Digital Office - ECM/Input/Output

Social Collaboration: Chatting Instead of Writing

WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook are no longer taboos. Modern forms of communication are gaining in importance even within the company.

27 Jan. 2017
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Three of four companies use social media – "thus social media have clearly arrived in the corporate landscape," ascertains Bitkom in its most recent ECM trend check. If in the past the focus was on social media for external corporate communication, "today the advantages and innovative potential of social media also for internal corporate communication continue to gain recognition," according to the industry association.

"In the foreseeable future, major companies will all no longer be able to ignore the trend towards the use of social media as new forms of work, decentralization, and specialization demand new communication concepts," believes Frank Früh, ECM department head at Bitkom. Even among small and medium-sized enterprises there are already companies that profit from new internal corporate communication by employing social media. All in all, Früh assumes that "such change actually proceeds at a faster pace due to the greater agility and less complexity in small and medium-sized enterprises compared with large companies."

"ECM and social media are intimately connected through keywords such as business collaboration, unified communication, social enterprise, or the like," says Frank Früh. Bitkom understands this to mean "the change in internal corporate communication from command and follow to transparent, interactive, and open cooperation."

The channels of communication at companies have already clearly developed from the conventional letter to digital channels, in particular to e-mail. "Even channels of communication such as WhatsApp, SMS, Twitter, and Facebook are no longer taboos in business," assesses Bitkom. Several companies are even experimenting with using Snapchat: "What employees have been using in private for a long time now must also be possible in a professional environment," adds Frank Früh.

Under the title of "Total Digital Processes", Bitkom is rethinking internal company communication at CeBIT 2017. Providers and users present the new possibilities for the discussion at the Digital Office Stage and the Bitkom joint stand in Hall 3 . An exciting example of automation includes, for example, "chat bots" that answer simple customer questions and constantly learn new things on their own.

Output management is equally affected by this development. Frank Früh notes: "Resolute digitization of processes inevitably also results in changes in output processes. What is essential here is that the customer is increasingly individualized and desires to be treated as the subject." Among other things, this means that a customer inquiry does not only have to be answered correctly as a matter of course, "but also via the channel of communication determined by the customer and in the shortest possible time."

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