2. Customizable user profiles. The difference between something such as a SharePoint "My" site or a human resources department profile, and what can be arranged through an extensible social platform such as Chatter, is the personality and spirit the latter to enterprise social efforts. Personalizing user profiles allow the sort of ad-hoc, inspired postings and journals to be more visible throughout your organization.
When employees have good ideas or are thinking about how to solve problems, their profile page can be a resource for them to post about their thoughts. Then others can find those pages and connect, without cumbersome introductions, mail threads or-even worse-not even finding each other at all. (None of this is to say that you need to allow copious dog and kid photos, but that comes under governance and security. More on that later.) Make sure your platform lets people be creative and bring a personal touch to their internal online profile.
3. Integration with collaboration tools and platforms. One of the key reasons analysts applauded Microsoft's Yammer acquisition was the integration possibilities with Microsoft's existing corporate software, including Exchange, SharePoint, Lync or Office Communications Server and Skype. A social platform that exists to extend and augment existing tools will always be more successful than a platform that just sits there with its own feature set and its own play space, waiting for people to post.
Case Study: TD Bank Gets Social, Cashes In on IT-Business Teamwork
Look for social networking software that looks into SharePoint or to your Oracle cloud suite or that integrates with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) system. Consider software that crosses the boundaries of any one tool and rolls up views and activities from across your users' set of tools. Any platform with an aggregate view of activity across all systems has a much better chance of being useful, simply because there is more opportunity for interaction, more spark for discussion and more reasons for people to connect based on their own activities.