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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Social ERP - a new Gen ERP system

In this short article I would like to give an idea about what is a Social ERP, what is the behind to have a social ERP system, what are its advantages and what are the bottlenecks to it.

What is a Social ERP?
Social ERP is a pretty new word in the computing arena which is actually the integration of Social Media and ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. It is still a newbie where we can expect lot of news in the coming months. Now if you search in Google for “Social ERP”, you can hardly find good materials on this topic.

We can abbreviate Social ERP systems as sERPs, where‘s’ stands for Social. Some optimistic techies even call sERP as the mother of all the social applications. We can even hear some people start speaking about new ERP family software as Social Accounting, Social supply Chain, Social Manufacturing applications and so on.

What actually Social ERP means?
In simple terms, Social ERP means an integrated software system which organizes the customers, employees and partners of an organization under the same umbrella. It will have all the features of a traditional ERP system but with an additional layer of social interaction at the top of the basic functionality. This layer will bring more flexibility, user friendliness, transparency to the users of the system.

We can call this additional layer as ‘Social layer’ – a layer which will provide a social touch to the ERP system, where users will have more space to interact and collaborate each other to get the work done. Moreover, users will have easy access to more data – Social Data, the data being shared in the social media system, which is accessible to all to whom the data is being shared.

Motivation behind Social ERP:

The latest statistics shows that, internet users are spending a good number of hours in social networking sites and mainly for creating connections and sharing information. The reason is social media provides a virtual social system, where they interact, communicate, share with others privately as well as publicly. This makes the users stick these system now a days of their personal and to professional work to an extent.

On the other hand, Business applications are the backbone of the organizations without which they cannot function. Many of such systems lack transparency, simplicity and flexibility in communication. So the questions is why don’t we incorporate the features of social media into the existing business applications.

Before going further, let have a look at what Social Media and Enterprise Resource Planning Systems are.

Social Media
The term social media refers to the use of online and mobile technologies to turn social communication into more interactive dialogue. According to Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein social media is “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.

In simple terms, I would say social media is a collection of ubiquitous online tools that allow users to extend social interaction at online, and can do at anytime from anywhere.
Facebook ( Friendship based), LinkedIn (Professional based), Flickr( Image and Photo Sharing based),
Twitter ( Micro-blogging site). Yummer - Enterprise Social Networking
Delicious - Social Bookmarking.

For more details about Social media, you can refer What is social media?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implies an integrated business management software that allows an organization to manage its business processes and data. An ERP system integrates all facets of an organization, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, financial and accounting and so on.

Its purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.
Example: Major ERP systems in the market are Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, PeopleSoft etc.
For more details about ERP, you can refer Definition of ERP

Social ERP System – in detail
So a Social ERP is the futuristic version of ERP systems, which will have all the basic functionaly such as manufacturing, supply chain management, financials, project management, HR and data services etc plus the Social Layer which will add up the social behaviors to the system.

These social behavior include:
. Individual profile pages with personal as well professional details.
. Connect with other people and keep contacts.
. Share ideas, activities, events and interests with contacts.
. Create networks of like minded people.
. Recommend ideas, pages, and interests to others.

We can have ideal Social ERP systems in corporate environments by taking features of social networking sites to the ERP systems and at the same time removing the disadvantages of friendship based social media. As a result, employees (users of sERP) of an organization will have a clear view of what is happening in the organization and it’s procedures and at the same will get a flexible tool set for collaboration and communication.

sERP can do a lot more in corporate collaboration and communication such a way that it provides the organizations and it’s workforce a new way of interaction which reduces the time and cost included in peer-to-per communication. In fact, corporates are already started using Enterprise Social Networking sites

Advantages of a Social ERP systems.
1.It will provide the organization a new and cost effective way for inernal communication and collaboration.
2.It provides the workforce a big picture of what is happening in different processes.
3.It will make the workplace more sociable and friendship based, will encourage to setup healthy relationships.
4.Real Time access to data: Social Data would be accessible round the clock, to its users from all part of the world at any time.
5.Trust/believability: As we can make personal relationship in the system, users can rely on the data depends on your relationship with person who generates the data.
6.A social alert functionality: which will alert the users about a critical activity who are subscribed to that.

1.Migration of the existing systems: Most of the existing ERP systems are client-server based and without social media features.
2.Cost of Migration: Changing the existing systems would be a costly process and take long time.
3.Lack of maturity: social ERP systems are still in the initial stage and need to achieve maturity.
4.Data Security: if not managed properly, security of data that is being shared on a social ERP system would be a great risk.

