Here's what to look for when evaluating enterprise microblogging services or features.
services can offer an organization's users a new way of collaborating with one
another, of keeping tabs on important company information, and of staying up to
date on the activities of partners, customers and others outside the
organization. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating one of these
1. Desktop app support:
tend to be Web-based, but most also offer support for native desktop clients, which
are available from either the vendor or third parties. Check to see what
offline access to data and support for delayed status updating these client applications
support. Also ensure that clients are available for the operating systems and
OS versions you require.
2. Mobile app support:
Status update services tend to
offer a mobile component, in the forms of SMS text support, and of native
clients for multiple smartphone platforms. Make sure that these clients are
available for the device types deployed in your organization.
3. Directory and authentication:
microblogging services that integrate with your existing directory services to
ease user provisioning and deprovisioning. Also, evaluate these services'
capbabilities for providing single sign-on support, such as through SAML or
4. Federation with other update systems:
No piece of
collaboration or communications software is an island. Avoid erecting new data
silos and keep open the lines of communication with users outside your
organization by seeking out microblogging services that support federation with
other services. Make sure that the products offer controls for managing and, if
needed, limiting this federation.
5. Integration with other applications:
lines, organizations can get more value out of microblogging services if the
products integrate with existing enterprise applications in their environments.
This integration can take the form of status feeds that appear in CRM or collaboration pages, or of
notifications from those systems that appear in the streams that microblogging
6. API availability:
Because it's unlikely that any microblogging system will offer points of
integration with all an organization's applications and collaboration networks,
it's important that these services offer APIs to enable company developers to
take care of required integration operations.
As with any company data and
authentication credentials, security is an essential consideration. Make sure
that data traveling over the network can be encrypted, and that authentication
credentials never pass through the wire or the air in the clear.
8. Data export:
Before funneling valuable data into a
new microblogging service, evaluate the options the vendor offers for exporting
this data, either for discovery and archiving purposes, or to import into a new
system if your organization opts to switch services.