Facebook for the enterprise…from Facebook

The enterprise CRM world has been going social for a while. You have the likes of Salesforce Chatter, Microsoft’s Yammer, and Jive, to name some of the key players.

Social CRM is becoming big. Reflecting on these words, they appear to bring together two very different worlds: the “neat and tidy” world of enterprise systems and the “rough and tumble” world of consumers and social media.

So far this shift toward social has been taking place with enterprise players like Salesforce and Microsoft extending their reach to the consumer world.

What if it happened the other way around? Consider a scenario in which someone like Facebook launches their own enterprise CRM software, probably through an acquisition (for which they do have the wherewithal as they have demonstrated).

Seems far-fetched, I know.

It would probably upset some people. First off consumers: who would likely view it as a betrayal.  A case of letting the foxes into the henhouse, if you will. And then the enterprise players themselves, some of whom could start to go out of business pretty quickly. Furthermore, there could be regulatory challenges to deal with.

Of course Facebook would have to institute some really stringent controls to avoid mixing up the enterprise and consumer sides of the business. Protecting consumer data with Chinese walls. But then organizations are no strangers to managing such conflicts of interest. Just look at the banking world, for example.

Yet from a solution perspective it does seem too good to be true (which is indeed the case).

I mean when you look at social CRM the challenge seems to lie at the social side of things, the consumer end. Evidently Facebook is well suited to overcome this challenge. Plus the revenues from the enterprise sector could help them reduce their dependence on advertising, which will certainly make consumers happy.

We may see many enterprises standing in line to buy the solution (hopefully overcoming procurement battles and entrenched relationships).

Consumerization of IT would never be the same again.

In this new world, it may become difficult to keep users away from their enterprise software. User engagement issues, you could probably forget about that one.


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