Facebook an enterprise2.0 app?

By July 27, 2007 7 Comments


I was reading Techcrunch about Telstra banning its employees from accessing Facebook (amazing people are still doing things like that) and when I got to the bottom of the article I got this link to a comment from Robert Scoble on a previous Facebook post:

Tonight I interviewed Siemens Web Strategist. He noted that at Siemens they already have more than 6,000 employees on Facebook (most added in the past month). So, apps for Siemens employees will come soon. Why? I bet more employees will soon be checking Facebook than checking their own intranets.

To people who think this is just hype: you’re wrong. I’m willing to make a $100 bet that’ll go to charity if it turns out that Facebook goes away. This one isn’t going away and is going to be HUGELY successful. You don’t get 6,000 employees at Siemens (and they are FAR from the only one) to join without getting value back in return.

If these 6,000 Siemens employees are using Facebook for business purposes then this is classic enterprise2.0 – Facebook becomes a lightweight collaboration tool with an edge in adoption model. Critical to the success of this notion will be Siemens employees writing their own Facebook apps.

This is potentially very powerful in terms of end user functionality. We are talking enterprise here though, so questions about security will have to be answered. This might be where pureplay E2.0 vendors like Trampoline Systems, Huddle, socialtext and 37Signals step in – leveraging the social platform that FB provides could increase their functionality and at the same time limit depth of FB’s progress into the enterprise (although not the reach).
And as Scoble says, it isn’t just Siemens. The BBC is probably the most talked about place this side of the pond where it seems everyone is on Facebook.

So I pity Telstra – ironically blocking their employees from using FB might actually reduce productivity.