Over 1.8 billion internet users have surfed the Facebook wave in the past 15 years. The American social network has grown and is ready to seduce companies with Workplace - an enterprise social network which emerged from Facebook’s experience with individual users. This is our opinion on the enterprise social network: the attractive success of Facebook comes down to, most of all, the success of a product which is a universe in and of itself. It gives everyone the chance to interact with their network, primarily through the famous Like button, which is clicked on 4.5 billion times a day. It’s also a chance for advertisers to promote their products via a hyper-qualified audience. Facebook’s revenue in 2016’s third trimester was 7 billion dollars. So why go after the enterprise market? Will Workplace manage to convince its potential clients to come on board?
If Facebook is interested in enterprises, it’s because it’s looking to expand - just like Google did before it with G Suite (ex Google Apps). Its main argument is that it can put its virtual social relationships experience to use in a professional scene today. In his recent statement to the AFP (Agence France-Presse), Julien Codorniou, the managing director of Workspace, said that 95% of Facebook developments are integrated into Workspace. It’s true that the Facebook experience is appealing, so users will be happy to extend their communication habits to their work.
Workplace is available in 100 languages and it is already known to most employees around the world thanks to Facebook. This makes the platform easy to deploy in all enterprises. The fact that staff won’t face the obstacle of changing habits is probably Facebook’s most solid commercial power.
Workplace by Facebook : The American Giant pursues the European Company market
This new enterprise social network wants to put social interactions at the centre of organisations, but is this really an end in itself? It’s true that freeing up communication between co-workers and services significantly improves employee engagement, cooperation, knowledge-compounding and many other fundamental aspects. With all of these, the company becomes more competitive.
However, communication isn’t everything. Collaboration between employees is essential for taking advantage of a social network. In this respect, everything needs to be built in Workplace by Facebook. At the moment, users are faced with a functional gap.
Another weakness of Workplace by Facebook is data confidentiality. How can a platform which makes tens of billions in profits by selling the personal data of individuals inspire trust in companies? Data security and confidentiality are, in fact, the two prerequisites of companies for choosing their Cloud platform. While Facebook offers an excellent level of security, confidentiality is an uncertain area. This is why, in fact, Mark Zuckerberg makes a strong point about this in the Workplace Trust Principles page. It should also be noted that the Workplace data is hosted in the US and the recent election of Donald Trump portends that the US government will continue to use the Patriot Act to consult our companies’ data.
There are about twenty social networks especially designed for companies today. Amongst them, the French Jamespot network realised early on that Enterprise Social Networks would be a strong asset for competition and improving work conditions. ESNs aren’t social networks akin to Facebook, Linkedin, Viadeo or Twitter. Jamespot is strictly a professional tool which we leave in the office and which perfectly meets the needs of the CNIL, unlike Workplace which blurs the line between the professional and personal spheres.
In terms of features, Jamespot is truly an open collaboration tool: creating and sharing documents, knowledge consolidation (Wiki), shared schedules and tasks, internal survey creation. Its powerful search engine allows you to find any information, whether it’s a document, a conversation or a task. It allows you, for example, to find the people with the necessary skills to form a project team. Jamespot also has about a hundred extensions in the form of apps which allow you to expand the functions of the platform.
In terms of services, Jamespot offers real support, both directly and via numerous qualified partners. Facebook, on the other hand, only has 15 partners now, including Deloitte Digital, TBWA and the French company Revevol. Support is indispensable in ESN projects, both in regards to practices and in the platforms’ administration. An ESN is above all a human project; communication, training and user support are just as important if not more so than technical support.
Finally, the French ESN was designed to be moulded by its users. Unlike Workplace, Jamespot can be configured to correspond to the specific functions of each company. To do this, administrators can configure business workflows which circulate information flows and documents. Cascading validations previously carried out in an EDM tool are now perfectly integrated in the social sphere of the company. The hundred odd tools allow you to add building blocks to the shared base: call to tender management, DevOps, innovation management, CRM integration, project management, surveys and even customer support.
Between Workplace by Facebook and Jamespot, which ESN should you choose? The information above along with your goals will undoubtedly answer that question for you. What we can say, however, is that the success of an ESN project doesn’t depend on the number of Likes but on social cohesion and improved competitiveness. Workplace and Jamespot fulfil their aims by fostering engagement and connections. However, only Jamespot allows you to improve collaboration and staff accountability so that you really make the most of your ESN.