"Facebook for the Enterprise" is that really necessary?

Don't get me wrong, I think for connecting with friends, family, and old school chums, there's nothing better today. But when it comes to providing employees or partners within your company, do you really want them checking out your latest family vacation pictures?

I know that Facebook has recently added a whole slew of permission based capabilities to shield you from this pending embarassment, but security isn't the issue. The question is: does your company really need another website where your employees can be distracted from their daily tasks? I do understand the need for employees to be engaged at the office and that they need a "break" every now and then, but if you are driving employees to yet another destination in the company, then where should they go to get their job done? And more importantly, what are new employees to do?

I think the promise of enterprise portals has always been a bit of a holy grail. It is supposed to be the single place where employees go to get everything they need to know. At Oracle, we've seen this morph into more of a destination for employees to go to get work done. They obviously need to get access to the processes and tasks that they do on a daily, weekly basis. But they also want it to be a destination where their personal interests are addressed. This is where things like Mashups come in. Users that choose to should be able to add elements, gadgets, portlets, components, or widgets directly to their page. And we are now seeing a distinct need to allow them to develop their personal/professional network of experts within the Portal as well.

We don't believe it needs to be another destination to drive them away from their work tasks. We believe it should be another feature or element that pulls them in to the portal and delivers the information, experts, processes, and support to get their jobs done.

Let's face it, if you need a distraction, they are out there. But if you need to get your work done, the last thing you want to do is to navigate to ten different sites to find the needle in the haystacks. When you really need to find that needle, you want to search through one haystack if possible.

Comments:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't LinkedIn supposed to be Facebook for business? Or do you mean a FB for internal use only...

Posted by C. Scyphers on December 19, 2009 at 06:45 AM PST #

Even if it's one haystack, I still wouldn't want to go through it to find a needle. I'd rather have my information delivered to me ;-) You might want to rethink the image you want people to associate to webcenter.

Posted by Mike Reys on December 20, 2009 at 07:03 PM PST #

The challenge with LinkedIn is that it is a good way of building out a network, but it is a "protected" network and doesn't allow you to pair the information with your enterprise information. Using a proxy or clipping can be used but if you want to leverage these connections within your work groups or team sites, then you need a pluggable model that allows interactions between the systems.

Posted by vince.casarez on December 21, 2009 at 01:33 AM PST #

The problem is that most enterprise information doesn't know how to target a user. I'm sure everyone would rather have their information delivered to them. But when you are working on a new project or a new set of tasks, you still need to look for information. It's not just about information delivery, it's about quickly locating new information in the context of the task or process that you are trying to complete. Absolutely, there are known paths of information that will be delivered to the user, but then what the user does with the information and how it is captured and shared with others is where WebCenter comes in.

Posted by vince.casarez on December 21, 2009 at 01:37 AM PST #

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Oracle WebCenter portal is a portal and composite applications solution that delivers intuitive user experiences for the enterprise that are seamlessly integrated with your enterprise applications.

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