14 responses to “Enterprise software is not like Facebook for a reason”

  1. Jake Kaldenbaugh

    Heck, let’s back up a bit! Why isn’t more enterprise software built on a web architecture period? Seems like the enterprise needs to learn to make ice cream before it can pick the flavor…
    Great post. Thought provoking.

  2. Atle Iversen

    Great post !

    This is very important:
    “Facebook is designed for entertainment, not productivity.”

    When people talk about using tools like Twitter for enterprises, they forget that a lot of “chatting” doesn’t necessarily improve productivity. People can be perfectly happy socializing on the web, but a business cannot survive on socializing alone – there is work that needs to be done !

    Some tools may help, others may not – but the “success criteria” is different for businesses than for people.

    “find what you’re looking for, transact your business, get out.” – it may not be as much fun, but that’s why it’s called “work” ;-)

  3. Brock Rowlands

    I think that the point of having an enterprise software use a Facebook approach would be better examined as
    1. Enterprise software should learn how to create a business hub where people can become easily informed of business activities, within their area, department and companywide, as Facebook does with social interaction
    2. How can the business better leverage personal relationships and create better personal relationships between its employees, as Facebook promotes re-connecting and forming communities around similar interests
    3. Enterprise software has been built by specialists with deep knowledge but they have not made it very accessible to their user base, while Facebook can be used by anyone who is computer literate

    The topics that were chosen to debate the post are misleading, since SalesForce is looking to improve business interactions, not create “enterprise-book”. I think most people can agree enterprise software can use improvement in many ways, but especially in usability and providing integration with the latest technologies in a real way – not just a bolt on fad following me too.

  4. The Facebook effect…what does a CIO do? « Best of Breed Technology Partners

    [...] Zedlewski emerged from a long blogging hiatus to argue that Facebook is designed for entertainment—not productivity. Well, that’s not surprising given that he works for SAP, one of the companies [...]

  5. Peter Auditore

    It is indeed unfortunate that your post has been perceived as the voice of SAP by the leading thought leader in the SaaS software revolution, because I don’t agree with much of what you are saying and I have been in this industry for twenty years.

    Many companies have been struggling with fostering innovation and collaboration for many years and enterprise software vendors have not delivered. Yes Mr. B is pushing his own product but I can tell you that Facebook if deployed in an Intranet would do exactly what Mr B is touting, increase productivity. One of the first ever knowledge management platforms that I implemented in 1994 was a network news server at NASA AMES. It allowed many engineers to simply post what project they were working on so that other could contact them and share knowledge. Facebook is a network news server on steroids and would create a fabulous place for employee interaction, information sharing and many other forms of human interaction that would increase productivity across the organization much better than any wiki.

  6. Jeremy Murray-Wakefield

    I have to agree with Peter (above) – it’s easy for old-school die-hards to sit back and say “Pah! – they’ve got email and network shares – what more do they want?” or “We can’t give them these tools – they’d sit around nattering all day long!”.

    I see no evidence that existing tools are adequate nor (once the novelty wears off) that people waste any significant amount of time with new communication tools.

    On the contrary – in my organisation I find it considerably more useful to read what my colleages are thinking about during their day-to-day project work, than reading a sterilised summary in a sanitised corporate newsletter.

  7. Charles Zedlewski

    @Peter – I agree with you that it is unfortunate that Marc to some extent implied that my post was attached to SAP. I try to be pretty clear that it is my personal blog and not associated in any way with SAP. Folks can feel free to dismiss me for plenty of reasons other than who I work for.

    @Jeremy – I take your point. I would suggest that you are already talking about a pretty narrow definition of Facebook (status updates and status feeds) which is fine. But then status updates and feeds are everywhere these days I’m not sure the question anymore is “why isn’t enterprise software like Facebook” but rather “why don’t more enterprise communications tools have status updates and feeds?”

    I also agree with you, I’d rather not get a sterile corporate newsletter vs. the straight scoop from employees. I think the interesting question is (and I have no opinion either way): when people add status updates in a corporate setting, how quickly do they become sterile on their own? The updates I get from LinkedIn are far more dry then the updates I get from Facebook, implying a very different social contract between the two sets of relationships. When CEO’s started blogging we saw much the same phenomenon. There are some great exceptions to the rule but there are some companies that just have exceptional cultures.

  8. FinancialForce puts some meat on Salesforce.com's Chatter effort | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

    [...] Charles Zedlewski: Enterprise software is not like Facebook for a reason [...]

  9. The Facebook Imperative Cannot Be Stopped « ~ GreyBlogs ~

    [...] Zedlewski emerged from a long blogging hiatus to argue that Facebook is designed for entertainment—not productivity. Well, that’s not surprising given that he works for SAP, one of the companies [...]

  10. The Facebook Imperative Cannot Be Stopped « Gadget Fee

    [...] Zedlewski emerged from a long blogging hiatus to argue that Facebook is designed for entertainment—not productivity. Well, that’s not surprising given that he works for SAP, one of the companies [...]

  11. The Facebook Imperative Cannot Be Stopped | Tech stuff center

    [...] Zedlewski emerged from a long blogging hiatus to argue that Facebook is designed for entertainment—not productivity. Well, that’s not surprising given that he works for SAP, one of the companies [...]

  12. Pankaj Taneja

    Some lessons are certainly to be learnt from FaceBook’s information design. Even in large networks, information exchange and collaboration is pervasive. It certainly does have the effect of “breaking silos”. Blindly copying FaceBook for the enterprise is silly, but there are lessons to be learnt here.

  13. - bestsouvenir.org

    [...] Charles Zedlewski of Enterprise Irregulars was another naysayer. He too highlighted some of this possess beliefs behind in response to Benioff’s article: [...]

  14. #Facebook ist keine #Enterprise Software für Unternehmen « Joachim Haydecker

    [...] Enterprise software is not like Facebook for a reason. Empfehlen/Bookmark [...]