Are organizations ready for social?
By Christian Buckley
May 5, 2014 —
(Page 1 of 2)
Following the SPTechCon event in San Francisco, I was reviewing session content from my sessions, and had a quick e-mail conversation with David Rubinstein over feedback from other sessions. Specifically, I have observed mixed feedback for my sessions about Microsoft's social road map, and have heard from other speakers and David of receiving similarly mixed feedback.
As we talked about what may be behind this lackluster response to social content, we outlined some ideas based on the feedback we're receiving:
· Many people do not yet see the value of social.
· Some customers perceive this (Yammer, primarily) as a Microsoft product push, not a consumer-driven need.
· Many organizations struggle with the cultural changes needed for social, rather than the technology fit.
· Organizations who plan to remain primarily (or entirely) on prem are pushing back.
While most of the social content being presented at SPTechCon and other conferences is relatively new (and being new, will require some tweaking), my sense is that negative feedback on the topic generally has more to do with people's frustration over Microsoft's direction than what is being shared within these sessions. In particular, people have voiced their frustration over Microsoft's focus on social innovation within the Office365 and Yammer platforms rather than providing more innovation for existing on-prem customers. I think some people go into a session on SharePoint social expecting a "silver bullet" for on-prem environments, and are disappointed (or even angry) to hear that their only path to a robust on-prem social experience will be through third-party solution providers instead of out of the box.
We are in the midst of a dramatic shift in the way that organizations collaborate, internally and externally. Social tools are not just a "nice to have" or bolt-on capability, but are fundamental to the way that individuals communicate, and teams collaborate. Many of our assumptions about how we collaborate—and even with how we've deployed SharePoint in the past—are being challenged, with much of our collaboration moving from document-centric models to conversation-centric social activities. With such a dramatic change will come churn. People will need to adjust, and this change will take time.
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