Social Business Needs Mobile Notification Management

By Art Rosenberg February 21, 2013

Social networking has joined the business communications club, and is therefore becoming yet another domain for mobile UC enablement. While everyone talks about what aspect of business communications and the endpoint device interfaces that end users actually see, the middleware that supports integration between different forms of contact with people and with automated business applications (CEBP) is a football passing between enterprise IT and wireless carriers.

As defined by Wikipedia, “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”

This definition applies primarily to any form of business interactions, rather than for personal socializing.

But as people increasingly exploit smartphones and tablets for accessing the Web and for multi-modal communications flexibility, we need to expand that definition to include Communications Enabled Business Process (CEBP) applications, which will initiate contacts with end users through social networks.

This is something IBM is pushing strongly as “Social Business.”

Social networking is primarily a means of posting user-generated information and comments to a virtual community of interest. Members of the community have an option to be notified when a new posting occurs, as well as an option to post a response to the new posting.

So it’s not quite like person-to-person(s) e-mail. However, as is already starting to happen with new capabilities from social networking services, end users are being given options to switch modalities to respond to the person of a particular post, by e-mail, IM, or a real-time voice or video connection. (WebRTC should prove very useful for this!)

So what we now have is a growing open communication arena based on community content interest relationships, where unified communication (UC) integrations can provide flexible interactions with people in the community, not through a traditional personal address book or organizational directory for person-to-person contacts.

Mobile Social

According to the Wikipedia piece, mobility is playing an increasingly stronger role in allowing community members to participate while mobile, i.e., by being proactively notified when a new posting of interest has occurred. In effect, mobile communications reinforces the speed of social messaging activities across a common interest of any size community.

Once an individual user is mobile, however, they’ll need the flexibility of UC to be notified and respond in the medium that is most appropriate – i.e., speech, text or even video.

As I have frequently discussed in the past, UC enablement facilitates greater flexibility in initiating and responding to communication contacts with mobile people, and mobile social networking is no exception. Tablet usage increased from 3 to 16 percent in 2012 and mobile users spend 30 percent of their time with social networking.

Once a user becomes actively engaged in a particularly interesting topic and opts to be notified of new posts, the capabilities of smartphones will allow multi-modal real-time notifications of new post or replies to significantly increase.

That’s where the challenge of BYOD comes into play.

The result of such increased social networking activities can be applied to both personal social networking communities or to organizational business groups, and seamless “dual persona” capabilities of smartphones and tablets (e.g., the new BlackBerry “Balance” smartphone software) will be able to keep mobile social networking activities properly separated. However, there will always be the challenge for individual end users to manage their mobile time efficiently.

So, as with any form of real-time contacts, social networking notifications must be manageable by the many mobile recipients in a community.

IBM’s Push for Social Business

Aside from mobile access to social network posts, there is a bigger role for social networking for business contacts. As noted in this very interesting discussion with IBM’s John Del Pizzo, program director of Social Communications – and head of Product Management for IBM Sametime & Sametime Unified Telephony – IBM is using social networking to interact more easily and efficiently with anyone in a community group, inside or outside of an organization.

In a way, it’s like “skills-based routing,” used in traditional customer call centers, except now it’s not a voice phone call connection that has to be made first, and it’ll be usable by anyone in the community group.

As John describes it, “We call it ‘The shift from reach to relevance.’ It’s not about the one-on-one interaction with the people you know that you can reach. It is about the relevant people who can help you regardless of where they are in the organization.”

So add social networking to the UC enablement list that will affect business communications.




Edited by Braden Becker
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

What Auto Tech Looks Like Today

By: Lindsey Patterson    1/23/2017

Every year, an exciting new topic hits the tech industry, and it becomes a lot of what they talk about. This year, the focus has been on artificial in…

Read More

Sinch's Evangelist Talks AI, APIs and More

By: Paula Bernier    1/23/2017

Christian Jensen is chief evangelist of Sinch, a cloud-based, mobile communications platform that makes it easy to add IM, SMS, verification, video, a…

Read More

SoftBank OneWeb Satellite Investment Makes Sprint Interesting

By: Doug Mohney    1/23/2017

While OneWeb is bringing new investment and more jobs into America as it builds a mega constellation of low-flying satellites for worldwide broadband …

Read More

Avaya Files Chapter 11, Plans Restructuring

By: Steve Anderson    1/20/2017

Avaya turns to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a bid to make some key changes and attempt to recover for the future.

Read More

Reports of the Death of the Deskphone are Premature; Allworx Says We're on the Verge of a Deskphone Revolution

By: Erik Linask    1/19/2017

We've heard commentary about the death of the deskphone for several years now. Yet, if you look on most corporate desktops, you'll still find one. The…

Read More