At the recent E2 Innovate Conference in Santa Clara, CA I had the chance to chat with Richard Hughes and Erin Curtis of BroadVision. They laid out new ideas for thoughtful design of social networks and portals that cross employees, customers, and partners -- ranging from open communities to secure sites as appropriate. Their E2 announcement was for the Clearvale Social Engagement Analysis Service, a new social analytics engine available to Clearvale customers.

Social Analytics

We are all still learning about the best designs and methods for creating social business ecosystems and processes. Analytics that let us learn from our experiences are key. Not all social networks are alike, not all participation is alike, and not all roles have the same needs within a work focused social ecosystem. This was the most sophisticated presentation of how to learn from your efforts that I've seen.

The presentation of the different tools and filters was coupled with insights around how work itself is changing. For example, Hughes talked about the mental switch necessary to leverage greater transparency, mobility, and community: Helping people see the opportunity around simple outcomes like a meeting you don't have to schedule or an email you don't have to send because you could find the information and coordinate in other, better, ways.

Social Enterprise Transformation

It then didn't surprise me that they don't just offer a technology solution. They have a formal seven step, 90 day, process where the first two steps don't even consider technology. Mandate and strategy are given top billing and evaluation is provided as the final step. Establishing the community, generating content, encouraging participation, and driving adoption are in the meaty center. These are the steps we know we need to follow, but that clients often want to skip by or not include. Here it's all part of the formal process.

Broadvision's materials offer that they can " you transform your organization from a content- and process-centric need-to-know culture, to a people-centric need-to-share culture." I see this as an enterprise incarnation of the practices we all need to use to integrate our work with technology tools and new ways of working: Stop-Look-Listen, Mixing, and Sharing. That is a long way of saying I think BroadVision has a strong approach and that I look forward to writing about their clients' success.

Mixing The Human, Technical, and Organizational Dimensions

What I'll be looking for in the client stories is how they created understanding and norms around what is shared with whom. Many systems let you control visibility (can you find out that a group or file exists), read, write, and sharing rights. Yet many organizations, like their laissez-faire approaches to the transformation process, leave out this new communication step.

I'll also be interested in how the organizations learned to benefit from the ability to have this level of inclusion. Was it always in their DNA and they were just waiting for the time and tools to be right, or did they develop new approaches now that they have the ability?

What do you think the biggest trigger is for active, thoughtful consideration of sharing across the employee, client, customer, partner ecosystem? Is it always a failure or can it be something else?

A shorter version of this post appeared on Technorati as Clearvale Provides Foundation for Enterprise Social Ecosystem.

Images courtesy of BroadVision.