Leading edge enterprises are becoming more social and there are many financial and organizational benefits to this increased connectivity as McKinsey has documented for us. Moxie is now providing a comprehensive platform for the networked organization through its Spaces by Moxie™ suite, which includes Employee Spaces™ and Customer Spaces™. I recently spoke with Tom Kelly, the CEO, and Azita Martin, the CMO, about their offering.
Tom said that social platforms are now moving beyond simple communication and connection to deploy more robust functionality and more elegant design. These are two factors they are focusing on at Moxie. For example, a social platform needs to connect to rich profiles of employees. It needs to be able to locate and expose expertise, it needs to be able to form logical work groups for activities and supply the needed tools, and it needs to be project oriented to allow for effective collaboration around projects. For example, in Employee Spaces all documents, social objects like wikis, blogs and conversations are in the context of projects, so people collaborating on projects can find all the information relevant to that project in one place.
To accomplish these needs, the design should be both simple and elegant. Rather than being structured around documents like the more traditional content management tools, the new social tools need to focus on people, groups, and projects. Documents do not do work, people do so this needs to be the organizing principles for tools that enable people to get their work done. I could not agree more. Here is a sample Moxie screen showing the clear organization of its components.
Here also are two sample profiles.
Tom said that for those organizations heavily invested in the old style content management tools, Moxie can provide a social interface to bring them into the connected workspace. It can also work in a standalone mode to cover the content and collaboration needs of an enterprise. Tom offered an example of TEVA Pharmaceutical who has gained significant operational efficiency in their supply chain. TEVA is a Canadian company that competes delivering generic drugs to market faster. With Moxie Employee Spaces, they were able to achieve a 40% reduction in manufacturing cycle time. They are able to easily report and quickly resolve manufacturing issues. In addition to the cycle time reductions, they have seen an over 50% reduction in the number of meetings organized to address unexpected manufacturing problems. This is a great testimony to the efficiency gained through social tools in the enterprise.
Tom went on to cover some of the functional benefits. The Employee Spaces status updates promote a significant reduction in email, especially those ones that are FYI or CC’s that clutter up your inbox. Documents and related dialog can be shared within the transparent update stream rather than as attachments in siloed email.
Employee on-boarding can be conducted in a much more efficient manner as new hires can easily be integrated into the right work networks, significantly shortening the time for them to be connected to the right people to become effective in their work. The robust employee profile is a big aid here. Then when employees leave, all of the work they did remains and is easily accessible.
Tom mentioned that innovation is a team sport and that is certainly the case. Crowd-sourcing can be supported. They use idea storms for their own product development at Moxie. Perhaps even more importantly the teams that implement these new ideas are efficiently connected and the right resources can be easily identified.
Internal communications can become more interactive through blogs and the status updates. This can extend to customer communication and you can collaborate on projects and share social functions in a secure manner with clients. As enterprise become more comfortable with the new transparency, there will be greater opportunities to learn from interactions. This potential is one of the things that first attracted me to the Web 2.0 tools. I saw that knowledge management could become an effortless byproduct of using the right tools, and not an additional activity at the end of a long day.
We discussed metrics. Moxie currently provides a series of activity-based metrics such as usage levels, who knows who, and who should known who. They will be doing more work in this space to increase the discovery of where new connections need to be made, Employee Spaces uses Autonomy search and this is an important part of discovery. Enhanced search capabilities provide the ability to search for information across all types of content regardless of whether the information is within Employee Spaces or within an external application such as SharePoint. Search filters and tags can be used to narrow search results, using an easy-to-navigate user interface.
They also provide comprehensive mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, and other devices. They have further enhanced integration of their social media listening and sentiment analysis with Facebook, Yelp, Flickr and Yahoo Firehose (YQL), adding to its existing integration with Twitter, You Tube, Bing, Blogger, and Digg among others. Also included is the ability to send direct messages back to users on Twitter.
Social and mobile are the new directions for enterprise apps. I like what Moxie is doing and look forward to their next moves. Here is a link to some of their demos.