By Oz Sultan, Social2B Digital Media Evangelist

Jeff Pulver (@Jeffpulver) recently mentioned that this year was his fifth anniversary of being in Social Media. This got me thinking, as five years has been the typical run for any major technological boom over the past few decades.

In the 80’s we saw the PC rise to change the way we engaged with computing devices and managed our lives. In the 90s, the Dot Com boom gave rise to a vast number of internet technologies that have since been incorporated into products and offerings of major technology brands.  Oracle became more than a database and a few financial service offerings grew to encompass corporate portals, analytics and recently even Hardware. Microsoft’s applications are available in the cloud. E-commerce, once a multi-million dollar endeavor for corporations, has been democratized by Open source technologies.

All of these things happened in five-year spans.


Today, we’ve seen Facebook become a platform that rivals the Google Empire.  Twitter and Yammer are allowing for communication and information sharing in ways that couldn’t have been envisioned a decade ago. Brands have prospered and startups have become household names. However, there is one market segment that has yet to benefit from this change – the Enterprise.


So what is the Enterprise?

The enterprise refers to Fortune 1000 companies that comprise the majority of large employers globally. Enterprise companies operate a myriad of g systems that are comprised of technology that spans a fifty-year lifecycle. Companies that operate multi-million and often billion and trillion dollar operations on technology where new technology often becomes siloed before it’s value can be leveraged in a more comprehensive way.



Enterprise Companies have also made large investments in content, operations management and commerce systems that don’t easily integrate with social media technologies.  Lastly, the concept of user profiles is very similar to Marshall Sponder’s allusion to “ultraviolet data”. In the Enterprise, there’s unseen or “ultraviolet data” as well as multiple user profiles in multiple repositories across different corporate divisions (think CRM, CSR, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Operations).


It’s all about data.

In a world of Social data, Ultraviolet data and complex corporate repositories, we have to think differently.

Enterprises refer to the management of multiple repositories as MDM or Master Data Management. Social data covers to behavioral, influencer, sentiment and keywords. Ultraviolet data is the data “you could be catching, but aren’t” in both MDM and Social.

The chart above depicts the use of social and MDM data across departments within the Enterprise.

Combined this data could be better used to solve complex business problems; better market companies; eliminate gross inefficiency while driving innovation.


So what to do?

Complex business and data problems need what’s culturally acceptable for a large corporation while highlighting the value-add that Social Media presents. This can be done by employing an MDM + Social roadmap.

The Roadmap Basics

  • Educate the Executive: Corporate executives have seen their internal data for years. The value of Social Media data is a bit more nebulous.  Explanation and clarification of it’s utility to improve projects or enhance marketing efforts should be focused on.
  • Identify Executive Champions: Without support from the C-level, most projects are destined for budget cuts or failure. Nip this one in the bud.
  • Develop a Data Champion: It’s not all about Social Media data. Understanding MDM data will help highlight Ultraviolet data and allow for clearer mapping and use of Social Data
  • Commission a Social Readiness Audit: Your company may have survived the Dot Com age, but what systems need upgrading? What needs done to map data from AS/400 and Database repositories to Omniture, Social and behavioral data? For banks and retailers – do you have systems that contain profiles that should be included? Are you looking at the customer (B2B or B2C) holistically?
  • Develop Data Policies and Guidelines: Know how you’re going to use the data and where it may cause kinks along the way.
  • Following the Audit, Evaluate and Plan: Social Media data and Social Media applications shouldn’t be an afterthought. Evaluate critical business projects for areas where Social and Social data could be huge value-adds.
  • Manage Expectations and repeat the process quarterly: Change isn’t an overnight process. Inculcating Social and leveraging Social data could be a multi-year process. Just know that if these guidelines are followed, you’ll be in a good position to enhance the business in a way that adds to the bottom line.