back to article Germany leads global enterprise social push

German firms were hailed as the surprise global leaders in social business, according to a panel of industry experts who emphasised the importance of process, measurement and cultural fit in enterprise social programs. IBM’s VP of social business evangelism, Sandy Carter, told attendees at the Social Media Matters conference in …

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WTF?

?????

Can anyone explain what this article was about?

It looks like total gobbledygook to me. Random arrangement of fashionable words like 'social media' 'Germany' 'and 'process' to give the impression that despite economic data to the total contrary, Germany has once again Got It Right where everyone else Got It Wrong.

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Re: ?????

Here's the key sentence: "Bayer wrapped social media into its patent creation processes".

That means that they revised their business process. Previously it looked like:

Start inventing -> Make small discoveries -> Make big discovery -> Apply For Patent

Now it looks like:

Start inventing -> Make small discoveries -> Update intranet -> Make big discovery -> Apply For Patent

The reason this matters is that other scientists in the company can see the small discoveries on the company intranet and realise that it might apply to their area of research. The efficiency of avoiding duplicated work and reinvention of wheels resulted in a 15% improvement in output.

"Social media" doesn't just mean Facebook and Twitter. For companies it more commonly means the corporate intranet, team-specific websites, internal and external blogs, internal forums (fora?): anything that enables knowledge-sharing at low production cost.

Many types of businesses can benefit from such process improvements, not just pharmaceutical or research-based companies. Maybe your company has multiple offices, and one office finds a faster way of working. Your team leader can write a blog post about it and other offices can follow their example.

Obviously not all companies can benefit from this. But if you're in a knowledge-intensive sector, better use of (internal) social media is a no-brainer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ?????

I agree with you that the article makes very little overall sense. It's basically rehashing marketing blurb from the people pimping their wares. Bayer's adoption of IBM's Connections platform was largely a sop to IBM as a result of migrating from Notes to Exchange. Just adding new software to the mix doesn't do achieve anything and all those new patents ain't worth shit if they aren't enforceable as current problems with Nexavar in India illustrate.

Eli Lilly is the big poster child for encouraging more knowledge exchange between researchers and I think they developed some software for the purpose before all the hype about "social business" got going. Cisco was also feted for a decentalised, non-hierarchical structure that was supposed to foster creativity but led to not enough products that people really wanted to buys: switches are more boring but have better margins than idiotproof digital cameras.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ?????

But if you're in a knowledge-intensive sector, better use of (internal) social media is a no-brainertime-waster.

There, fixed it for you. Finding the right person to talk to is always the hardest thing. All the "social" shit just encourages loudmouths like us to chip in.

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Headmaster

«It's all in the process, Mein Herr»

Phil, why the capitalisation of the possessive «mein» here ?...

Henri

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