B2B Social Networking – The Sequel

Let’s continue from the previous article. B2B social networks are closed and based on strong trust. There are two perspectives to consider: the individual and the company.

What do mainstream social media sites lack? Trust… B2B social networks will provide a mechanism for peer reviews, referrals and endorsements. For the individual the closed network is like a global phone book. When a person is introduced or asks to connect directly (by knowing your personal telephone number… which is harder to guess than an email address) they show their credentials. The person accepting can check endorsement and references. On a social level this can be tied back to MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and/or Twitter through a consolidated social dashboard. If the relationship is more business orientated then I can connect them to my productivity suite… think dynamic secure distributed collaboration… document sharing, discussions, messaging, group calendars, Gant charts, etc.

The ability to create collaborative communities with an assortment of features and functionality can be internal to a company, it can span client relations and ultimately it can reach beyond to cover whole supply chains. Now let’s look at the ecosystem from a corporate view point. Brokered trust… single sing-on… federated access… claims based authorization… central authority. Now with a single ID I can provide employees, partners, suppliers, customers, etc. access to back end systems and truly integrate.

The same way that we establish trust for an individual we can function as a ‘licensee of trust’ for corporations. Corporations would have a global directory as well. With case studies and descriptions of the services they provide. References and client testimonials. Companies could seek out partners and post leads for the community. There can also be a social networking element to this… topic related groups, discussion forums, etc., which you only have access to if you carry the right attributes; i.e. you are an employee of a company or you belong to a supply chain.

Falling back to the discussion about cloud computing. Amazon and Google are providing the above platform, but their clouds lack the social element and the stickiness that increases the value of the ecosystem and the alpha brand itself.


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