So, immediately after Google announced its social networking strategy Buzz, Salesforce launched their own social networking service Chatter in Beta. Although Salesforce did announce their service in November - well before Buzz. Buzz is aimed at Facebook. Chatter is mainly focused towards businesses.
Salesforce CEO says - "I know when my friends have gone to the movies, but I don't know when my VP of sales last visited my top customer," said Benioff on the Dreamforce stage. "I know when I've been tagged in a photo, but don't know when a key document has been updated."
This feature and ability is fantastic! Like any businessman, I personally would love to have this kind of information at my finger tips about my company's sales leads and clients. What better leverage technology can provide your business other than competitive advantage?
This made me think about other aspect of this paradigm shifting technology. How do users (salesforce users for example) keep up with the pace of these 'new ways of doing things (NWODT)'? I look after majority of business development activities for my company. Agreed that our salesforce is much smaller compared to big corporations and also our business network. But, still first question is - To what extent do NWODT really help users to be more effective and how can one measure the increase in effectiveness? In order to see what's happened (an event) - someone who is making it happen needs to update the status. And, that will need wider adaptability of this NWODT. Only then, one can leverage its full benefit.
Second question is - how many of the people involved in sales & marketing actually keep up with these changes in technology and trends and leverage it for the competitive advantage. It is one thing to socially network on LinkedIN and Facebook. It is also quite normal to use recommendation, introductions and other features that come with these networks. This type is usage can be categorized as - logging, browsing and researching. But, how many users actually seek introduction and/or receive such requests for introduction and/or get introduced? Answer may vary among users, but chances are common answer is 'Not Much!'. When was the time you received an request for introduction and acted upon it?
So my point is this - technology is a wonderful thing. Early adaption is exciting. NWODT is great. But one thing that none of this can provide or replace is - sense of purpose! Organizational focus and passion!! That is an essential element for success. And when that is there, these technologies such as Buzz and Chatter will amplify the efforts to great heights. I think in order to be more successful, your business must have One before it seeks Two.