Integration on the Edge: Data Explosion & Next-Gen Integration

Hollis Tibbetts

Your Social Media Initiative - "Running Blind" without Integration

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Your social media initiative is hobbled - potentially even endangered without integration.

It's nearly impossible for a business to get the full value of a social media initiative in place without using some sort of Integration layer.

Note: Although originally intended to be part 5 of a 6-part series for business application vendors, I quickly realized that this topic was equally applicable to ISVs as well as to any commercial organization investing in social media.

Why is Social Media only half of the equation when it comes to a social media initiative? Any social media program worth its weight in salt needs to be tied into the business objectives of the organization - whether that's to increase mindshare, generate website traffic, create leads, improve customer service, whatever.

But without an integration strategy in place, it makes it extraordinarily difficult to measure and analyze the impact of a social media initiative. You can tweet and facebook all you want, but when the C-Suite wants to know what the return on the social media effort is, metrics like "followers, tweets, and likes" don't cut it.

In the absence of real metrics that are tied to business objectives (that are important to the C-levels), your social media initiative will be dominated by opinions, politics and personalities - and you will lose credibility in the process.

In order to tie social media metrics into things like conversion rates, cost per lead, etc., as well as capture trends, data must be captured, collected and integrated across a number of different systems - and then analyzed, hence the need for an integration strategy.

From a conceptual/visual perspective, this is depicted in figure 1, below, in a graphic that I've adapted from an webinar given by Birst (Business Intelligence/Analytics), Cervello (BI/Analytics Consulting) and SnapLogic (Cloud-based Integration), which discussed the ROI of Social Media Analytics (on-demand replay available)

Social Media Cloud.png

With the demands placed on social media programs by internal customers and the executive suite, it's ever more critical to be able to integrate data across multiple systems to be able to make business decisions on marketing spend - as well as to justify marketing spend. Without a robust integration strategy, your ability to conduct an effective social media program will be severely degraded.

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1 Comment

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While I fairly agree with the comments of Hollis Tibbets, it is to be noted that Social media interactions should be allowed as company policy as controlled and measured objective. Now-a-days innovation has become the buzzword to promote growth and collaboration in the organisation. For innovation to happen extensively in an organisation culture, employees should be able to interact with their peers, friends in the social media to get new ideas, to solve a particular problems, to get support or help in developing a product and so on. Collaboration, Cooperation and coordination is necessary in a big project which requires interaction extensively. If uncontrolled exposure to Social media is given then it will not bring any dividend. Typically 20-25% of the time if an employee interact with their peers it could be good collaborative effort.

This blog offers an informed and informative perspective on the ongoing explosion of data and the technologies used to turn this data explosion into assets and competitive advantages.

Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis has established himself as a successful software marketing and technology expert. His various strategy, marketing and technology articles are read nearly 50,000 times a month. He is currently Director for Global Marketing Operations for Dell Software Group. Hollis has developed substantial expertise in middleware, SaaS, Cloud, data management and distributed application technologies, with over 20 years experience in marketing, technical, product management, product marketing and business development roles at leading companies in such as Pervasive, Aruna (acquired by Progress Software), Sybase (now SAP), webMethods (now Software AG), M7 Corporation (acquired by BEA/Oracle), OnDisplay (acquired by Vignette) and KIVA Software (acquired by Netscape). He has established himself as an industry expert, having authored a large number of technology white papers, as well as published media articles and book contributions. Hollis is a top-ranked author on Sys-Con media, is also published on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on creating great software: Software Marketing 2013. He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

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