Social business + cloud != revolution

Summary:NetSuite's partnership with Yammer "adds social" to business software, just like Salesforce.com's Chatter. But is the social buzzword really a business revolution?

NetSuite's partnership with Yammer "adds social" to business software, just like Salesforce.com's Chatter. But is the social buzzword really a business revolution?

When Patch Monday visited Salesforce.com's Dreamforce 2010 user conference in December we heard how it's supposedly now important for businesses to integrate a social media presence into their regular customer service processes. Salesforce.com's Chatter product provides that Facebook-like interaction, and the Chatter Free version lets businesses easily extend that functionality out to collaboration with their customers and suppliers.

At NetSuite's first SuiteWorld user conference last week, the company announced as part of its strategy a partnership with enterprise social media vendor Yammer. Called SuiteSocial, the new product will allow users to follow and comment on business transactions rather than family photos, and organise workgroups rather than school reunions. It's expected to be available in Q3 2011.

On Patch Monday this week I chat with enterprise software analyst and commentator Dennis Howlett who, amongst other things, runs ZDNet's Enterprise Irregular blog. Once we'd digested everything we'd seen at SuiteWorld, we came to the conclusion that "going social" may not work for every business. Witness Dell's successful embrace of the social in its customer service, but Cisco's failures.

As Howlett puts it, "Revolutions almost always end up badly."

There's also my usual look at some of last week's news headlines.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time 29 minutes, 40 seconds

Stilgherrian attended SuiteWorld in San Francisco as a guest of NetSuite.

Topics: Cloud, Social Enterprise

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit tr... Full Bio

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