Back in June at Toronto’s Cloudforce 2012, host Salesforce said the biggest change in the next five years will be how companies use social media. Businesses are attempting to cope with the increased demand of employee time on an ever growing number of social media and Internet tasks.
IBM has been called the leader in social software and analytics by the research institute IDC for the past three years. The company is far more interested in the biggest opportunity out there, though—quantifying big data. Salesforce, meanwhile, is more worried about an increased inflow of task management which could diminish employee productivity.
The social enterprise, where Salesforce is quite prominent, is a growing in what has become a very competitive space. Forrester Research says the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61% through 2016. And there are a wide range of tools for project, task, and data management that are stand-alone like Basecamp, AtTask, and Jive to name a few.
How do organizations decide which one is best for them, considering that only 16% of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, according to a recent IBM CEO study? That is the burning question because managers will be making those decisions in the next three to five years—that number is expected to increase to 57% of CEOs by then. IBM expects social media use to increase relentlessly: 82% of chief marketing officers plan to boost their social media use in the next three years.
That’s why Salesforce does not believe stand-alone solutions are the way to go in the enterprise. They have developed Do.com and Desk.com into their ever-expanding all-in-one social enterprise solution.
Do.com, similar to Basecamp, allows employees to share tasks, projects, and files in a simple and efficient way.
Desk.com is an all-in-one customer support application that allows employees or high powered social users to connect with customers and followers through social and mobile platforms. Desk.com is a hybrid social platform, though, as anyone that would like to download it can try it for free. It can be used for assisting people in planning things like weddings and hockey pools in addition to transforming business.
“Social task management provides a structure where people organize, prioritize, communicate and collaborate on projects,” says Alan Lepofsky at Constellation Research. “No matter what the case, STMs help change project management from stressful to successful.”
Social listening tools like Radian6, a Canadian company bought by Salesforce for $326 million in 2011, allow employees to cross-listen across platforms in social media. But employees will now not only be able to cross-listen in social media, but cross-manage social media effectively in both social and mobile with Desk.com.
In mobile, that could even include what has become the most popular mobile social media network in Instagram. The photo-sharing app passed Twitter recently in the number of active mobile daily users last month.