Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Posts Tagged ‘social’

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager

In the BufferSocial blog, Kevan Lee posted an article for Social Media Managers.  The post takes a look a “typical” social media manager’s day and breaks down that day into many different activities, represented in the info graphic here.   

Mr. Lee also provides several different views on how other people spend their days managing social media.  One person, Finola Howard, manages to compress all her daily activities into just one hour per day. Her tasks include:

  • Use SocialOomph to figure out which new twitter followers to accept
  • Measure which posts are performing the best so you can take advantage of them
  • Schedule tweets and posts for the day.  She uses Buffer for this, other use tools like Hootsuite.
  • Find content
  • Respond to others
  • Monitor engagement of fans and followers

In general, the post identifies 12 tasks of a social media manager.  The twelve tasks are shown here and the article does a great job of explaining each of them.

If you manage social networking within your company, say using IBM Connections, Yammer, Jive or others, you should also pay attention to the tasks.  Each of these 12 tasks apply to internal as well as external social managers.

In addition, Mr. Lee provides a series of checklists for the social media manager.  These lists come from places like Mindbrew Creative, HeroX, Hootsuite and others.  Even by itself, the various checklists are well worth your time to understand.

Overall, A day in the Life of a Social Media Manager is extremely valuable and full of great information.

Why Social Needs to be Part of Your Portal

IBM’s 2014 Digital Experience Conference started Wednesday off with a great session by Mac Guidera, Social Workforce Strategist from IBM, titled “Why Social Needs to be Part of Your Portal.”  The session was very insightful blending a mix of statistics, trends, best practices and insightful thoughts.

Why Social Needs to be Part of Your PortalSocial Business Patterns

Patterns represent modernized processes with dynamic, repeatable and measurable “people interactions” created by building social into work and life.  These patterns are repeatable way to interact an engage, share innovative ideas, finding out who knows what and find information.  Key patterns include:

  • Customer Engagement
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Recruiting
  • Supply Chain
  • Expertise and Knowledge
  • Workplace & Safety

Each of these patterns has value propositions and ROI, for example Customer Service maps to customer satisfaction, increased revenue and efficiency.  Marketing can map to awareness, marketing effectiveness and trust. Read the rest of this post »

Cool Tools by Gartner

Gartner analysts, Tom Austin and Mike Gotta, presented some cool tools, that have a social angle, primarily Virtual Personal Assistants (VPA)

Welltok – a virtual personal assistant for health care, see CafeWell as an initial application

  • - community for health and wellness
  • - provides advice to individuals

MindMeld – conversational application, connect through Facebook, conversational assistant – listens, finds, organizes, archives.

– advice to groups of people

GridSpace – meeting memo taker – preserve and analyze meetings

– who said what to whom in a meeting

HP in Context Analytics – auto-match searching based on text chat in MS Lync, later other IM’s and voice.

Wrike – as work is less routine, people self-organize work – realtime project co-ordination and work management platform. Social Task Management

Microsoft Office Graph – social queues and behaviors – precursor to virtual personal assistant, in Office 365 only.

  • - includes app and workload intelligence
  • - auto population of Office Graph
  • - Big Data analytics
  • - Semantic expressiveness
  • - Graph based search

Lots of power inside Office environment. Less so for departments less dependent on MS Office, i.e. Engineering with CAD, or Marketing with Adobe.

Sqwiggle – continuous spresence awareness across remote teams – making remote workers feel like they be log.

Highspot – influence, authority, relationships – manually tag information, search, and discover. Who do you follow, who follows you.  Highspot is here today, and it works, and is available in the cloud.

Cuff – personal security device that fits into an expanding line of jewelry. Pairs with you iPhone or Android phone, and with one press will alert loved ones when you need them. You can also send reminders, or notifications that you are trying to reach the person.

Interesting papers that may be worth a read:

  • Cool Vendors in Social Software and Collaboration. 2014 – Mike Gotta – G00262576.
  • Cool Vendors in Smart Machines, 2014 – Tom Austin – G00262488.

