In my job I talk to hundreds of organizations each year, big and small. The conversations are all about how they want to improve their sales, service and marketing capabilities. I keenly listen to their business challenges and offer suggestions on how solutions from Microsoft can help them with their objectives. In the last 18 months I've noticed that almost all organizations are evaluating the impact of social technologies on their business. They want to get insight into how other organizations are utilizing social technologies in a business context and what Microsoft brings to the table to support a social strategy. We've been working on articulating Microsoft's view of enterprise social: what is it? What is the business opportunity? What is Microsoft's vision for enterprise social and where is Microsoft heading in terms of social software solutions? I'm proud to announce that we have released a whitepaper to discuss all of these topics. This whitepaper paper outlines how you can get started with a social strategy that enhances your sales, marketing and service capabilities. We discuss the business opportunity, practical first steps and Microsoft solutions you can download and start working with today.
Speaking of solutions, Microsoft is really going BIG on social this year! This year we'll build on the fantastic tools we offer today. We're delivering extensive new social capabilities in Office and SharePoint and if that wasn't enough there's also the announcement of the acquisition of Yammer! Your organization will have access to best-in-class social tools that can revolutionize how employees, customers and partners can communicate and collaborate more effectively than ever before. Whether your people work in Outlook, SharePoint, Skype, Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM there will be social insight and simple collaboration tools embedded directly where they need them. It's part of our vision for the Dynamic Business, an enterprise that connects people to what they need, in the right context, using the device and channel they prefer. We call this simply "the connected enterprise".
Of course the technology is only part of the equation. The bigger, more important ingredient in a social strategy is a plan that has executive sponsorship. We discuss all of this in the whitepaper; if you're looking at getting started with social technologies for your organization or want more information on how Microsoft thinks about enterprise social then grab the whitepaper and give us your feedback. This will be the first of many papers, videos and discussions on enterprise social – stay tuned for more during the next 12 months.
What are your experiences with social crm? Where are you with your social strategy? Feel free to provide your stories and commentary!