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Boost Productivity and Collaboration with Enterprise Micro-Blogging

By Yoshi Maisami and Michael Bleigh

Most business people are accustomed to using e-mail and instant messaging at work. While those communication methods are indeed useful, they have their limitations. That’s why more and more companies are turning to enterprise micro-blogging as an additional internal communication option.

With enterprise micro-blogging, rather than direct your message at a single person or small group, you broadcast your message to everyone to see in real time. Just as the word “micro” suggests, these are short communications (usually 140 characters or less) where you’re sharing bullet point bits of information with your company. Think of it as exchanging virtual Post-It® notes or like a Twitter for business.

Enterprise micro-blogging is a great tool for increasing operational efficiency, fostering collaboration, and promoting open innovation. Some companies have even found that it reduces travel and meeting expenses and creates a unified workforce, even when people are located in different geographic areas.

Because companies today are becoming highly globalized, more distributed, and have workers who are more mobile than ever before, they need tools that will keep everyone connected and allow the corporate identity and brand messaging to be broadcasted. Enterprise micro-blogging is a vital tool that fills in the gaps in online communication left between e-mail and instant messaging.

Companies that don’t tap into this vital resource will be forced to either spend lots of time and effort on status meetings and constant e-mail reporting, or they simply will be ill-informed about the status of their employees’ work. Neither is an acceptable option for tomorrow’s workplace.

If you’re ready to make enterprise micro-blogging work for your company, here are some points to consider:

Don’t micro-manage your micro-blog: When you utilize a broadcasting paradigm such as enterprise micro-blogging, rather than directing your message to a specific person, you’re broadcasting information out there so anyone can use it. Therefore, let it grow organically without censoring the posts or making them conform to certain topics. The tool itself gives you the ability to hone in on the information you most need and want. Then as time goes on, you build the network of things you find useful. Setting any kind of ground rules or parameters for your staff or team would inhibit the users and make the tool less effective. So simply ask people to apply the proper use policy that they would apply to e-mail and let people broadcast the information they deem appropriate.

Encourage company-wide knowledge sharing: Enterprise micro-blogging is one way to manage the knowledge within your company. Currently, the Baby Boomers are working their way out of organizations, taking all their knowledge with them. Many corporations are facing a succession planning dilemma as the Generation X and Y workers try to advance in the organization. Somehow there needs to be a transfer of knowledge to keep the company strong. Encouraging your older Boomer workers to use enterprise micro-blogging is one way to ensure their knowledge stays within the organizational structure and easily transfers to the younger workers.

Commit to developing your team’s ambient awareness: Ambient awareness is the ability to keep up with things and gain knowledge without putting any effort into it. Enterprise micro-blogging helps facilitate that. Think about it…when you receive an e-mail, you have to open it, read it, act on it, file it, etc. With micro-blogging, each message is just a sentence or two. It pops up on your computer screen for a few seconds and you can quickly read it without having to distract yourself. It runs in the background and you keep getting information bits throughout the day. You only have to act on the information that pertains to you. The rest you just file in your brain. So you’re getting all the updates and needed information without having to go through multiple steps or put forth much effort.

Stay focused on the ROI: Many companies may wonder whether implementing enterprise micro-blogging is worth the expense. Realize that this commitment to ambient awareness will replace many of those Monday morning status meeting that drain everyone’s productivity and time. Additionally, a lot of water cooler conversations get captured in micro-blogging tools, so you’ll eliminate that time-waster as well. And because you can search topics and organize the posts, you never have to go back and re-explain things to people – it’s all right there. Departments or teams can do status updates with the tool and save time and money on project deployment. A few more ROI factors are the money you’ll save on travel, as well as the time it’ll save people from wading through endless e-mails. Finally, people are more willing to share ideas when they don’t have to write a lot, so micro-blogging encourages people to think up and share new concepts. One idea can pave the way to a new product launch or new revenue stream for your company.

Find a product and service vendor to be successful: Product vendors alone are no good; you need a product and service vendor (a true partner) to be successful. Unfortunately, many enterprise micro-blogging vendors are just pushing products. They might offer some services, but they’re typically just maintenance service. They might not help with installation, deployment, and the inevitable trouble shooting. If you have questions about proper usage of your micro-blog, it’s nice to know your partner is able to offer some help or direct you to consultants they work with who have the answers. So find a vendor who offers both technical expertise and ongoing strategy, as that’s the only way to have a win-win scenario for all.

Productivity and Profits Await: Remember, enterprise micro-blogging is not meant to take the place of e-mail or instant messages. This is a real-time information sharing tool that replaces those e-mails and instant messages that don’t feel quite right. It’s an application that keeps everyone on the same page, no matter where they are in the world. Ultimately, enterprise micro-blogging increases operational efficiency while boosting employee communication and morale. It’s the productivity tool of the future that no company should be without.

Read other articles and learn more about Yoshi Maisami and Michael Bleigh.

[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis. Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and requirements.]

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