There have been (and still are) many social additions to many (BPM) tooling and I have not seen any of these thrive very much... I mean: As long as people still send me a copy of their Powerpoint (rather than refer to) and start to discuss these when I pick up a cup of coffee... It's a cultural thing I suppose.
Meta data (and I regard social data around or related to an object, say a processdiagram) is definitely valuable, but it just doesn't seem to take off. So... will Workplace make a difference or be any different? Perhaps, because it is sort of a standard. But on the other hand, culture is a big beast to change... and eats (pretty much anything) for breakfast :-).
I think Facebook will have a significant impact on the collaborative work of small companies. Pricing is okay, interface is familiar and let's not forget, small companies would more likely have a Facebook page than a website, so they'd just simply jump on Facebook's infrastructure on this one as well.
I don't know what "social BPM" means. Business is by definition the social thing you do for money (unless you're buying from and selling to... yourself).
If Facebook nails this and API's this up for various 3rd party solutions (CMS, BPM etc), then this is a workplace tsunami.
They just need to cope well with some issues around business practices (privacy, security, how to carefully promote 3rd party apps). That's my only question mark at this point in time.
The idea is to accommoate outreach and inreach at any time point in the life of a Case and this can include a step in a process or an ad hoc intervention on the outreach side and arbitrary input at, say, a portal for inreach.
The problem with outreach is it is usually context/situation specific, so how do you do outreach and then match up an incoming "workplace TOOL" response (inreach) with your outreach?
i.e. the process is at a step where we need a person's address, the Case does a reachout, the person aat the protal responds via Workplace Tool or e-mail.. . .
Unless you embed the outreach ref id, the inreach response will not be able to be paired up with the outreach that requested the info (other than manually).
Pure Inreach is easier, all you need is the id of the sender/credentials and you can append the info to the Case.
"Workplace Tool" becomes just a remote target/source (outreach) or a source (inreach), all part of interoperability. For most applications there shoudl be a gatekeeper that views incoming requests as opposed to simply appending these to a Case record.
We use an app called CiverWeb to push requests to a portal for response by some 150 contractors who do home healthcare services at one site..
These are not staff of the agency, they cannot be allowed to index to any patient record, so pushout is done from an IIS server which has a bi-directional link via an engine to the backend Case app.
The remote users,see pending "tasks", fill in the attached forms, and click on Submit. They do not know where the server is, they only get pushout for the patients they are seeing today and the form content tells them where to go (address), at what time, plus what to do when they get there (ordinary visit, formal review visit).
[minor updates 2016-10-21]
We have socialcast, and i hardly see improvements of managing business better by this. So i dont think this will have impact. However I do endorse these tools for knowledge sharing, and can probably replace a big part of all the mails.
Btw. In this context. Has anyone seen a wiki like tooling for collaboration on capturing processes and process related knowledge?
My ideal workplace is a several concurrent "working threads" or "contexts" (accessible from any of my devices) and each of those threads comprises INTERLINKED documents, comments, discussions, data, URLs, IMs, video sessions, confcalls (converted to text), info-streams, people, processes started (actually cases) and to be monitored, actions to be completed, notifications / alerts, cross-links, etc.
So far, this tool covers only part of this list but it is a step in the right direction (if they promise do not scan this information).
Processes include what might be regarded as supporting informal processes and here social media sits. By necessity they are the slaves to the formal processes which are core to creating the end outcome. So yes there is a place for a growing importance in such as Facebook present but never forget that vital audit trail who did what when. Such informal processes might just have time as the control to allow users to collate information via such a network. Use of such social media might not need the detail of any interaction but the outcome then picked up and recorded by the formal processes.
As for big impact well not sure but it might highlight the need to revise the end to end process thus bringing in BPM....?
I think the onward march to "workflow for everyone" (not BPM) is only just beginning. Box recently launched Box Relay which is more tied to documents - I would have thought that deserved more of a mention on this thread than the Facebook example. Not all processes have documents though.
Ultimately, where people choose to work is what will win - as the interface where work happens IS simultaenously the tool, the process, the collaboration surface and the master data collector.
For technophobes and for those whose organizations do not consist of employees who are quick to adopt new tech then a familiar "face" can help increase uage for FB workplace.
Another thing they have going for them, is that internal comms are moving the direction of external comms (i.e. marketing). Facebook allows for a more branded type of communication, I woul assume, which would be different from other products out there.
If managers see value in a branded type of internal comms then this could valuable.
It's a non-starter in the USA for the Healthcare sector.
Given the huge fines for inadvertent disclosure of Patient Data, noone in the sector would consider allowing communications relating to an ndividual patient or a group of named patients to take place via Facebook. Or via Skype.
The rationale is if an "outsider" can establish a cursor position in an RDBMS, they would not have much trouble going to another record.
Secure Portal < - -> Case Record communications, on the other hand, is not a problem if done totally at arms length.
Here, the only "user" who can get to the back end is a database engine, the outsider never gets to know where the back end is.
Reading the Facebook press release triggered a recollection of working for Digital (a.k.a. "DEC" or "Digital Equipment Corporatiion"). VAX Notes (later DEC notes) was a terminal-based collaboration system popular inside DEC (peak employment in '89 at 120K - in that year there were apparently over 10K separate Notes conferences). Most of the conferences were work-releated; there were also conferences for cross-country skiing and for any religious persuasion one might like, etc.
For very large organizations, the Notes service was quite useful for specialists (in my case, there was lots of useful dialogue on topics in B2B market research and in on customer service/ field services reporting and forecasting).
In an environment of trust and common focus, social can be particularly good at "surfacing the tacit" -- and that tacit can make the difference between success and failure.
So I start with a positive assessment. But there are lots of questions:
1. LET'S TRY SOCIAL AGAIN -- Why will FB Workplace succeed where lots of social-anything hasn't really taken off (e.g. social BPM or social CRM)? [COMMENT: FB Workplace may succeed because FB is already perceived as universal and thus not as risky.)
2. OWNERSHIP OF IP -- What will be the legalities and understandings around the shared knowledge? [COMMENT: It's just too easy to give the pat answer that "work communications are the property of the employer" -- especially with the rise of contingent workforces and increasingly complex business ecosystems.]
3. REWARD FOR VALUE -- What will be the benefits and motivations accruing to participants? [COMMENT: Compare for example the general failure of B2B CRM where rep data entry is concerned. Unrewarded effort and uncompensated sharing of knowledge is a recipe for frustrations.]
Additional Comment: Personal FB is popular because it is personally rewarding. And has utility. FB-at-Work may be technically similar to FB-at-Home, but the reward and benefit is very, very different. Several replies and comments address this important question.
4. FOR BPM -- And lastly, what about BPM? Will FB Workplace be stable enough and specific enough to enable annotation of processes? [COMMENT: Process annotation, especially for both model and instance, would be the gold standard for social-enabled BPM.].
Isn't Social BPM dead yet? I'm just asking. There was so big hype about it 4 years ago and now I haven't seen a single reasonable case study that would describe true business value of it, instead of pure marketing jargon. Despite the wide adoption of Facebook all over the world I'm afraid it's workplace version will be summarized just like Yammer and multiple similar products: "Nice concept, although we won't use it".