Enterprise social networks are being deployed at a rapid rate. The need for better internal communication and collaboration seems to be universal, regardless of company size, industry, or location. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies will partially or fully implement an enterprise social network by the end of 2013, according to a recent Deloitte analysis, a 70 percent increase over 2011.
Enterprise social networks have already advanced far beyond the initial “facebook for the enterprise.” Basic features of all enterprise social networks include connecting co-workers with status updates, providing detailed employee profiles for learning about and finding colleagues, and enabling private and secure group discussions. But enterprise social networks can offer so much more. The top 5 advanced features of today’s best enterprise social networks include:
Traditional Intranet Pages
Companies still want the ability to communicate top-down announcements, policies, and procedures. They also want automated workflow, allowing employees to fill out online forms, submit expenses, read policies, and more. Now that enterprise social networks are disrupting old-style stagnant intranet pages, companies want to port the most important items and processes from the old intranet to the new more active, more alive enterprise social network. ESN vendors are now including intranet pages to offer these exact features. The best solutions allow the customer to customize the intranet pages, including the ability to show a splash screen at login highlighting new important announcements, files, videos, or upcoming events.
The best ESN offerings today allow companies to create unlimited Department Pages. Employees can then “join” or “follow” their department, so they are alerted anytime there are new posts or announcements for the department. Network admins can also assign employees to specific departments to ensure they receive important updates.
Enterprise social networks make it easy to share files of nearly any size. But sharing a file is just the beginning. Enterprise social networks are now including advanced document management features too, such as automatic versioning, check in/check out, co-authoring, and controlling file access and permissions by user. And if a user forgets where they stored a file, MangoApps allows users to search for files simultaneously across multiple file repositories including their local computer, Dropbox, SharePoint, Box, GoogleDrive, Office365, SkyDrive, and even Windows File Server shared drives.
Whether you are building a commercial airplane or a paper one, a series of individual tasks are what turns your plan into reality. The enterprise social network is the hub of internal communication, so it only makes sense to also help users view and manage daily tasks. Full task management is now being included inside the best enterprise social networks. These are typically not 3rd party integrations, but modules built to work seamlessly as part of the enterprise social network, providing a much better overall experience for the user.
You never know which employee will come up with the company’s next great idea. And innovation tends appear at the oddest times. Companies want to enable employees to capture all new ideas, no matter when or where they strike. With today’s technology, no idea should be lost. Enterprise social networks now include idea management, allowing employees to easily and quickly enter any new idea, big or small. Co-workers can “Like” the idea, add to it, and build on it, helping turn good ideas into a reality.
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