Thoughts from the New Guy

I joined NewsGator two months ago as the Director of Global Field Marketing with (in retrospect) only a novice idea of what I was getting myself into in terms of social business solutions. Don’t get me wrong – I had done my research beforehand, and found that NewsGator is a leading provider with customers that would be the envy of companies 10 times our size. However, my personal experience with these types of solutions came from a competing (and not widely adopted or particularly useful) tool in my previous company.

What I didn’t realize until I started using our products is the true power and potential of social business tools in the workplace… how (when done right) they can engage employees, enhance collaboration, and change the very way in which we work. I’ve found that it’s simply a more natural and engaging way to work and collaborate with my colleagues. So when I think of where I came from (a Fortune 500 technology company still working with what now seems like archaic processes and systems), and the potential impact that I see social business software can have, it frankly blows my mind.

Coming from the world of Unified Communications, the key buzzwords for years have been around collaboration, real time communications, BYOD, mobility, contextual content delivery, communications-enabled business processes, etc. - powerful stuff, to be sure. But in the end, their approach is to further enable and enhance the way in which work has been done for the past 30 years. And there is still value in that, but it’s missing something major… humanity. Interestingly, there is a lot of overlap in the terminology that NewsGator uses (collaboration, communications, BYOD, mobility, enhanced business processes, etc.) but the difference is, to us, it’s about being human in a digital world. It’s about what the workplace will look like for the next 30 years.

Being human in the digital world? What the heck does that mean? To me, it’s about effectively interacting with co-workers, especially when you’re not face-to-face. It’s about recognition, pride and all the emotions that we, as humans, go through on a daily basis whether we’re at work or at home. It’s about working in a way that comes naturally to you – as a human, not just an employee. It’s about loving what you do. In more practical terms, it’s also about effectively managing all of the different streams of information we’re inundated with on a daily basis, so we can get time back in our hectic lives to… well, be human.

And it’s not just about us as workers. For businesses, it’s about getting employees emotionally engaged in their work, to drive productivity, satisfaction, and yes, collaboration. It’s about capturing knowledge, accelerating innovation, getting to market faster, and improving customer satisfaction. I won’t get into the statistics (you can check out this infographic with stats from CIO), but the potential is huge both in terms of what it means to us individually, but also in terms of the business value it can drive. But again, it has to be done the right way, which is another reason I’m happy that I chose NewsGator. This is a growing and exciting market to be in, and I’m thrilled that I’m now along for the ride!

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