There may be more in common than one thinks between enterprise IT and Facebook. And it has everything and nothing to do with social media. To start, consumers upload 300 million pictures each day to Facebook, and this number is only growing. In addition, this rate is seasonal says Facebook as the company anticipates up to 2 billion photos on Halloween alone.
Enterprise organizations, like Facebook, understand the demand for network and storage requirements. Traffic spikes, usage of network collaboration tools, and availability of critical data on the spot – all increase the need for more bandwidth and network intelligence. There may be a lesson in the way the company addresses these challenges:
The growing base of photos, information, videos, and live media drove Facebook to seek ways to green its operations. Likewise, enterprises understand the demand for intense computing, analytical, and storage power. Facebook addressed such needs with a new storage facility in Sweden, which may be the greenest in that it does not require electric cooling most of the year; the cold climate is simply enough. An additional benefit is that it is geographically closer to the customers outside the U.S., aiding network performance.
Big Data & Analytics Yielding New Streams of Revenue
Facebook has a division whose sole purpose is to make services smarter, says Technologyreview.com. Example: determining how to mine and make sense of the rich information of data and images provided by users. There has never been a single source with so much personal information from which scientists can gain insight into trends, preferences, behavior patterns, physical movement (Facebook knows when and where users access the site), and other personal attributes.
Enterprises know a thing or two about big data; like Facebook, they must secure corporate data while at the same time; make it accessible 24/7 to the appropriate users. Enterprises know the next big challenge is analyzing data and turning it into information that ultimately yields new business opportunities and revenue.
Unified Communications & Social Media
These new opportunities, driven by data mining and analytics, take on a whole new aspect when you include social media in the mix. Enterprise IT must look outside its organization and consider the vast amount of information generated by social media that is relevant to their company. Here is how one business is creatively leveraging the photo-sharing site Instagram in its marketing:
Says Mashable, a New York restaurant directs patrons to pictures of food posted on the popular site to help them decide what to order. The restaurant created a hashtag and added it to the bottom of its actual menu, encouraging guests to add, share and check out photos of food offered at the restaurant.
Says Techtarget.com, “the goal of unified communications involves breaking down communication barriers so that people using different modes of communication, different media, and different devices can still communicate to anyone, anywhere, at any time.” Doesn’t this sound a bit like social media? At first glance, enterprise IT might not think of social media as part of a UC solution, but would that really be so unusual?
At the end of the day, users and enterprise IT alike want to be able to communicate seamlessly, irrespective of device, media, or mode of communication. Enterprise IT may have a lot more in common with Facebook than one might think.