This is the third post in a series about Microsoft, SharePoint and Enterprise Social Networks. In the first post we looked at Microsoft’s purchase of Yammer. In the second post we looked at the limitations of the native SharePoint social experience. In this post we will look at the Beezy roadmap and our future plans.
Here at Beezy we spend a lot of time thinking about the future of Enterprise Social Networks, and how they can be further improved. Our current product, for SharePoint ‘On-Premises’, is one result of this work, and is an innovative and intuitive approach to social communication and collaboration. We have also explained how Beezy´s App architecture will suit both on premises and cloud scenarios. In this post we wanted to share some of our longer term plans.
One question we regularly grapple with is how can we make it easier for organisations to extract useful information from their enterprise social networks? How do we help them tap into the insights and data inherent in those networks, and drive real value? We know from our experience, and talking to customers, that enterprise social networks are doing a better job than email or old fashioned fileshares for many type of contents. But there's still work to be done and room for innovation.
For example social networks pioneered the idea of the ‘Activity Stream’, which in many organisations now contains a wealth of useful information. But what happens once data passes through the feed? Information tends to be lost, and potential insights disappear.
The situation is made worse when you add Activity Stream data to the content being generated by other business tools. Companies are becoming overwhelmed by emails, instant chat messages, libraries of documents, CRM data, blog posts, news stories and more.
Yet contained within this wealth of content is a host of useful information. But it often isn’t identified or captured in time, and is crowded out in the noise. Companies end up losing out on valuable insights and analysis that could really benefit their business. Ultimately they end up in a situation where they ‘don’t know what they know’.
We think we have the answer.
We can help solve these problems, and the next generation of Beezy products will directly answer many of the issues above. In an increasingly Cloud connected world we foresee a system that automatically learns what information is useful, and is able to generate and highlight insights of its own accord. Such a system would adjust to a business’s needs, its users, and the data is generates. Such a system would be intelligent, and help to map out knowledge and present it in a way that companies can easily consume. These are concepts we are busy working on.
We aren’t yet ready to fully reveal everything on our roadmap. But we did want to give you a preview of the first step on what we think will be a transformative journey for many. This first step is all about ‘Questions and Answers’.
If you look across your organisation you will typically see questions being posed, and answered, all day every day by people at every level. Asking a simple question is a very natural human behaviour, it is a basic way to retrieve knowledge from another party. The answer is then the most effective way for us to store that knowledge. We want to harness the power inherent in this concept of questions and answers.
This format can be seen out in the wild already, though typically on the consumer web rather than in the enterprise. Sites like Quora and Stack Overflow have had different degrees of success using a basic version of what we are working on. We think putting the principles in place in an enterprise setting, as a means to interrogate and analyse social data, can have very significant benefits for many organisations.
So one of our next products will be a Cloud based app designed to tap into the power of the humble ‘Question and Answer’, built on top of the Office 365 platform. It is called Beezy Q&A.
A big part of our future roadmap, as well as Beezy Q&A, will be some very advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. We are excited to be working with a world renowned expert on this very exciting functionality. Josep Luis de la Rosa is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and System Engineering at the University of Girona. He is ranked as one of the worlds most cited authors when it comes to Intelligent Agents. Josep heads up the Tecnio Centre Easy. We have been working closely with Josep and his team, and are looking forward to sharing more with you very soon on the exciting future of Beezy.
Keep an eye on the blog for the latest news and announcements from Beezy about our future plans. Shortly we will release our Beezy Q&A product pages.