The rise of smart machines … the dawn of automated workers

Tom Austin presented on the rise of smart machines and their application in the work place, and society at large. I think this is pretty cool technology, and will revolutionize the way man and machine interact over the coming decades. It will probably come faster than we keep up with and Uncle Sam will probably get in the way. So no self-driving cars, or fleets of trucks, or even freight trains, any time soon. Even though these would help reduce CO2 emissions and make roads safer.

Smart machines are not general purpose computing – they are not really smart – they operate in a specific environment (i.e. volvo vs airbus).
Smart machines may scare us – under what conditions will we trust technology to make decisions that we used to make?

  • they operate autonomously
  • appear to understand abstract concepts

Example of machine learning: Google deep neural network – analyzed 10 million frames from random youtube videos and was able to identify 20,000 classes of images in 72 hours – detected cat faces, two people kissing, dancing – with a very high degree of accuracy.

The algorithms based on 2005 – 2008

Microsoft demo – Rick Rashid spoke English, yet audience heard Mandarin

  • Deep neural nets are one key to learning and understanding
  • images
  • faces
  • emotions, etc
  • large bodies of unstructured content

Autonomous movers – robot in amazon warehouse, Caterpillar truck (autonomous driving), google cars (self driving) – autonomous cars on streets of gothenburg,
x47 drone

Sages – virtual personal assistances (focus on context)
Apple Knowledge Navigator (you tube video)
Apple Newton
Siri (precursor to smart personal assistance)
Search: Eric Jorvtix TEDx 2013”
Google Now:
Knowledge Graph
Deep Neural Network
End of search

Smart Advisors (focus on content)
IBM Watson
not a personal assistant
deep but narrow knowledge of content
Watson app (Memorial Sloan Kettering)
clinical oncology
breast cancer treatment recommendations
advanced natural language techniques
Natural language generation
fool the reader or listener
narrative science / yseop (easy-op)

Cornell Robot – predictive physical assistant
People and technology working together
Laggards lose
collaborate with machines you trust
replace people
PEDs – performance enhancing devices
47% of US jobs are at risk over the next decade or two – Frey & Osborn, Oxford, September 2013

34% of careers will be enhanced by smart machines

IT matters a lot
BYO smart machines will thrive
privacy, security and innovation are at odds
single vendor will be at a major strategic disadvantage

Smart Machines
engage, empower and delight employers
drive while intoxicated

Smart Advisors First

  • should you exploit a smart advisor
  • should you buy one?
  • how can these make the highest paid workers perform better
  • Virtual Personal Assistance
  • Leverage information explosion
  • Many assistants coming
  • Users will discover by doing if they can
  • Innovation, privacy, and security are at odds


  • Consider consumer-grade business opportunities now
  • 2017 will be the year these technologies take off at work
  • Your users need to start experimenting heavily by 2015


Non-routine jobs are increasing
Routine jobs are in decline (60% in 1976 – 40% 2014)

New “Worksplace” Strategy,
man-machine collaboration
helping you excel at difficult tasks


  • Get Smart
  • calls for IT leadership, not just management
  • Engage the business
  • Respect the impact on people
  • impact of software and robots on employment, work, and careers of people will be profound
  • Read: “Cool Vendors in Smart Machines in 2014” – Gartner Paper

Case Study: Implementing Social-Based Collaboration

At the Gartner Portal conference, John Stepper, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank told his story of implementing a social network within a large German bank.

Most (large) companies are stuck in finding the right people and data

  • Early AdoptersEarly adopters – usually the same people
  • Little lasting change occurred
  • Introduced MyDB – Social Network – basically rebranded Jive OOTB
    • Modern Backplane – more appropriate than meetings and email in many circumstances
    • This pilot stuck and made a difference
    • Adoption is increasing
  • 7 Elements of an enterprise collaboration strategy
    • Platform
    • Commercial value community managers
    • management engagement
    • advocate network
    • center of excellence
    • individual benefits
  • Application to own organization is more important
  • Success looks different at different levels
    • what worked 2 years ago may not work now
  • 7 Questions
    • Can we do that? (What have our proposal, and business case, but there are plenty of people that are ready to say no! HR, Legal, Workers council)
      • Yes, we can.
      • Platform is opt-in. People chose to use the tool.
      • Ratings and private groups where turned off.
    • What if people do something stupid – people say something they shouldn’t?
      • e.g. @queendemetriax_ tweeted she was an islamic terrorist getting ready for a big event against American Airlines. She was a 14y/o girl and was arrested by the FBI.
      • No anonymity – Good policies – 1-click to flag content (rarely used)
    • What’s it worth?
      • Initial business case based on intranet spent – well under the true value
      • 50% emails
      • 30% meetings
      • learned helplessness
    • Will anyone use it?
      • Got budget for 12,000 people to use it once.
    • Is it official?
      • Is it for the unwashed? IT? Backoffice?
      • Is it for real work?
      • People thought it was “Facebook” – and said I’m not using that.
      • People wanted something official, with prestige. – Barak Obama.
    • Will businesses use it?
      • Content and convenience are the killer apps
    • What else can we do with it?
      • Other 6 dragons have been slain.
      • We can make work more fulfilling
      • People hate work – it’s dehumanizing


