IOD 2010: Facebook limited for business use?


There are some areas in which Facebook does not provide enough for business users, according to Jeff Schick, vice president of IBM Social Software.

"Would someone use a Facebook wall to say I am going into this confidential acquisition discussion with the following company? Probably not," Schick said.

He had questions surrounding the security of Facebook for business use as well. "Would you trust that that enterprise data was confidential, secure and couldn't be accessed from other points?"

With the media attention surrounding the security of the social networking market leader, Schick's comments perhaps had even more pertinence.

However, Schick recognised the place that big-time social networks have in the business world. "I think Facebook and LinkedIn absolutely have their purpose. We ourselves use Facebook in a way where we can promote sales of products, we can co-opt a community on a topic to become engaged there for our marketing and sales and communication purposes," he added.

"But when we are thinking in terms of true social collaboration we have built technology that you would not think of Facebook to use it in that way."

Talking about Lotus Connections and Quickr, IBM's own social services, Schick said: "When you look at them, you'll say that looks like the Facebook for the enterprise, that looks like the Twitter for the enterprise', with all the enterprise grade access control and security requirements."

Schick claimed that Connections represents the fastest growth organic software product in IBM history.

He also pointed to Microsoft's Sharepoint 2010 release, which Schick said was the vendor's first social capability effort. He claimed the Redmond firm's effort looks like what IBM was doing back in 2007.

Read on for more news on IBM's IOD 2010.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.