In this discussion, we examine the Emergent Solutions Inc case study including the benefits of SocialText and associated risks for companies considering this tool and others alike.
Consulting company Emergent Solutions proudly has integrated SocialText as a means of managing their clients and staff. Consultants have a high level of communication requirement, and participate in a number of knowledge sharing activities. Previously, Emergent Solutions had a number of communication options which were considered by employees as restrictive in the process of managing accounts. They integrated SocialText into their work activities and found great results.
Some of the results from using SocialText tools can be illustrated by the Hincheliffe’s graph. In the Emergent Solutions case study improvement in work activities and work progresses where recorded. The open knowledge management of information produced an archive of discussion that ultimately saved repetition of task and time spend face-to-face. This outcome was embraced because it made managing multiple clients and staff more efficient.
It also provided clients with transparency so they could track Emergent Solution employee’s outputs and ensure they were meeting the requirements of the project. This knowledge sharing platform had an overall positive effect on the company and its employees.
There self-managed success of employees could be tracked through SocialText consequently allowing more time to provide a high quality service. Users would manage their profiles and view other employee profile, tracking their progress in real-time, while also encouraging links, tags and other useful collaborative behaviours. This type of community and collaboration enhanced synergy across the business.
Transparency – Internal employee knowledge management & external communication and service to clients.
Knowledge sharing archive – Self managed success, collaborative wiki’s of organisational information.
Improved Resource allocation and collaboration – Focus resources on providing quality service, contributing to the organisational success and synergy.
Although these enterprise tools can dramatically improve decision cycle time, and organisational effectiveness there is associated risk involved. The fundamental risk involved is success by adoption. Without wide spread adoption by users the productivity fails. Like the Internet, if only few use it the value proposition is low however if many use it the value proposition is high.
With transparency there is always risk of security. Sensitive or proprietary information could have survier consequences if inappropriately released. For Emergent Solutions or other consulting companies, client information is transferred between parties. This information is required to be handled discreetly.
Productivity can be both positive and negative when introducing social tools into the workspace. Employees spending large quantities of time on a particular platform or on a particular task can be counterproductive. These tools need to be recognised as supportive to the work, not work itself..
All these risk are avoidable with the correct implementation strategy. Many successful enterprise tool integration is a result of regulating and policy creation by employees. Viewed as guidance not a restrictions, creating the appropriate environment through procedures can prevent negative outcomes.
Importance of adoption – The more users, the more value.
Security – Dealing with sensitive information needs to be handled correctly.
Counterproductive – These are supportive tools for work, they do not complete the work itself
Operation/platform procedures – Are fundamental to avoid risk.
Emergent Solutions adoption of SocialText has had an excellent outcome resulting in improved decision making, knowledge sharing, and productivity. Although there are always risk associated with implementation, risk can be managed with procedures and appropriate work policies. Nevertheless, there are also risks of not using enterprise tools. Enterprise tools require adoption as company implementation and integration numbers matures. Not using enterprise tools will likely reduce the quality of service and overall competitive advantage of an organisation. Therefore, not using enterprise2.0 tools could be the biggest risk of all.