Monday, January 14, 2008

SaaS meets Social Networks

Last last year,The Unreasonable Men wrote a short series of posts discussing the convergence of SaaS and Social Networks and whether they are actually becoming the same thing. An interesting article was published today in Infoworld which announced that SuccessFactors, a Talent Management SaaS company which recently IPO'ed

is using Facebook to allow a richer employee profile that goes beyond the structured data that is typically captured in a HCM (human capital management) service, according to Jim Holinchek, a senior analyst with Gartner.

I also believe Microsoft is planning to do a similar thing with CRM 4.0.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out here. I know myself and colleagues I have discussed this with like to keep a distinct barrier between personal and work networks. Sometimes they happen to overlap but that is by choice not by default.
I am not sure if employees will want their facebook information used in a business context. Even if there is an "opt out" option there could still be pressure to permit the link to occur from your employer.

Will this type of convergence be common in 2008 and will it be a success? We shall see.