I’ve had a great time the past week in Australia, talking with customers and practitioners about how they’re utilizing social software to eliminate information silos, unlock knowledge, and improve their core business processes. One area that’s been particularly amazing to observe down here is the traction we’re seeing in government.
During the past year, governments of all shapes and sizes have been utilizing enterprise social software to enable their employees to collaborate faster across organizational boundaries to serve constituents more efficiently, giving rise to a trend that’s becoming more widely known as Government 2.0. In the United States, Socialtext was added to the GSA schedule, and we’ve welcomed government customers like the Defense Acquisition University (DAU).
But we’ve been seeing similar needs in governmental organizations internationally, such as here in Australia, where we’ll be holding a Government 2.0 event on December 2 in Melbourne with a Socialtext customer, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) South Australia. DPC is the principal government agency in South Australia. It delivers specialist policy advice and programs in a number of areas including social inclusion, the arts, and sustainability and climate change.
DPC embraced Socialtext to help its 1,200 employees manage projects online, collaborate across departmental silos, share expertise and improve awareness of their colleagues’ day-to-day activities.
Martin Jackson, the CIO of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, is spearheading the effort. The impetus: The DPC’s chief executive wanted to see the organization managed more like a business and less like a typical government bureaucracy. With the Premier himself being an active Twitter user, the department is now using Socialtext Signals, our private microblogging tool, to share work, thoughts and ideas with each other in real-time. Because Signals is integrated with deeper collaboration tools like wikis, blogs and social spreadsheets, employees have a range of ways in which they can access and share knowledge.
Because government regulations often stipulate that data must be stored behind the firewall, DPC uses our secure, on-site SaaS appliance. This gives them the benefits of SaaS, but the security of on-premise software.
Prior to Socialtext, the process of sharing information at DPC typically took place over e-mail and shared drives, cluttered with documents that had all sorts of different naming conventions. Now, Martin sees a lot of that project management and sharing to happen inside Socialtext, which he says eliminates information silos.
I’ve really enjoyed spending the time with Martin and his team, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with Eugene and the rest of my fellow Socialtexters when I return home. Now I’m off to Sydney, where I’ll be checking in with some more customers and Australian press and analysts.