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Should All Enterprise Software Run Like Facebook?

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That's an interesting premise put forward by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.

Saying he quit Oracle back in 1999 because he couldn't stop thinking why all enterprise software didn't run like Amazon. Today the question for him is: Why isn't all enterprise software like Facebook?

Benioff, like myself, logs on every morning to Facebook to see what his friends and family are up to and to find out anything important coming up on the social calendar. Benioff wonders why work collaboration can't all be boiled down into one single 'newsfeed.'

Says Benioff: I already see it working: I have an enterprise desktop where without any effort I can learn about what my team is focusing on, how my projects are progressing, and what deals are closing.

Benioff says he is building something quite like this called Salesforce Chatter.

A recent problem I have with Facebook is what to do with too much information. There are many, many things to do on Facebook, from playing games to learning your daily horoscope to posting pics, and each choice is highly individualistic.

But how many of these choices do you want to see from your friends and acquaintainces? Already on Facebook there are anti-information groups titled, I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!

You can sense Facebook searching for the perfect algorithm to give you exactly the news about your FB friends that you want. About six or so months ago they switched from a real-time feed for all your friends to one that offers either top news (which means stuff that attracts other comments or 'likes') or live feed, which gives you everything about everybody exactly when it happens.

The problem with this set up is, a friend coming on for the first time might not get much in the way of comments but still be something you want to see. So simply relying on their selective newsfeed, I felt I was seeing stuff I could care less about, while missing other important stuff. This meant I was always clicking on the live feed, which then gave my way too much information. Facebook almost needs a friend rating system, but boy would I hate that info to get out.

But I guess with a work Facebook, corporate hierarchy would play a big role in what you see in your newsfeed. Quite simply, any company that harnessed the ease-of-use and near universal buy-in of something like Facebook would immediately be at the forefront of enterprise collaboration. And I believe that will be the key to survival for many companies in the future.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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