Don’t look now but social media and social networking tools have begun its assault on the enterprise! They have successfully penetrated company firewalls and have started to infiltrate corporate email systems without anyone noticing yet!
How have they accomplished this impressive task despite all of the security measures that anti-social media administrators have set in place? Well, very simply and quietly via plug-ins such as the clever Outlook email service called XOBNI
The latest version of Xobni (inbox spelled backwards by the way) includes a hook into LinkedIn which means whenever you are viewing an email in Outlook you can now see their LinkedIn profile and information! This includes their photo, title, current employer details and much more! It might not look or sound like a big deal but trust me, this is a game-changer folks!
This is a major breakthrough for the future of the enterprise and incorporating the best of social media into the workplace. It is the shot heard round the world wide web. Ok, maybe it’s more of a small ripple in the ocean which ultimately becomes a tidal wave down the stream!
The concept of sneaking social media into the enterprise has been covered on here before but that process was far more obvious than this new stealth method. Talk about sneaky! Xobni has established a blueprint for all other web 2.0 services that want to go to work with corporate America and world wide for that matter. They just need to figure out how to present their service in a similar subtle and useful manner. Sometimes a whisper is far more powerful than a shout.
For the record, Xobni isn’t the first service to attempt this invasion of the enterprise, but they have come up with the best and most useful service. Some others have managed to scale the walls of IT defense. Here are a couple that come to mind that I used a great deal:
Breaking & Entering Innovators
Plaxo was actually the first service that I can recall that plugged into your Outlook client and connected you to your online account and all your contacts and friends. When they added their Pulse technology you then had your entire social network in your Outlook toolbar! Think FriendFeed for your email client. Here’s the Outlook plugin for Plaxo.
Outwit was another Outlook plugin that allowed you to read and post Twitter messages. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of other Twitter clients such as Thwirl but it was and still is a very clever way to sneak in a web service that blended well with your existing business communication tool, in this case your email client.