Enterprise Social Networking at Leader.com™

Business technology professionals worldwide are asking "Can You Measure The ROI of Enterprise Social Networking?" (Information Week, March 25, 2009)[1]. Leader has conducted extensive R&D surrounding the subject of social networking technology for more than a decade. Leader's body of research may represent the most extensive knowledge base on Enterprise Social Networking in existence. This knowledge base will be made available to early adopter enterprises of Leader2Leader®.

Leader currently seeks early adopter enterprises that wish to implement secure and scalable enterprise social networks. Leader's social networking framework offers participating enterprises the opportunity to deploy targeted implementations that leverage the benefits and overcome the weaknesses of consumer social networking.

Leader2Leader® is powered by the Digital Leaderboard™ software engine. Leader's Enterprise Social Networking technology is the first of its kind. Each Leaderboard™ is designed to meet the more stringent needs within enterprises for security, privacy, data integrity, strategy, risk transfer and scalability. Here are some of the perceived positives and drawbacks of social networking for the enterprise:

Consumer Social Networking Feature Analysis
Strengths   Weaknesses
Flexibility, spontaneity, ease-of-use, painless web deployment, ease of making new connections and groups, openness, application upgrades instantaneous, user-generated data more searchable, more collaborative, fewer gatekeepers and low cost.   Lack of security, lack of privacy, interruptions from indiscriminate instant notifications, lack of control over data, randomness of relationship associations, triviality, advertising, no licensing and service agreements, no control of administration of groups, no focus on strategic priorities, concern that it will be a productivity killer and take workers off task.

Leader2Leader® – Enterprise Social Networking with no drawbacks

Leader2Leader® was designed with overarching business value propositions driving the engineering. Most notably to enable more effective enterprise leadership toward goals and objectives. Consumer social networking picked up on selected consumer behavior ideas under the leadership umbrella, but is only now starting to address the bigger leadership picture; already addressed by Leader2Leader®. Among the enterprise leadership value propositions supported are:

  • Productivity; enhance efficiency & effectiveness
  • Strategy; reinforce key priorities and cascade them throughout the enterprise
  • Leadership Software®; enhance teamwork
  • User-generated data; greater accessibility without sacrificing security
  • Intellectual capital; leverage value of enterprise knowledge

The Top 7 advantages of Leader2Leader® Enterprise Social Networking

  1. Enterprise leadership sets the collaboration rules. No two enterprises are the same. Therefore, each collaboration requirement is different; one size does not fit all. Therefore, Leader designed a flexible Leaderboard™ environment that allows the organization to determine the "rules of the road" prior to inviting its users to participate. This way the environment can accommodate the unique culture and priorities of each enterprise. For example, a product design firm may need highly interactive workspaces with few rules or limitations, but with high security. By contrast, a highly structured work environment like an equipment repair company may need less collaboration among techs, but much data sharing about equipment, drawings and repair procedure, but with less concern about the security of electrical schematics. This flexibility is designed into Leader2Leader® where an individual Leaderboard™ becomes a unified workspace for secure collaboration.

  2. Data controlled by the enterprise. Consumer social networking sites are designed for maximum access to advertising demographic data, not running an enterprise. Such data access is indiscriminate and wholly inappropriate for an enterprise platform. A CIO needs assurance that important documents shared among work teams are not compromised. Without access to the underlying database, such assurances are impossible. Leader2Leader® enables the enterprise to set data sharing rules for each Leaderboard™ work group down to the individual file level. This way the user-generated data in the system is always under the full control of the enterprise.

  3. Instant notification features can be limited to business purposes only. As with any new technology, one wishes to take advantage of strengths and overcome weaknesses. Instant notifications are one such social networking feature. If used wisely, instant notifications can be used to remind users of important tasks. However, if used indiscriminately, they can become addictive and horrific time wasters akin to the time robbing employee roaming the halls with a cup of coffee asking "Gotta a minute?" Leader2Leader® allows notices and alerts to be targeted and organized in ways that will achieve the benefits and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

  4. Group workflow focused on strategy. Enterprise strategy should drive tactics and activities. Strategy is ultimately the responsibility of senior management. Management's job is to ensure that daily activity is aligned to strategy. Leader2Leader® is designed to support strategy alignment across the enterprise. A Group, called Leaderboard™, can be setup and managed by the responsible stakeholder. Participation in any group is controlled by the Host. The Host, designated by the system administrator, sets the collaboration rules for his or her Leaderboard rules that can be set as tightly or loosely as required by the project. For example, a brainstorming group may allow any participant to share any kind of data, whereas a policy group may enable only read-only participation.

  5. Triviality can be eliminated. Lets admit it, we've all watched over our children's shoulders and observed the trivial nature of most consumer social networking interaction LOL. POS. BYB. G2G, 2G2B4G, ABITHIWTITB, !!!! OMG...[2] A CIO's worst nightmare is the morning after implementing uncontrolled social networking and watching the productivity meter drop to zero while users share photos, instant message each other and create company fan clubs. A 5% productivity hit in a large enterprise translates into enormous losses. Leader2Leader® thought through all these dynamics years ago and can offer CIOs and senior leadership a good night's sleep after deploying Leader2Leader® Enterprise Social Networking.

  6. Licensing and Service Level Agreements. Social networking is currently perceived to be "open source" although this notion is spurious. Enterprises need to be able to license the technology from legitimate sources in order to properly address use rights, upgrades, training, modifications and service level agreements. Enterprises cannot rely upon the current fare of consumer social networking options for their mission-critical systems. Leader2Leader® provides enterprise licensing and service level agreements for its technology.

  7. Enhance Intellectual Capital. Leader2Leader® was designed to be a robust data mining repository. For example, you might wish to find out if anyone in your enterprise has ever written on the subject of "signage". Such a search in Leader2Leader® will present you with a complete selection of content on the subject of signage. This data will include not only all files and documents containing information on signage, but it will also show you the use history; in other words, it will show you all users and groups using the data currently and historically. This kind of capability can dramatically enhance knowledge sharing across an enterprise. Such capability becomes an "intellectual capital bank" of valuable wisdom and knowledge; extending the value of such information across the enterprise.

Leader seeks early adopter enterprises who wish to implement secure and scalable enterprise social networks as Leadership Software®. These implementations can include the range of existing, integrate Leader communications products including Leader Phone®, Leader Alert®, Leader Meeting™, Leader Dialog® and Leader Voice Mail® (under test deployment currently).

Contact Leader Sales at (614) 890-1986 or email sales@leader.com for more information or to discuss Leader2Leader® Enterprise Social Networking with a Leader representative.

Download Leader2Leader® White Papers & Executive Briefings: (pdf)
1 Leader2Leader® White Paper
2 Key Performance Resources Platform
Business Continuity Platform Briefing
4 Homeland Security Information Rights Management Platform Briefing
5 Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Monitoring Platform

[1] Conry-Murray, Andrew. "Can You Measure The ROI of Enterprise Social Networking?" Information Week cover Story. March 25, 2009. Accessed March 30, 2009.
[2] "The NetLingo List of Acronyms & Text Message Shorthand". Netlingo. Accessed March 31, 2009.

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