The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2008 - issue > Cover Story

Connectbeam: The Corporate Game Changer

Jayakishore Bayadi
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Jayakishore Bayadi
We live in a world of unprecedented changes, increasing global competitiveness, and the very real threat of commoditization. Hence, Innovation is mandatory to continue in the game and Innovation is the best way to win. Innovation is not a separate, discrete activity but the duty of everyone in a leadership position to bring it as a total corporate strategy and as an organizational culture.

This is how, authors, A. G. Lafley, CEO, P&G and Ram Charan have written in their powerful book ‘GAME CHANGER’ while talking about how Innovation is directly correlated to collective intelligence of people in an organization to increase productivity. In today’s corporate world, it's natural for people to collaborate and share ideas and unlock the collective intelligence, even when no one requires them to do so. These informal social networks, working on mutual self-interest can unleash creativity and mobilize collective expertise across the organization. But is it possible in the era of globalization, how to bring in the collective intelligence of thousands of globally placed employees of an organization to drive it to new heights?

Connectbeam, a Mountain View, California based provider of enterprise social software applications, is leading the charge in this area. Thanks to the new avatar of the Internet, web 2.0 and social computing for creating new ‘villages’ every day for linking up like-minded people to talk and do things. Now, Innovative products designed by Connectbeam, leveraging some of the lessons and learnings of social media in the consumer space, are being adopted by corporations to unleash a level of employee collaboration, and creation and sharing of ideas that has never been seen before.

People use social computing to connect to each other. But connecting for the purpose of collective intelligence development is not an easy task within an enterprise. Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis are not for everyone inside an organization, resulting in information that is often left trapped inside these ‘point’ application silos. Though these were getting adopted in the enterprises, they could not win mass adoption due to these limitations. Most employees have neither the time nor the inclination to write blog entries. For internal use, most enterprises found the collaborative authoring, organization and versioning capabilities of wikis more useful than the personal publishing of blogs.

But soon even wikis witnessed very slow adoption rate. As for the end users, an application must be complimentary enough to work with existing IT infrastructure – so that it does not disrupt their day-to-day workflow. ConnectBeam recognized the potential of Universal Social Bookmarking and Tagging as the effective solution that did not suffer from these symptoms. Puneet Gupta, Founder and CEO, Connectbeam says, “We found that adoption rates of blogs and wikis were too low, and we looked to understand the reasons behind this slow adoption. We zeroed in on two key reasons when looking at the enterprise user. First, there was a steep learning curve for users with both of these technologies, and second, users did not really want yet another destination to go to, to do their work. We felt that Social Bookmarking and Tagging could leap past these limiting symptoms, and deliver an even more powerful collective intelligent store of user generated content. ” Because employees tag documents or share bookmarks, a collective intelligent map of ‘what was useful to whom, and in what context’, can be built. “Further, we could keep track of the people of tagged information whereby the system would dynamically keep track of employee expertise, sorting into groups those who know a lot about a particular topic,” he adds.

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Reader's comments(5)
1:Informative and interesting read. Great article.
Posted by: Ritu Chopra - 16th Jul 2008
2:Good article
Posted by: Pankaj Pandeys - 14th Jul 2008
3:Good article
Posted by: Caleb Andrew - 13th Jul 2008
4:what a Article,good its too worth full.
Posted by: Varish Dwivedi - 13th Jul 2008
Posted by: Caleb Andrew - 12th Jul 2008
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