  • Working out loud
    • Bryce (Eli Lilly)
    • Using social platforms at work: something like OPENPediatrics.
  • “Without myDB, our project would be much more difficult”
  • “I’m happier”

Get ready for the Digital Workplace

This week I’m at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit, in Los Angeles. Jeffrey Mann and Susan Landry of Gartner delivered the opening keynote: DELIVER EXCELLENT ENGAGEMENT THROUGH MOBILE, SOCIAL AND ANALYTICS “The prowess with which you engage your customers, employees, partners and constituents is the single most important determinant of your organization’s success. Yet it remains among the most challenged of activities for most organizations. Advances in social media, content analytics and ubiquitous mobility are already smoothing the path toward more effective engagement. The future holds even further hope. We’ll zero in on the future tactics and technologies you’ll need to move beyond failing or, at best, ho-hum engagement, and toward an era of truly excellent engagement.” 4 key themes where addressed 1) Engagement 2) Digital 3) Content 4) Integration 1) Engagement – becoming more engaged with your workforce, customers, constituents. Only 13% of global workforce felt engaged. 2) Digital Is really about enabling the “Digital Workplace”

  • Which enables new and more effective ways of working
  • improves employee engagement
  • exploits

Example: Story: see

  • Story is a retail story in New York, that uses digital heat maps to gauge what products customers are interested in, and know how to position things.
  • It reinvents itself every 6 weeks around a theme like a magazine does

3) Content

  • Content Management – disliked term – mitigating a problem
  • What do most applications think “Content” refers to:
    • Documents
  • What does content actually mean?
    • stuff – that passes desks, minds: files, documents, movies, images, tweets, etc..
  • Not just what your business does … but what it thinks.
  • Why does it matter?
    • connects the dots and connects the thoughts
  • Why does it matter to your business
    • it’s the grease between decisions
  • Content is the oil of the 21st Century
  • can be exploited (like oil)
  • Get the right content and the right time

4) Integration

  • back in vogue
  • what is new?
    • IT wants to connect two or more applications to share data – like SOA – not new
    • digital work place needs more
    • bring about the right experience for the user
    • many more sources of content
    • integration shields users from complexity
  • What does integration look like
    • Dr Jeff Burns is the Chief of Critical Care Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital
    • Worldwide there is a shortage of trained doctors
    • Open Pediatrics goes some way to addressing this by connecting doctors to patients wherever they may be.
    • Example of Digital Workplace
    • Extensive use of video
    • audio is transcribed to text
    • creative – animation
    • audio enhancements – to ensure it’s crisp and clear

Example of a Digital Work place 2): System to automatically know what is needed based on context – scenario involves a sale rep going out to make a presentation to a client

  • traffic updates
    • automatically updates alarm clock to wake up earlier to account for traffic / road works
    • updates GPS with best / fastest route
  • news updates, about the company you are meeting with
  • sales documents
  • contracts
  • real-time product / inventory updates and alerts
  • capture and transcribe results

Recommendation Portal

  • Images Documents Likes Upsell
  • Reviews Transactions Data Cross-sell
  • Maps Comments Orders Actions

Government Finance HR Take the lead to create a digital work place: What Do I Do Now?

  1. Create and imagine a scenario
    1. Develop three scenarios for your organization of what could be.
  2. Identify parts of your infrastructure that must go (which parts are hostile)
  3. Identify the skills you can afford to lose, and those you need to develop?

