Getting social with Infostreams

Over the past year, it’s been impossible to ignore what research firms IDC and Gartner describe as the four forces of technology. Cloud, big data, mobility and social forces are now driving IT innovation, we are told, and woe to the CIOs who ignore the trends.

On that last point, the social force, Software AG reckons that it has created the perfect solution for enterprises to take advantage of it. And it comes in form of its new WebMethods Infostreams suite.

“Social in enterprise is about being to leverage the information we see going on,” said Matt Green, Vice President of Product Management, Software AG, who previewed the suite at a roundtable event at the CeBit trade fair in Hanover, Germany.

Best described as a sort of internal social network, Infostreams creates a news feed detailing actions, opinions and updates from every connected employee within the business. On top of that, groups can be created to discuss certain topics, and task managers allow for collaboration on certain projects. It will even analyse who is most likely to be helpful, if a certain task is perhaps taking too long.

Of course, the whole system is completely customisable to whatever a company wants, though a basic lay-out and design is set, following months of work with Software AG’s usability experts.

The system has proved so popular within Software AG itself, Green said, that he has noted a sizeable decrease in the number of emails sent between employees, who now use Infostreams to connect.

However, Infostreams is about so much more than allowing employees to connect with each other – it’s about providing everyone with more information, so that processes can work better, according to Green.

“For example, I’ll subscribe to every customer who makes a complaint,” he said. “Not only do I do that, but so does the sales team and the development team. Not only can I know it’s there, but we can also share it. If something is going wrong, the sales guy driving to the customer now knows about it. Everyone knows about it, and they start this instant collaboration.”

What’s more, Green said, all of this interaction is stored and then analysed: “That lets me understand trending topics, who’s the hot person with customers, who’s the best helper, and what’s the best product in the region.”

Green said that the adoption rate at Software AG has been incredible, and that other customers are already beginning to see the benefits. Whether this will mark the beginning of a bigger trend toward social business, only time will tell, but this certainly looks like a step in the right direction.

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