Many companies restrict their employees’ access to popular social networking websites. This is due to fear that employees are wasting their time on these services. Meanwhile, organizations are constantly trying to find new ways to engage with employees to help transform the business from the inside.
What if all companies allowed their employees to spend time on social networks as a way to impact positive organizational change? That’s where Toronto startup Speechbobble Inc. fits in.
“Organizations of all sizes and types are deploying private social networks to facilitate new relationships and interactions. Connecting customers, employees and business partners with content and data in new ways is proving to be increasingly rewarding and Speechbobble eliminates much of the complexity to getting started quickly,” says Josef Zankowicz, CEO at Speechbobble.
Delivered as software as a service (SaaS), Speechbobble is an enterprise social networking platform that enables organizations to harness the conversations, behaviours, and collective intelligence of their employees, customers and business partners by providing social software engagement tools to affect change, drive decisions, and increase revenue.
“It’s like LinkedIn meets Facebook for enterprise,” says Amanda Parker, Sales and Marketing Manager at Speechbobble. “An employee simply posts an idea or issue within a ‘bobble,’ or unit of conversation. Then, other employees can follow that issue, comment on it or share additional ideas. It’s also a great way to have visibility in front of your manager, or find out what’s going on in another part of the organization.”
Speechbobble began selling its solution in 2011 and now has over 10,000 corporate users and counting, with customers like Rogers Communications, Metro News, and Schulich. The company was incubated at the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University and is currently funded by angel investors. Speechbobble developed its initial social technology based on research from the school’s leading social media scientist and a group of business students.
A recent Gartner report predicts that “by 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.” Parker says “we’re not trying to replace e-mail. Instead, we want to enhance the way employees connect and move ideas forward.”
The exchange of employee ideas on Speechbobble are driven and supported by a powerful analytics platform. By understanding the conversations taking place both internally and externally, Speechbobble generates measurable insights among influencers in the company, and identifies popular trending topics and controversial issues that management needs to be aware of.
The Speechbobble platform also offers rich community management capabilities – many of which match those of popular social networking and Web 2.0 sites. Some of the popular features include: employee polling; employee communications; intranet; training systems; collaboration tools; information and multi-media repositories; career management tools; instant messaging; and private messaging.
If your organization doesn’t support social networking in the office, do you think they’d use a tool like Speechbobble? Please share your thoughts on using social networking to impact positive corporate change.