Marketecting the enterprise?

At the Association of Enterprise Architecture Summit in Austin, Texas last week, John Zachman was the speaker of honor. For those unfamiliar with his work he is the leading proponent of Enterprise Architecture, and I don’t mean that in the marketing sense where all companies are the leading in “blah blah blah”. As a career IBM’er, he is considered by many to be the founder of the modern craft with The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture, although he refers to it as an The Enterprise Ontology.

The emergence of a social enterprise marketecureZachman reminded us of how controversial Nick Carr’s seminal article “IT Doesn’t Matter” was 10 years ago, when most of us thought IT would by itself revolutionize business and the world in general – this was in the aftermath of the “dot.gone” era. He then went on to say that Enterprise Architecture, or EA, is not a technology issue, but rather an enterprise one, and that the role of the EA does not really belong in IT. This was confirmed later by some of the other guest speakers.

To paraphrase Zachman, ‘Over the last 75 years or so, people, or more accurately the roles fulfilled by people, have been systematized and automated. These systems essentially represent the enterprise as a whole. An EA possess the engineering skills to design artifacts used to engineer an enterprise’.

Zachman also called on the work of Alvin Toffler, of Future Shock fame – which by the way is still amazingly relevant, perhaps only more so, not in it’s specificity, but more in it’s approach as to how much change has been going on in the world and how we struggle to adapt to it.

Talking of customer expectations, he explained that all customers expect a custom experience from an enterprise. They want a custom enterprise. He threw out the a challenge to all willing to accept it, how will your enterprise become a custom enterprise?

At this point, I got thinking about my area of expertise, namely Portals, Social, and Web Content Management technologies. In other words digital experience technologies. The digital world certainly can provide very large organizations the means with which to provide custom products or services to customers. Remember custom Nike shoes? Or Dell computers of a decade or so ago? Where these early examples of custom enterprises? Digital experience technologies empower enterprises to provide a custom experience tailored to exactly the needs or desires of a single customer, and at relatively low cost.

Zachman provided a definition of architecture by means of several colorful examples, “Seven thousand years of history suggest the only known strategy for addressing complexity and change is architecture.” Think of the hand axe, throwing stick, or shaduf, all examples of architecture, in some form, at work, in that each design or blueprint that may be used by craftsmen to build from or improve upon. He gave the example of the Coliseum in Rome. This is a static building, and not architecture. Architecture was the process of planning ahead of time. It is the set of descriptive representations relevant for describing complex objects.

As it it with modern digital experience platforms. The implemented platform is not the architecture. The architecture is the process of planning the implementation ahead of time. It includes understanding the business need and outcome, envisioning how the modified business will operate, determining how to reach the desired state, and as well as understanding how any new components or processes will fit in with existing ones. In other words, implementing a digital experience platform involves a lot more work than only selecting and configuring the technology. It involves a significant amount of planning ahead of time, or upfront enterprise-wide architecture.

Mike Walker, the president of the Texas Chapter of the AEA, made a few other interesting points regarding the EA profession in general, that I believe are also relevant to large scale technology initiatives such as transforming an enterprise through digital experience platforms. Many people involved in, or doing, Enterprise Architecture, today come from an engineering or technical background, they often have high IQ’s and are great at explaining the “speeds and feeds” of a set of technologies. They are also often found reporting to the CIO. Psychologist have found that people don’t make decisions based on what the neocortex is telling them (data), but rather the limbic system (emotions). Something that I experienced first-hand over the weekend, whilst looking for somewhere to live, I had all the data that said that staying in Austin makes sense: lower overall taxes, lower rents, live music, etc, compared to moving to California, higher overall taxes, higher rents, ocean. Usually the move is the other way around, however as a surfer and sailor, my limbic system won out over my neocortex. And that brings me back to Mike Walker’s point, engineering, or solution architecture, is often performed by introverts. Enterprise Architecture requires socialization across an enterprise to make it successful.