About the Author

Firoz Muhammed is the author of this comprehensive article. He is a Social Media Enthusiast and blogger in social and digital media topics. You can reach him on his mail id: firozct@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

What you mean by Enterprise Social Netoworking?

In this short article I would explain what Enterprise Social networking is – application of social media in enterprises for internal communication and collaboration, its benefits and advantages and the popular social networking sites in the market.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="258" caption="Entrprise Social Networking- SEO Agency Bangalore"]SEO Agency Banglore India, Cheap SEO SMO SMM services[/caption]

What is Social Networking?
Let us start with Social networking services. By definition, a social networking service is an online service or platform, that focuses on building and maintaining social networks or social relations among people, which allows users to share their interests and/or activities. A social network essentially consists of a profile of each user, his/her social links, and a variety of additional services.

What is Enterprise Social Networking?
Now it is the time to understand what Enterprise Social Networking is, I would term it is as ESN in short. Enterprise social networking (ESN) means the use of social networking concept or social relations among employees who share business interests and/or activities within enterprises. ESN is often considered as a facility of enterprise social software ,which is essentially social software used in "enterprise" (business/commercial) contexts.

Enterprise Social Networks throw light to the fact that existing corporate intranets and other software platforms need to be modified to fully leverage the benefits of Web 2.0, which will enable organizations to be more effective and economical in organizing their communication, collaboration and other aspects of their intranets.

I would call Enterprise social networking as the adoption of social media in enterprises, by leveraging the advantages of having a social platform among the workforce who share the same business internets or activities and at the same time, fine tuning the drawbacks of implementing a friendship based social network in corporate.

When we talk about Enterprise social networking, we should also need to understand about Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 and
Web 2.0.

As you guess Web 2.0 is the second generation of World Wide Web, that facilitate two way interactions with websites or web applications like information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue in a virtual community, in contrast to Web 1.0 websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.

Enterprise 2.0
Enterprise 2.0 is the use of "Web 2.0" technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration - connecting people through the use of social-media tools. Enterprise 2.0 aims to help employees, customers and suppliers collaborate, share, and organize information. Andrew McAfee describes Enterprise 2.0 as "the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers".

Benefits of using Social Networking tools in an organization
1. It provides the employees more voice in their workplace and increases the chances for to be heard and at the time .
2. Employees can search and find resources in other departments so that work can be get done fast.
3. Provides organizations a way to implement more effective and economical systems for internal communication and collaborations.
4. Helps corporate to leverage the benefits of social media in work and at the same time limit the use of friendship based social networking sites in office.

Emerging trends in Enterprise Social Networking
Today we can see a large number of organizations are started implementing social networks to promote collaboration and sharing amongst their employees. Vendors at different domains of business are now using social networking tools as a way to help out the different companies.

These networks are being implemented to get employees collaborating and sharing tips and ideas about how to improve the workplace. Some of these social networks are homegrown systems that are built internally. Companies are using social networks to trade information amongst team members or other people who are part of the company. Sometimes this might also mean trading documents in real time. Based on research that Gartner has completed, 50% of enterprises will be using some sort of social network within the next two years.

Popular Enterprise Social Networking tools:

1. Yammer
Yammer is an enterprise social network service that was launched in September 2008, which is used for private communication within organizations or between organizational members and pre-designated groups. According to TechCrunch in September 2010, the service is being used by more than one million users and 80,000 companies worldwide, including 80% of the Fortune 500.
Website: http://www.yammer.com

2. Chatter.com
Chatter.com is a product of SalesForce, founded in April of 1999 by Marc Benioff. Chatter provides organizations with a free private social network which is available in a number of formats, such as for mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Blackberry and Android phones plus a desktop version. Through SalesForce Chatter, employees can quickly communicate and resolve issues or work on projects regardless of where they are geographically located.
Website: https://www.chatter.com/

3. Canopy
Canopy, created by J Media offers business a protected, secure way to improve communications between employees. The application makes it much easier to search for individuals based on expertise as well as name. Private messaging and groups can further bring employees together.
Website: http://www.canopyhq.com/

1.Enterprise Social Networking - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_social_networking
2. Enterprise Social Networking - http://www.appappeal.com/apps/enterprise-social-networking/

About the Author

Firoz Muhammed is a Social Media Enthusiast and writer on digital media topics. He is a blogger and expert in SEO, SMO and SEM techniques. You can reach him on his mail id: firozct@gmail.com . SEO Agency Bangalore, Cheap SEO SMO SMM services

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