Studentforce.com and Coaxing Social Enterprise Adoption by Students
Ed Schlesinger product designer and CEO gave me an depth demo of of StudentForce.com his companies Social Enterprise Portal built on the Salesforce.com platform for and by Students by way of configuration (not by coding).
A college targeted application a fitting test of Parker Harris force.com platform, where a little known secret is designed for, few IT business developers code software, they write specs for others to code (or now can configure Salesforce.com).
But Ed’s demo also left me wanting to explore more deeply how a social enterprise app is self limiting in gaining product adoption and thus limiting Salesforce.com’s growth compared to platforms designed to focus on coaxing consumer adoption or hardcore coding business software with traditional software development tools.
Attend any CS lecture at Stanford, sit at the back, and you’ll be struck how much light-touch interaction takes place on devices during a lecture (chat, im, status update).
Broadly attention is split 4 ways. Facebook, Google docs, Wikipedia or Reference Materials, and students taking notes the old fashioned way. Virtually no one is signed into Stanford’s student admin portal https://axess.stanford.edu/
Just stating the obvious, the Axess portal based around Oracle was probably sold to Stanford’s CIO and including representatives from HR and Admissions. Yet to gain viral adoption, Facebook and Google tease apart applications into very useful social functions (where the people are at). This coaxes adoption by way of sharing social interactions.
This brought me back to Ed’s demo, StudentForce needs to sell to college CIOs, yet users come from consumer applications. Why then is architecture for integration not more granular about data with promulgated privacy controls, and automatically self linking by first replicating an interface then using that interface.
Probably because Parker Harris and other cutting architects working up new patterns didn’t have exposure to microbiology, java script and perhaps privacy controls in social sharing patterns evolved today.
And innovating new federated data propagation sharing patterns @WardCunningham’s world’s smallest wiki project. My sense is we are very, close to a canonically disruptive data integration technology where data is teased apart from systems to coax adoption by granular sharing by federation.
And federated data may require you grant permissions to share your data with business developers like Studentforce.com. Coaxing new adoption sharing patterns in social enterprise products for students, supply chain, food traceability and other previously ERP like systems, similar to the early adoption effect of Facebook.
Coda: Food safety traceability data hoping across multiple critical identifiers, may end up with a patented process to structure a whole chain http://pardalis.squarespace.com/blog/2012/1/26/whole-chain-traceability-a-successful-research-funding-strat.html