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August 31, 2012

Google Brings Business Features to Google+, Envisions Workplace Social Networks

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

In a company blog post, search engine giant Google (News - Alert) disclosed a set of Google+ features, primarily designed for businesses. Google Apps customers will be able to use the business features of Google+ for free through the end of 2013.

According to a report, these recent announcements by Google, Microsoft (News - Alert) Yammer, Salesforce Chatter or IBM Kenexa, are not just fads. In fact, notes the report, “It's a proof that they are beginning to understand their customers' growing dependency on enterprise social networks (ESNs).”

This report suggests that the advent of social media has blurred the line of conservatism, which obsessed businesses few years ago. Today, they understand the impact of social media on business, and that’s why they are investing in having their ESNs, the report stated.

For example, the report points to a private sharing feature in Google+ that allows business users to label a post as restricted, which means, as per this report, IT can restrict its visibility to people within the organization and include a few external companies if the user is allowed. 

Image via Shutterstock

Likewise, the administrative controls in Google+ will allow the IT admins to organize sharing defaults for posts and hangouts (selective groups) across the company. The CIO.IN report shows that hangouts lets up to 10 people join a video meeting from their laptop, phone or tablet. Similarly, the video meeting feature integrated with Gmail, Calendar and Docs will allow the user to organize a face-to-face meeting with colleagues or clients when using Google Apps. The report added, “It doesn’t require coordinated travel schedules or expensive video conferencing technology.”

This report presents a Gartner (News - Alert) prediction that indicates that over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail. The consultancy suggests when it comes to collaboration, IT organizations are accustomed to providing a technology platform (such as, e-mail, IM, Web conferencing) rather than delivering a social solution that targets specific business value.

The research firm’s investigation through 2013 shows that IT organizations will struggle with shifting from providing a platform to delivering a solution. “This will result in over a 70 percent failure rate in IT-driven social media initiatives,” according to Gartner.

Consequently, the report said, “Enterprises will need to develop entirely new skill sets around designing and delivering social media solutions.” Until this happens, failure rates will remain high. A dearth of methods, technologies and tools will impede the design and delivery of social media solutions in the near term.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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