/254565 determining who knows whom is now ‘as simple as doing a Google-like search’. That begs KPMG’s earlier question http://web.vivavip.com/forum/LiveWire/read.php?i=3241 about whether employees will actually co-operate in the sharing of their precious contact information. But a subsequent KPMG report, Enterprise 2.0: the Benefits and Challenges of Adoption http://www.kpmg.co.uk/news/docs/E2.0%20The%20Benefits%20and%20Challenges%20of%20adoption.pdf finds companies confident that it will eventually deliver business benefits – although they’re still not clear how to measure those benefits and remain worried about security. This apparent preoccupation at present with internal applications for 2.0 technology is borne out by a further survey, from US-based ChangeWave Research. Surveying from among its 13,000-strong alliance of senior technology and business executives in leading companies http://digbig.com/4wfss ChangeWave foresees an ‘explosion’ in corporate use of 2.0 software – but largely for internal purposes. Improving employee communication, increasing efficiency and productivity, and better internal collaboration with business partners are the main reasons for web 2.0 use at the moment, ChangeWave finds. External applications – improving customer service and support, brand awareness and loyalty, and sales – are likely to come later. But not much later if a discussion paper from Experian Integrated Marketing http://digbig.com/4wfst is anything to go by. According to Social Networking in 2008, the year will herald the arrival of the Web 2.0 ‘super advocate’; operating in exclusive gated communities, they will constitute a formidable concentration of expert consumer power. ‘Highly influential figures, outspoken and with loyal following, super advocates will have the power in the 2.0 world to make or break a brand’s reputation at will,’ Experian warns. The super advocate will represent one of the biggest challenges facing companies trying to tap into social media as an advertising and marketing channel, it continues. ‘They need to be quickly identified and then kept on side, avoiding commercialism at all costs.’ All the signs are that the forecasters are thrashing around at present, trying to decide what the first corporate 2.0 killer app will be. But whether it’s customer relationship management, internal collaboration or super advocacy, information professionals should be able to cash in.

« Blog

Benefit from our research

Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.

A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.

Subscription benefits

Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.

Read case studies, and start the conversation.

Consulting benefits