10 Social Networks Aimed at Improving Enterprise Collaboration

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-01-15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Social Networks Aimed at Improving Enterprise Collaboration
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    10 Social Networks Aimed at Improving Enterprise Collaboration

    By Don Reisinger
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    Facebook at Work Is the Newbie in This Category
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    Facebook at Work Is the Newbie in This Category

    That Facebook has broken into the enterprise social space is perhaps no surprise. There were several reports that the company was eyeing the corporate world for quite some time, and now it's making its move with Facebook at Work. The app, which is free for companies to try out, allows them to create their own social networks internally in an app that looks and feels like Facebook. For now, it's in limited availability, but should be expanding its reach in no time.
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    Slack Is Not for Enterprise Slackers
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    Slack Is Not for Enterprise Slackers

    Slack is a great app for those who want to keep all of a team's communication in one spot. The app is based on something called "channels," which uses hashtags to keep conversations organized. In addition, those channels can be files, messages, videos, or anything else, and are all easily searchable. Think of Slack as one-part database and one-part social-communication tool.
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    Convo Can Help Keep Team Members Working
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    Convo Can Help Keep Team Members Working

    Convo can be used in a number of circumstances, but essentially provides a running feed of updates from a team. The app also includes the ability to create different groups that will receive messages outside of those sent to the entire team. Convo also supports hashtags, file uploads and other neat features that make it a great repository for information.
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    Microsoft's Yammer Seems Like a Solid Choice
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    Microsoft's Yammer Seems Like a Solid Choice

    Yammer is a core component in Microsoft's broader strategy to bring its corporate customers to the cloud. The offering includes a news feed to find out what's happening within the company, as well as the ability to create groups, share a knowledgebase and integrate into Microsoft's cloud-based productivity solution, Office 365. Yammer is a major social push for Microsoft and shouldn't be overlooked for current Office 365 users.
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    Anyone on the Lookout for Socialcast?
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    Anyone on the Lookout for Socialcast?

    Socialcast is one of the more popular enterprise social networks available, featuring a wide range of tools to keep people working. The app includes the ability to collaborate in real-time on projects, as well as support for groups and a Town Hall feature that allows executives to share important insight with employees. It's a full-featured app that includes a wide range of interesting functions.
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    Salesforce's Chatter Gets People Talking
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    Salesforce's Chatter Gets People Talking

    The integration of Salesforce and Chatter tends to create a solid experience for users. The app includes the ability to share files and data, share what employees are doing at any given time, and even monitor everything from expense reports to support cases. It's a full-featured app that has some extras users won't find elsewhere.
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    SocialText Puts the Social in Text
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    SocialText Puts the Social in Text

    SocialText isn't necessarily one of the biggest providers in this roundup, but it's still an important one. The service includes a social networking function of course, but also allows for users to create content and handle conversations between individuals or the entire companies. The app also provides what SocialText calls a "unified view" for checking out personal and business social networks.
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    Don't Forget About IBM Connections
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    Don't Forget About IBM Connections

    IBM Connections doesn't necessarily get the kind of attention a Facebook at Home might receive, but it's arguably one of the most full-featured options in this list. The app, which runs on IBM Cloud, includes the ability to view content shared by others and share that with others. In addition, it's integrated with Outlook to find network information and works across mobile, Web and desktop platforms. One other key feature: It works offline.
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    Zyncro Is for Those Who Want a Different Experience
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    Zyncro Is for Those Who Want a Different Experience

    Like SocialText, Zyncro doesn't necessarily get the kind of attention one would find for Facebook at Work. However, the app is still a nice option. The solution starts with a microblogging function that lets users post personal and corporate news, as well as send direct messages. Like other services, Zyncro also has support for document management, groups and more. It's a neat app.
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    Tibbr: Who Needs the 'E?'
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    Tibbr: Who Needs the 'E?'

    Tibbr believes that the real value folks will find from the platform is its mobile productivity solutions. The app includes what you'd expect—microblogging, profiles, chat and more, but is designed to work on both computers and mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Indeed, Tibbr makes clear that mobile functionality is a key component in its sales pitch. And by the look of things, it seems to work quite well on mobile.
 

Historically, social networks were designed for consumers to keep in touch with friends or find out what family members are doing. Friendster and MySpace were once dominant in social networking, but are now distant memories. Today, the king of social networking is Facebook, followed by Twitter, Google+ and many others, and social networking is alive and well. Perhaps that's why social networking is increasingly making its presence felt in the enterprise. On Jan. 14, Facebook launched a limited release of its enterprise social networking service, Facebook At Work. The offering is designed to allow companies to create their own social networks to improve productivity and efficiency. More importantly, the announcement puts Facebook in direct competition with a range of major competitors. Whether it's Microsoft's Yammer or Slack or one of the many other services out there that cater to companies' social needs, the corporate world is embracing the idea of collaboration more and more. Now, Facebook is playing a major role in that space. eWEEK examines Facebook at Work and several other social networks that take aim at the enterprise and try to help companies collaborate far more effectively.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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