Currently this project is in the design phase. "We are at an advanced stage of finalizing the design for the data integration layers. There are minor challenges, but we are confident of handling them," says Pujara.
Making ESM Work
Companies that want the benefits that come with ESM need to be ready to do more than talk. Among other things, an ESM implementation requires serious IT governance policies surrounding security and compliance. Then there's the bar that Facebook's set.
At CRISIL, Iyer realizes how important it is for his ESM tool to keep up with social platforms employees use outside work, if he wants them to use his internal ESM. "The intent is to give an interface like that (of a social media platform like Facebook) and customize that interface for the collaboration requirements that we have," he says. Iyer adds that the biggest challenge he foresees in implementing this solution is not the implementation per se, but in getting employees to accept it.
Joseph's experience confirms Iyer's beliefs. Having implemented an earlier in-house portal and knowledge management system--both of which "failed miserably"--Joseph is fully aware of the importance of getting users to adopt an ESM solution.
"The first and foremost challenge was adoption," says Joseph, recounting how he got the current ESM project off the ground.
Those learnings didn't stop him from further testing how people across different locations could connect with each other. So Joseph, who was based out of Bombay, tested his ESM with his 50-member pilot team based in different parts of the country.
To make sure his ESM tool was accepted by his employees--who are about 28-29 years-old on average--he made sure that it had the same ease of use they experienced with social media platforms like Facebook. He also ensured that the solution was available on the multiple devices that staffers use, irrespective of device type or operating system. The solution also has a single-sign-on facility, and once signed in, an employee can access any of the enterprise applications that are integrated with the ESM solution.
For those who don't buy the enterprise social media pitch, it could be time to re-look their assumptions. There is a growing number of CIOs who believe that enterprise social media could well replace today's clunky communications tools like e-mail. For Joseph that reality isn't too far in the future. Already, he says, his ESM, and social media in general, is being used so extensively, that it's easy to see how it could replace e-mail as the preferred form of communication.
Pujara echoes that sentiment, pointing to the fate of the pager. "It is a matter of time; the current e-mail platform will cease to exist, say within next 10 years, like what happened to the pager Industry a decade ago."
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