Microsoft sees advantages in connected user experiences in the workplace.
The younger demographics are one of the world’s heaviest users of social technologies and platforms. As a result, companies have found benefit in using a different channel to bring them together through social tools. According to the Asia-wide IDC Enterprise Social Survey sponsored by Microsoft, 52% of companies in Singapore have an enterprise social network in place and another 23% plan to integrate one in the next 18 months. The survey included medium and large enterprises from across three sub-regions in Asia Pacific. The factors driving this trend in the region include a younger workforce, early adoption of gadgets and social media, as well as cultural trends such as relationship-focused business dealings.
Mr. Todd Cione, Microsoft’s chief marketing and operations officer in Asia, agrees that social tools put people at the center of an organization and ensure that customers, employees and partners can connect with each other to get work done. Currently, Singapore businesses are using social tools to enhance internal training and learning management, HR functions, and collaboration with partners and customers.
Read the full press release below.
Singapore – November 20, 2012 – Microsoft believes organisations are rapidly seeking the benefits of creating a connected user experience in the workplace, especially in Singapore where knowledge workers and youths are one of the world’s heaviest users of social technologies and platforms. An Asia-wide IDC Enterprise Social Survey sponsored by Microsoft shows that 52 percent of companies in Singapore have an enterprise social network in place, and an additional 23 percent plan to adopt one in the next 18 months.
The survey, which interviewed 352 decision makers and influencers from medium and large enterprises from across three sub-regions in Asia/Pacific: ASEAN (Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand), ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) and Korea, highlighted a dramatic shift in priorities. Organisations are looking to enterprise social technologies to gain competitive advantage, placing them well above investments in core networks, cloud computing and business intelligence.
Driving this trend in Asia Pacific are several factors including a young workforce, early adoption of gadgets and social media, as well as cultural trends such as relationship- focused business dealings.
Mr. Todd Cione, Microsoft Chief Marketing and Operations Officer for Asia, adds, “Social isn’t just a new set of tools – it’s a new way of thinking about your organisation. It’s about putting people at the center of the organisation and ensuring that customers, employees and partners can connect with the people and information they need to actually get their work done. To truly enable a connected user experience you have to create a single set of tools that integrate both productivity (the ‘where’ you work) and social tools (the ‘how’ you talk) into the same place.”
“In addition to this, the rise of social media and networking is profoundly affecting the way organisations conduct their business and it’s poised to be particularly impactful in Asia as enterprises encourage the sharing of ideas, rich conversations and deep collaboration, while empowering employees.”
Globalisation is making Asian organisations not only more connected but also more integrated. Asia’s economy has grown tremendously since the introduction of the internet in the late 90s. From 2007 to 2012, the growth in the number of Asia Pacific internet users has been unprecedented, rising from 418 million to over 1 billion[i]. In Singapore, there are 9.64 million internet broadband subscribers[ii] and 1.51 mobile phone line subscription per person[iii] in a country with 5.18 million people[iv].
The rise in the use of social networks is equally remarkable with 204.9 million Facebook users in Asia, roughly 27% of Facebook’s non US / Canada user base[v]. Facebook is not alone; services such as Skype and Live Messenger have also grown, reporting more than a quarter of a billion registered users world-wide.
This phenomenon has not only changed the way organisations relate to their customers and the public as a whole, but also the way they function internally and the types of technology they need to deploy. Although social networking is predominantly consumer focused, it is increasingly relevant to the workplace as consumer technology and services dictate which types of hardware, software and services enterprises need to adopt to ensure employees work efficiently, productively and collaboratively while remaining satisfied in their work environment.
In Singapore and ASEAN, email and instant messaging are cornerstones of enterprise social network. Uniquely, respondents in Singapore identified unified communications as an important part of enterprise social network. Currently, Singapore businesses are using social tools to enhance internal training & learning management, HR functions, and collaboration with partners and customers.
The usage of social tools will continue to mature in Singapore, where ideation/innovation management, internal knowledge sharing and internal collaboration are the biggest focus areas for social tool adoption in the next 24 months.
Mr. Neville Burdan, General Manager for Virtualisation & Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data Asia Pacific, said: “The idea of a ‘Connected Enterprise’ is already here and the responsibility lies within organisations to make it a reality for their employees. The advantages include increase in productivity, employee retention and attraction and it also gives them the tools to take the business to the next level. Early adopters of ‘social enterprise’ will definitely have an unfair market advantage.”
Although the IDC Survey highlighted broad acceptance of the benefits of enterprise social in the workplace, challenges remain.
Mr. Claus Mortensen, Director, Emerging Technology Research, IDC Asia/Pacific adds, “Security, compliance, governance and lack of control are cited as the most important inhibitors to implement enterprise social but it is not viable for companies to resist adoption as end-users may turn to internet-based, consumer grade, and potentially less secure options. Organisations will need to educate themselves on the availability of solutions that also fulfill their IT requirements.”
Respondents to the survey indicated that Microsoft was perceived as the leader in its ability to deliver the most complete enterprise social solution. Mr. Todd Cione concludes, “We were delighted with some of the findings of the survey. Microsoft’s efforts to develop and integrate the best of breed technologies have been recognized by Asia Pacific organisations as the most complete vision for highly productive and user-centric entities.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For news about Microsoft in Singapore, join the conversation on Twitter. Follow us at @Microsoft_SG
About Dimension Data:
Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group. In Asia Pacific, we operate in over 60 offices across 13 countries. We help clients plan, build, support, manage, improve and innovate their ICT infrastructures. It combines an expertise in networking, security, data centre solutions, Microsoft solutions and converged communications and contact centre technologies, with advanced skills in consulting, integration, training and managed services. www.dimensiondata.com
Featured Image Credits : Sensei Wisdom
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