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Foursquare, Instagram, and Scribd for the Enterprise: What Consumer Tools Mean for Salespod

By Jenna Hannon

Published in: KNOWLEDGE on 19 April 2012 on Salespod.net

Every employee, executive and CEO is a consumer. Therefore, it is no surprise that consumer facing technologies are creeping their way into enterprise use. Once, daily products (such as Foursquare, Linkedin, Facebook, and Pinterest, to name a few) for the delight of the consumer are becoming fast tools to the delight of the enterprise.Take my close friend Dan Larsen as case in point. He is a senior IT architect as Qualcomm. A large part of his role is finding technology and tools that make Qualcomm’s inner enterprise structure more efficient. Once a developer, Larsen is the biggest tech geek (and proud early adopter) I know. His Iphone has about 7 screens holding over 100 differing apps. He was a major part of the team that brought Yammer in for internal communications in 2009. Today, Qualcomm has switched technologies, but Larsen’s insights on microblogging remain. If products work in his daily life, he has no problem transitioning their use to the enterprise. Dan’s favorite app for locating to connect with fellow employees: Foursqaure.

Popular consumer location based check-in service, Foursquare has been dominating the buzz in consumer products, but has recently seen a shift towards enterprise interest. Tracking friends can be shifted into tracking employees and utilizing the efficiency that location services and checking-in can bring.

An integrated software environment of (once consumer) tools, like Foursquare, is exactly where we at Salespod have opened our minds. In the world of sales with a cloud technology driven software across multiple devices, it only makes sense to make location services a major part. Salespeople need to check in for metrics just like your friends do for badges on Foursquare. The feedback loop is essentially the same, just a different overall purpose. “By introducing location aware collaboration services in enterprise Salespod enables businesses to manage their field work force in a simple and efficient manner. Our ultimate goal is to reduce operating costs and maximize our client’s ability to deliver high-quality customer service in the field,” explains our co-founder, Marko Kovac on the subject. For the enterprise, these solutions mean a world of a difference as previously a lot of time was spent trying to integrate complicated solutions. Marko even describes our free version as ‘Foursquare for the enterprise’ by its functionality of checking in at clients, geotagging messages and photos, and other tracking tools for covering a lot of sales ground.

“If your organization has several offices and your employees travel frequently, checking in helps these employees find each other, make connections and benefit from each other’s knowledge,” says Andy Jankowski in his article, Foursquare for the Enterprise on EnterpriseStrategies.com. ReadWriteWeb joins Jankowski with their early article by Alex Williams, Foursquare for the Enterprise: Give it Two Years, Max written in 2010. It is no surprise that the consumer to ‘prosumer’ approach has captured the attention of the press. There is a lot of functionality in great consumer products like Facebook.

Take a documenting uploading public product on the web, called Scribd. Salespod does exactly this inside the enterprise to allow ease of sharing without the public security issue of having everything published to the web. We are essentially like a Scribd, Foursquare and Facebook bundled for the enterprise, with specific enterprise needs in mind. Document uploading, to geo-tagging, to photo sharing; yes, we have all that. In fact, we take it one step further, with other specific sales tools that are not-so-specific in available consumer products. Inner communication is after all the goal; and, isn’t that exactly what Foursquare and Facebook do, just between friends rather than sales people?

All in all, Salespod hopes to bring the delight of consumer products into more efficient software, location services just being one of the many transitional tools. With a peek into the world of social media, Salespod has developed this environment in a software product. After all, efficient communication may seem like a small win in the beginning, but translates into a large win further down the road.

Jenna Hannon

Jenna Hannon is a Canadian born marketing evangelist and consultant working with companies in Silicon Valley. She is also a big kitesurfer.

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