Aug 1, 2011

What do the Star Wars LightSaber and Social Business practices have in common?

Ah, the Star Wars LightSaber. Obi-Wan Kenobi described it best when he said of the mythical formal weapon of Jedi knights, “More skill than simple sight was required for its use. Anyone can use a blaster or a fusioncutter—but to use a lightsaber well was a mark of someone a cut above the ordinary.”

One could say the same of Social Computing, an approach to business that combines social behavior theories and computational systems. According to Forrester Research, companies must be a cut above the ordinary in order to be successful.

“To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists.”

That’s exactly what University of Cincinnati alum Tony Zingale CEO of Jive Software, is setting out to do. Not unlike his favorite science fiction gadget, this UC Foundation Trustee and supporter of UCAA’s William Howard Taft Society is taking Social Computing to the next level. He’s harnessing the innovation of social networking, collaboration software, community software and social media monitoring to add value the enterprise. (And no, we’re not going to mix metaphors by referencing that other little Enterprise…)

As a testament to Zingale’s status as a “cut above the ordinary,” Forbes Magazine recently interviewed the technology juggernaut as part of an ongoing series about the leaders behind social businesses. The interview covered the disruptive nature of social business (“It changes how we work to be more collaborative and puts us in touch with our community base.”) and how technology is evolving to improve business values and customer satisfaction.

“We believe that the future of work is personalized by delivering the right information to the right person at the right time,” he says in the article. “Our challenge is to take the systems of record in place, integrate them in the social ‘stream’ to bringing context, and liberate the content that matters to the worker to get the job done.”

Congratulations to Tony Zingale, University of Cincinnati alum, for being a Social Business Jedi and leading the charge in this exciting field! To read Zingale’s profile in Forbes, please click here.

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