By Sebastian Thielke Jan 15, 2015

Translation of the Original Article by Sebastian Thielke 

And we always say at the the customer: Do not attach Facebook for businesses as an argument for Enterprise Social Networks. Now, yesterday came the big announcement: Facebook @ work is launching – a Social Network for companies. Interesting from various standpoints. We know that this market is very exciting and especially diverse. It is not a reinvention of the wheel. But, and we should all remember this, at least in the public a big step, and we just think it is a move with potential. But why?

Broad public perception

The most important aspect in our eyes is that Facebook as a brand generates enormous attention. If we look at the reports of the different media, it quickly becomes clear that the idea of a social network arrives with this announcement in a public mass, which is never achieved on the specialized Enterprise 2.0 and social business level. The Facebook brand arouses this interest both in the international arena TechCrunch as well as in well-known major tech blogs Cashys Blog and in magazines Spiegel Online in Germany. Therefore It can arise a broad public perception that can bring our change efforts for companies to social business very far ahead in terms of acceptance, understanding and above all in the reduction of fear of contact.

Abstraction ESN becomes tangible for users

The fact that we come up against an entirely new perception by the public, show the comments on the articles and contributions. Apart from the usual world conspiracies and data Octopus arguments, the first statements agree here that such a solution does have advantages. In principle, this announcement of an ESN by Facebook is useful because it stimulates the potential users to deal with such a modus operandi and method in connection with their daily work. Thus, a valuable and potentially positively pictured perception is generated for ESNs in general. Facebook, through its own brand, has the possibility of creating fertile soil for the change.

Ease of use and broad masses

When viewed from the technical and functional side, Facebook @ Work should also not be underestimated. Of course, Facebook lacks professional experience in ESNs and functions. Nevertheless, they have clearly achieved one thing: The design of their product is marked by ease of use and simplicity and has to this day engaged around 1.35 billion people in this network. And precisely here is the advantage Facebook @ Work can bring to market: User orientation, ease of use and a catchy UI.


Technique and ability

Grundsätzlich würden wir sagen, dass es zu früh ist, eine Aussage zu Funktionen, technische Features und Nützlichkeit zu machen. Facebook kommt auf einen Markt der von Größen wie Microsoft, IBM und JIVE gestaltet wurde und wird. Es gilt also für den Technologieanbieter Facebook viel aufzuholen und funktionell zu lernen. Vor allem aber auch die eigenen Vorteile auszuspielen, die ganz klar in der Usability und Zugänglichkeit liegen.

To what extent the infrastructural model of Facebook @ Work makes sense, is the other side of the coin. Of course, concerns and prejudices with regard to data and information security is always a crucial point here and this particularly in connection with company data and information. There are still no reliable statements about the business model of Facebook. But it is the point that will determine the success or failure of Facebook @ Work.

We all benefit

As controversial as the idea of Facebook is in the company and as negative the connotation to Facebook might be, this announcement brings a win-win potential for all parties involved:

·        Broad public perception of ESN

·        Better understanding of the construct Social Network for Business

·        Improvement of acceptance and usage independent of technology

·        Understanding and perception for the user

·        Focus on Usability, Design and UI

·        Combination of Functionality and Design

We, as a driver of change and transformation of the company towards Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 should accept and welcome the potential, and if only the pure high profile, and condemn it less. Our notion is the change of the company and in this context, the technology is just a tool.

Broadly speaking, with Facebook @ Work just another technology provider came onto the market, but one with an enormous potential. A little reminder: Smartphones existed before Apple`s iPhone but the brand has made it suitable for the masses. A similar development could also be triggered by Facebook @ Work.

About the author

Sebastian Thielke Consultant Digital Transformation
Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 - Strategy Development, Enablement, Communications and Value added with the main focus on: People form the company.

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