When they first fully rolled out Chatter inside their organization, Dan Petlon, their CIO, sent anemail to all the employees announcing the rollout and with links to videos on Salesforce.com’ssite about how they can use Chatter. The only advice they gave was to keep the “chatting”business related. In the initial days, there was some push by IT for more adoption but now it ishappening on its own without any prodding. The adoption trend initially followed the Gartner Hype Cycle curve, with the adoption hitting a peak, then falling off rapidly and finally hitting aplateau. Later it broke off from the curve and they saw very rapid adoption with increasingusage all around the organization.Even though I didn’t verify from the Yammer side, they told me that they also tried outYammer but the traction was not up to their expectations. They told me that the adoption of Chatter was much better because it is part of the Salesforce dashboard, which 60% of their employees were already using. The standalone nature of Yammer and the need to use another application seems to be the reason why many employees didn’t embrace it when they test droveit inside their organization. However, this may be unique to an organization reliant heavily onSalesforce and Yammer may be a better fit elsewhere.Being a long time Salesforce customer, they have savvy developers who are familiar withSalesforce APIs. So they are doing more development around Chatter API to make other business applications Chatter enabled. Hence, they will bring social to be around all of their organizational data.
Lessons learned from the Chatter rollout
From my discussions with the Enterasys Networks IT management team, I squeezed out someinteresting lessons. Even though these are drawn from the Chatter usage, some of them areuniversally true for any Social Business tool.
Any modern enterprise will have little cultural difficulty in embracing social tools.
There is an interesting trend that happens inside the organizations once they adopt thesocial and collaboration tools. Once the business leaders see the Facebook type of impactinside the organizations, like people following them to learn about how they navigate thebusiness in a competitive environment, to learn about the best practices, etc., there seemsto be a gravitational pull that motivates these business leaders to make sure that they arefully entrenched in the social process. This adds additional responsibility on the businessleaders to share best practices, acknowledge wins, do post-mortem on losses, etc.. Thesame phenomena, which we see in the social networks on the consumer side, enter theenterprises too.
A flat organization in terms of communication is crucial in any Social Business adoption.When I say flat organization, I mean that everyone from CEO to the last employee should