In September we published an interview with Michael Hack, CEO of QuePort, a company innovating in social business software. QuePort allows social information to find you rather than the other way around.
I recently had the opportunity to check in with Hack to see how QuePort is progressing. He was quite enthusiastic about the conversations he had been having with analysts and customers. The feedback he received was that QuePort has really hit the nail on the head with their solution.
QuePort accesses the social graph, integrates and connect social streams, and combine social data with a user’s work world, providing contextually relevant information based on variables such as history of interacting with different documents, the user’s work context – such as which department they work in, and which colleagues with whom they collaborate.
The challenge in the social business software space is that most solutions fail to deliver the intended business results – to enhance collaboration and make business more effective. The challenge, according to Hack, is that most social business software today is not really connected to day to day work.
The challenge is for the software to understand context of your work and deliver relevant information at the right time. Hack described integration work QuePort is doing with Yammer. He says QuePort saves Yammer information post when users are offline and serves it in contextually-relevant ways when a user comes back online.
QuePort actively pushes information out to the user rather than forcing them to log in to a separate system, thereby increasing participation.
Hack is critical of social business software solutions attempting to increase participation by integrating things like gamification as an incentive to use the system. “If you have a system that is intended to help you get your work done better, why do you need to incentivize people to use it?”
He told the story of a social business software industry analyst who was told by the client of one software provider that they were proud that 25% of employees were accessing it once per month. According to Hack that is not a particularly successful level of integration between social graph data and users’ day to day work.
Another challenge, says Hack, is not to overwhelm the user – but rather to provide contextually relevant information in a digestible ways. Otherwise data are relegated to specialists like data analysts and market researchers.
One of QuePort’s latest initiatives is to integrate their information into corporate systems using an application delivery model. Business apps integrated with QuePort capture any type of social graph data and present it to users in a way to maximize its usefulness.