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Connecting Organizational Silos: Taking Knowledge Flow Management to the Next Level with Social Media by Frank Leistner

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INTEGRATION

When a new ESN channel is introduced, it will never be on a clean slate where no other communication channels existed before. At a minimum, people will have had face-to-face communication, but it is actually a lot more likely, especially in larger organizations, that an individual has a whole list of channels to choose from (e.g., email, content management systems, instant messaging, a corporate newsletter). As a result, people will not necessarily be happy to get another channel to use and manage. This is especially true if the team introducing the ESN does not succeed in making a good case for why the new channel has advantages and how it fits into the overall channel portfolio. Such weak communication can present a barrier to usage for many potential users. One frequent argument in this discussion is the fact that the channels are not well integrated. Depending on the existing infrastructure and the number of existing channels, integration can be a big challenge. Often people have really high expectations as to integration, however. They state that they want everything in once place through one channel. The effort to create such a one-stop-shopping portal can be quite an expensive endeavor, and the question remains if it is really possible to create such a portal or if it isn’t more of a pipe dream. Especially if people do not want to spend the time to customize portals, it will be very hard to anticipate the different needs of different users at different levels ...

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