A growing debate in Enterprise 2.0 circles focuses on what value new technologies have for people who do back office functions. Questions persist about how Enterprise 2.0 technologies are built into the processes of every day work and what upside they really have.
In that regard, it's interesting to note the partnership announced today between NetSuite and InsideView to bring in real-time information from across the social Web into such departments as accounts payable and human resources. The partnership will bring InsideView's insights from across social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Blog Search into NetSuite's CRM and ERP offerings which will help to create what it calls a'Social ERP' system.
NetSuite is a Software-as-a-Service provider that provides a cloud computing platform to help manage software suites. Its customers are mid-sized companies and divisions of large enterprises. Inside View coins itself as a Sales 2.0 leader, "bringing intelligence gained from social media and traditional editorial sources to the enterprise to increase sales productivity and velocity."
NetSuite users will have access to information from a wide variety of traditional information sources and real-time social networks. The structured and unstructured information is aggregated and filtered by InsideView. It flows directly into the application and is filtered for the particular office function such as accounts payable. NetSuite says this is the first time a social component has been built natively into its application.
Some of the benefits the two companies see with the integration:
- Better understanding of customers and partners to assess payment risk and improve collection processes
- The ability to better use the buzz about suppliers and brand reputation and level of customer satisfaction
- Integrate social profile information to engage job candidates across multiple channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter;
InsideView for NetSuite was built using NetSuite's SuiteCloud development platform. Additonal NetSuite partners are planning to build their own integrations, which the company says may mean more social components into the NetSuite environment.
Currently, NetSuite users may see information that others are collecting by subscribing via an RSS feed. Further integration could be the potential addition of activity streams for sharing intelligence.
This is an unfolding trend which we believe will create a more measured look at how Enterprise 2.0 applications fit with back office functions. It also represents another example of how business intelligence applications from companies like IBM will begin to compete in this realm as more efforts continue to meld structured and unstructured information.