Just prior to the Cloudforce 2012 event today in San Francisco, Salesforce unveiled more details about integration with their recent acquisition of Rypple, and how it plays a key part in their vision for the future of human resources management and for the Social Enterprise. I’d like to take some time to share this news and its place in the Social Enterprise.
“It’s not about being bureaucratic, it’s about bottom-up enablement”
Rypple is being marketed as a tool that ends the often ineffective monthly or year-end performance review for employees. How does it intend to do this? Rypple intends to do this by being a megaphone that employees can use to give praise to their peers. These successes, as well as goals reached, are recorded and made available to managers to use when completing performance reviews.
As a performance review tool, the secret sauce of Rypple is that key performance information will be pushed to managers instead of having them pulling it out in meetings. Besides being an HR tool, it has the potential to become much more. Employees have more power in their hands to answer questions themselves, such as “Is my effort being recognized”, “What are my co-workers up to”, and “What can I do to better employ with my company’s goals”. Businesses have more tools than ever before to better enable communities to form around their company, its goals, and values. If there’s one key concept at the heart of the Social Enterprise movement, it’s that building communities is an endeavor that pays back in more ways than one.
How is this new social application different from Salesforce’s other social application, Chatter? They are both social applications, no doubt about that, but their purposes and their means are quite different. Chatter enables you to share comments and files on CRM records and user profiles. Rypple, on the other hand, operates on a domain separate from Salesforce’s CRM product and enables person-to-person messages of praise and badges. With two social applications, will it be difficult to know which medium to use for what? I think their uses won’t be too difficult to grasp due to Rypples limited content sharing features, which encourages them to use it as a medium for thanks. However, convincing people to use Rypple for this instead of email or Chatter may be a bit more challenging.
“It’s about social process, not a political process”
Alright, so Salesforce’s Rypple is for sharing sentiments of praise, but is that it? I think it goes far beyond sharing praise, and will be another step towards the goal of the Social Enterprise. It enables employees at all levels of a company to have more clarity of their own expectations and more sight into their co-worker activities and successes to promote a culture of positivity. With well-crafted Rypple badges that reflect your company’s values and culture, employees are better motivated to resonate with the company values and encourage peer rewards for practicing them. With this new addition to their family of web applications, it seems that Salesforce’s promises of ‘gamification’ in the enterprise is taking shape.