I argue that enterprise architecture is not really a role, but rather a practice, perhaps within a wider center of excellence. An EA practice would be made up of a broad range of complementary abilities and skillets which can only enhance it’s value. This is perhaps where internal marketing can help. Marketing people tend to be extroverts, and more attune to getting a message out and understood. This may lead to a simplification of the more detailed enterprise architecture, and the emergence of a social enterprise “marketecture”, but if that aligns the stakeholders and makes for a successfully adopted system, that’s all the better.

Social Media Week 14 kicks off in New York

social media weekThis looks like a promising event, with many interesting speakers from Microsoft and Google, as well as the media industry such as Don Steele of Comedy Central. We won’t be there this year, perhaps in the future. It looks like on to watch in the Social engagement space.

Successfully Piloting Social Business Software

Rob Novak and Mac Guidera presented tips on how to make a pilot in social software successful. First why pilot?  A pilot is critical to success because it provides for an experimental trial on a small scale for the future change that you anticipate.A well run pilot reduces the risk of large scale failure and improves chances of strategic success.  You only have to look at the roll out of the website in October 2012 to see how a large scale failure can happen.

What are key components of a pilot?  Pilots should have a defined scope, examples include:

  • a specific business unit
  • a class of employees
  • a region
  • a particular business process.

A pilot should also be short term, but each pilot has to determine the length of time based on several factors:

  • How big is the scope?
  • Are there technologies hurdles that must be overcome?
  • Is there sufficient hardware to start fast?
  • Are personnel available for training? Are these people willing and wanting to participate?
  • How long will it take so determine measurable results?

When conducting a pilot, you must have clear goals.  Goals will vary by company and what you want to pilot.  Little academic and real-life work has been focused on pilot goals, however Rob has identified some Goal Driven Software Development Processes that may be helpful in setting goals for a pilot.

Collaborative Goal Identification is one process.  This starts with a top-level goal and then drives down to sub-goals.

Goal, Question, Metric (GQM) is another approach developed by NASA and others.  Here you have a conceptual, operational and quantitative levels for goals.  Each of these goals have specific metrics.

IBM has a set of collaboration solutions patterns that focus on ROI and strategic process.  These Customer Experience Patternpatterns show how social can be used in the processes and provide a starting point for a pilot program.  Patterns are available for:

  • Customer Engagement (shown here)
  • Innovation
  • Recruiting & Onboarding
  • Supply Chain
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Workplace & Public Safetfy
  • Expertise & Knowledge.

Gaining executive support is always mentioned as critical for success, but nobody explains how to pursue executive support.  Here are some tips for help find the right executive:

  • Open Door Policy
  • Active involvement
  • Must be identified at the beginning
  • Must have same level of decision making influence as the individuals controlling the budget
  • Project should be linked to the executive sponsor’s area of expertise.

Here are some guiding principles for a pilot:

  • Select fertile ground since a pilot is an experiment, not proving what you already know
  • Pilot team is critical, both participants and sponsors
  • Design around business applications or benefits NOT tools
  • Define scope but encourage experimentation
  • Design pilot to learn lessons
  • Provide training and guidance
  • Create visibility
  • Monitor progress and cut or expand

Of course, you need to measure outcomes based on your goals.  During the pilot you want to have interim assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of particular aspects of the pilot.

Infusing Social into Digital Experiences

Adding social capabilities to your digital experience site can bring some nice benefits. One benefit that is often overlooked is the multiplier effect of social sharing.  If you can can get people to promote your brand or product, you can reach larger audiences and save advertising costs as well.  A single “Like” on your product page can translate into millions of people seeing that someone they know endorses you.

Infusing Social Into Digital ExperiencesIBM spoke about combining WebSphere Portal and IBM Connections into a Social Digital Experience.  Traditionally, IBM Connections has been seen as an internal social tool that works on the intranet.  But, in fact, Connections can be useful on your external site as well.

  • Support communities are often a way to engage with customers and then direct them to your other sites.
  • Blogs on your external site can attract visitors
  • Innovation or ideation capabilities let people give you input and can cause those people who engage to reach out on other social platforms.  On twitter:  “Hey Perficient is looking for ideas about enhancing X, go to their site and weigh in…”

WebSphere Portal now exposes and seamlessly integrates all IBM Connections features making it easy to infuse social capabilities in your Digital Experience site.  Portal also has the ability to publish content directly to social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and internal Connections.  You see a video of these capabilities