Socialcast Powers The Extended Enterprise
By Tim Young, founder of Socialcast and vice president Social Enterprise for VMware
The modern workplace is a complex ecosystem of employees, vendors, partners, contractors and customers. As in nature, there is a distinct role for everyone, and in order for each member and the sum of the parts to flourish, a symbiotic relationship must exist amongst all parties.
In simpler terms, a company doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it is part of, and relies upon, many others in order to succeed.
Today, Socialcast is announcing several new features that employ this concept:external contributors, enhanced user roles, and organizational charts. Until today, our platform was only available for the employees inside an organization, and there were two distinct roles that these employees could have (a user or an administrator). Now, we are introducing features that permit secure, role-based collaboration amongst employees and non-employees inside a Socialcast community, complete with the appropriate context around each user’s permissions, reporting structure, and role within the communication ecosystem.
While this may seem simple on the surface, creating these new user roles and permissions in a secure fashion was our number one priority. We then wanted to ensure a user experience for both employees and externals that made sense – rather than creating another siloed customer community or allowing vendors to see all of the same data as an employee, we needed to work within the structure of the Socialcast platform, Active Directory integrations, SSO integrations, and both cloud and on-premise hosting models. The result is what we are announcing today – a complete set of roles and permissions that give communication capabilities and context for the entire ecosystem of a company.
The external contributors features allows companies to securely integrate third party contributors such as partners, vendors, contractors and customers into their existing Socialcast community using designated private groups. Externals and employees can collaborate inside of a company’s existing Socialcast community, giving employees access to all content and external contributors a limited view to only relevant discussions.
The new organizational chart feature maps the formal reporting structure of both employees and external contributors. Understanding “who’s who” based on titles and roles in a company, and which external partners or third party contributor a co-worker is working with, gives context to a user’s profile.
Finally, the introduction of additional user roles allows administrators to create multiple permission schemes for employees, external users, IT staff, and community managers. We’ve added a variety of roles that give limited access to advanced features, such as viewing analytics and creating SharePoint extensions, to designated employees. This empowers more individual employees to provide select administrative roles with Socialcast Reach, Social Business Intelligence analytics, Town Hall, and External Contributors, without giving them full community management access.
Together, these new features represent the future of enterprise collaboration – a flow of information that transcends necessary boundaries while respecting individual companies’ security needs.