By Mike Stiles on Sep 29, 2012
By guest blogger Roland Smart
If your first thought is, "What's a social developer?" you're not alone. It’s an emerging term and one we think will gain prominence as social experiences become more prevalent in enterprise applications. For those who keep an eye on the ever-evolving Facebook platform, you'll recall that they recently rebranded their PDC (preferred developer consultant) group as the PMD (preferred marketing developer), signaling the importance of development resources inside the marketing organization to unlock the potential of social.
The marketing developer they're referring to could be considered a social developer in a broader context. While it's true social has really blossomed in the marketing context and CMOs are winning more and more technical resources, social is starting to work its way more deeply into the enterprise with the help of developers that work outside marketing.
Developers, like the rest of us, have fallen in "like" with social functionality and are starting to imagine how social can transform enterprise applications in the way it has consumer-facing experiences. The thesis of my presentation is that social developers will take many pages from the marketing playbook as they apply social inside the enterprise. To support this argument, lets walk through a range of enterprise applications and explore how consumer-facing social experiences might be interpreted in this context.
Here's one example of how a social experience could be integrated into a sales enablement application. As a marketer, I spend a great deal of time collaborating with my sales colleagues, so I have good insight into their working process. While at Involver, we grew our sales team quickly, and it became evident some of our processes broke with scale.
For example, we used to have weekly team meetings at which we'd discuss what was working and what wasn't from a messaging perspective. One aspect of these sessions focused on "objections" and "responses," where the salespeople would walk through common objections to purchasing and share appropriate responses. We tried to map each context to best answers and we'd capture these on a wiki page. As our team grew, however, participation at scale just wasn't tenable, and our wiki pages quickly lost their freshness.
Imagine giving salespeople a place where they could submit common objections and responses for their colleagues to see, sort, comment on, and vote on. What you'd get is an up-to-date and relevant repository of information. And, if you supported an application like this with a social graph, it would be possible to make good recommendations to individual sales people about the objections they'd likely hear based on vertical, product, region or other graph data.
Taking it even further, you could build in a badging/game element to reward those salespeople who participate the most. Both these examples are based on proven models at work inside consumer-facing applications.
If you want to learn about how HR, Operations, Product Development and Customer Support can leverage social experiences, you’re welcome to join us at JavaOne or join our Social Developer Community to find some of the presentations after OpenWorld.