Over the last few years, considerable changes have taken place in the way collaborative work is built in modern companies. A new concept of a workplace has been introduced where business processes are no longer in the focus of attention, but an employee – a person who has social connections, innovative ideas, professional interests and knowledge, and who can encourage innovations and productivity growth throughout the organization. And no one can ignore this fact that has already been acknowledged by a recent Forrester report on the situation on the market of enterprise social platforms “The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Social Platforms, Q2 2014”. In particular, the report states that although this market has recently developed, it is now recognized as mature. Previously, companies used to wonder whether they require social services at all, now the main task is to choose the most suitable platform.
Sitrion Social (formerly NewsGator Social Sites) is one of the leading enterprise social platforms on the market today. With thousands of customized software development man-hours behind, the Sitrion’s product is unique, as it runs completely on Microsoft SharePoint used by most of the world top companies. And besides, it offers a number of advantages.
First of all, it allows integrating the intranet portal and enterprise social network as one single platform. As Sitrion Social is a SharePoint based solution, all the rich capabilities of the latter for the support of collaboration can be directly applied in communities, including a wiki, blogs, document libraries and multimedia, calendars, user lists and business processes. Moreover, there appears a possibility of substantial saving on resource servers, organizing access control, and also support, as the product can be launched on the existing SharePoint farm.
The basic edition of Social Sites includes such functionality for communication and collaboration in a social network that has already become standard as an advanced social user profile, community sites, activity streams, social analytics, microblogging, integration with email and Lync. The idea collecting module allows effectively implementing crowdsourcing, both in communities and specialized campaigns with the possibility of discussing and voting for the best ideas.
The news module gives an opportunity to aggregate several RSS feeds at once in the activity stream, taking into account filtration of articles by keywords. The Spotlight module will help find an expert quickly on the required subject and also automatically award virtual badges and ratings to employees based on their activity in a social network. The Enrich module allows implementing automatically renewable wiki-based knowledge bases. The Video Stream module will allow organizing a corporate prototype of YouTube integrated with the activity stream for publication of educational videos and their discussion.
Specialized solutions for management of innovations and communications can be set up additionally. The first one provides a life cycle of ideas from their suggestion to assessment in a special laboratory community with the subsequent implementation within the project. The second one allows publishing messages on schedule in the chosen communities and tracing responds from employees.
The powerful analytical Engagement Scorecard module allows setting various KPI for your social network (a level of users` activity in communities, the average time to answer questions) and also tracing their performance on dashboards and detailed diagrams. If necessary, these data can be later exported for an in-depth analysis in various BI systems.
To connect the employees, who are out of office, there is a possibility of providing clients for all the main mobile platforms (Android, Blackberry, iPhone/iPad, Windows Phone/8). The plug-in for Outlook is delivered to facilitate work in a social network directly from the email client.
Like SharePoint itself, Sitrion Social supports UI branding according to the customer requirements. Based on RESTful API and server .Net API provided within the platform, additional functionality can be developed, and also integration with other enterprise IT systems can be performed. The product has been localized into 13 languages. Moreover, the function of machine translation of the text messages in the activity stream is supported.
Although Sitrion Social provides such extensive possibilities of creating an enterprise social network, the business socialization project refers mostly to the changes and communications management, rather than to the technological field. It means that it has to rely on the corresponding methodology proved by practice. Sitrion suggests its customers to use this particular methodology, Adoption Framework, to ensure the maximum efficiency of adopting the product. The methodology is based on experience gained when performing hundreds of projects and covers 3 key aspects of implementing a social network in organizations: people engagement, business alignment, and technology enablement.