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Shiny Object or Digital Intelligence Hub? Evolution of the Enterprise Social Media Command Center

Susan Etlinger

Late last year, I started wondering about social media command centers. Salesforce had launched one, as had Brandwatch, but I wondered: were they really still relevant? Were companies investing in command center deployments, or had interest subsided since their heyday in 2010?

I started talking to clients and vendors to take a pulse on how people were thinking about command centers, what they looked like, what were the use cases, and how they were calculating value. I looked at several deployments: some were "pop-ups," intended to support conversation during sporting or other events, and some were day-to-day operations.

I decided to dig a little deeper. Soon, Wells Fargo, MasterCard and eBay agreed to speak with me about what they were doing and connect me with the social technology companies powering their deployments. I subsequently spoke with Dell, arguably the originator of the command center concept, about their original deployment, and their current service offering. The result is the report embedded below. It's not intended to be a buyer's guide or technology evaluation; rather, the intent is to lay out the most salient use cases and provide an inside view into how three leading brands are approaching social data in the enterprise:

[Report] Shiny Object or Digital Intelligence Hub? Evolution of the Enterprise Social Media Command Center, by Susan Etlinger from Altimeter Group Network on SlideShare

At the same time, I began working with my colleague Jess Groopman on an Altimeter Group service offering based on our Social Data Intelligence report from last summer. Like Altimeter's Social Readiness Roadmap, the Social Data Intelligence Roadmap is a diagnostic tool to help enterprise organizations evaluate their readiness (in this case, related to social and other digital data), and use that to plan roadmaps, resources and investments.

Fortuitously, the two projects converged into the two announcements we're making today: one, a new report on the social media command centers, and its potential to become a digital intelligence hub for the enterprise. The other, a diagnostic tool that illuminates the issues--regarding scope, context, strategy, governance, metrics and data--that large organizations must address to extract insight from social and other digital data at scale.

My deepest thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and insights for this report; any mistakes are mine alone. I hope you'll find these tools useful, provide feedback on them and share them with others in the industry.

We will be hosting a webinar on this new report and offering on April 3 at 10:00 am PST.

To register for our April 3 webinar, please click here.

To speak with Altimeter about the Social Data Intelligence offering, click here.

Note: I'll be cross-linking any posts that discuss the report and/or diagnostic, so please feel free to share your posts with us.

Hootsuite posts on the report here.