This morning, Moxie Software reported its financial results from FY 2011. While Moxie is a private company, we disclosed in today’s announcement some of the company financials, including the growth rate of our customer base. There is no question that we have had a very strong year, reflecting the current market conditions as enterprises are significantly increasing their spending on social collaboration software.
Beyond the current state of the market, there are two other trends that are directly influencing the evolution of enterprise social technology. First is the external/customer communications. I’ve been discussing with many industry experts and customers the concept that enterprises are becoming the contact center. Not the contact center as we know, but the center customers tap into for information held with knowledge workers. Customers want to interact with brands through their preferred channel of choice, including Facebook and Twitter, but also via other one-to-one social interaction channels such as chat, knowledgebase and e-mail. As I‘ve mentioned to my kids, social interactions are not limited to tools like Facebook or Twitter, but one-to-one conversations at the dinner table also count as social interactions. Hope this analogy adds color to my perspective here.
The second factor driving the use of enterprise social technology is the need to connect distributed organizations. Large (and mid-size) organizations need the proper tools to keep employees engaged as if they are sitting in a conference room across from each other, when in many cases they are located in different states or countries. In a contributed piece to Forbes, I discussed in detail the benefits collaboration technology brings to organizations and their employees.
In 2012, the convergence of these two trends will be unavoidable and enterprise social technology will become the crowdsourced knowledge platform that will ultimately support customer interactions. There are very few companies in the marketplace positioned to take full advantage of external communications channels and internal collaboration platforms to meet existing and new customer demands, become a critical technology to enterprises, and deliver on shareholders’ expectations. I have no doubt that the convergence of these trends will be the wave of the future.