THE POWER OF SIMPLICITY
The technology that drives an ESN can be put into a few categories:
- The interface: The most important element, as it gets people to the platform and keeps them coming back.
- Groups and content categorization: Those are the features that group either people or content in different ways. It extends into features like tagging or content stream management.
- Security: Most of what happens on an ESN is open, but there are some cases where security is still very important, especially regarding access to the network itself, and, even more so, access via mobile devices from outside the firewall.
- Administrative interface: An ESN needs to be managed so it is important that related tasks are easy and the key features are in place from the start. This is especially important because the number of support staff (be it technical or community management staff) is usually quite small. Sometimes one or two people for a platform hosting 20,000 users or more can be enough.
- A good set of statistics: These help steer the initiative and are an important part of the administrative interface.
- An API (an application programming interface): It is important to have an API that allows for extension of the functionality, as needed. This flexibility is essential to make sure the platform will grow with the needs of the users and their maturity.
- Integration capabilities: Either through the API or via out-of-the-box functionality, it is important to offer integration capabilities. Unless ...