Getting down to practical use cases for using social software inside business


Sorry, a bit of an accidental Salesforce theme at the moment (some big event happened last week or so I heard). Anyway, I missed this when it was first published a few months ago but I'm always looking for interesting examples of enterprise social software being used outside of the typical knowledge worker scenario (e.g white collar service industries or consulting firms).

This short promotional video explains how a US home building company, Shea Homes, are using Salesforce's task-orientated microblogging tool,

"We used to track the status of each buyer on a giant whiteboard that required 2 hours of updates per day. And we still had to send hundreds of emails just to discuss what was on the whiteboard. Do has replaced all of that and I have more time to spend with each buyer." --- Laura Trello, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

There is more background to this story on The BrainYard.

The main limitation in right now appears to be integration. While its part of the Saleforce suite of products,

"Integration with the Salesforce platform is (so far) limited to single sign-on. The initial release of Do Contacts integrates with Facebook and Google but puts contact integration on the 'coming soon' list, along with Twitter. An integration with Chatter is also in the works."

Obviously, mobile access is also critical for a tool like to work in a construction business. While there are shots of people using mobile devices, I'd be interested to know how well that works in practice (for example - in 2010, sponsored the use of iPads by a construction firm).

Still, great to see Shea Homes making use of social software in a practical way, when many companies still look at enterprise social tools as platforms for idle chatter (sic).