When preparing our video for the Enterprise 2.0 Launch Pad, Dean and I found we had a problem.
The problem is that, let’s face it, the world of Enterprise Software is pretty boring. So trying to create an exciting marketing video is a big challenge.
If you look at existing enterprise software marketing, it’s all about “ROI” this and “increased productivity” that.
For instance, Microsoft explains its primary enterprise offering, SharePoint, like so:
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight.
Messages like these might be important to a CIO, but are not at all interesting to most people. How will this software tame that overflowing inbox, help you transcend a difficult process, or avoid an annoying colleague? “Strategic focus” and “investment in the future” is great for the boss, but how’s that going to help you, right now, clear away all the bothersome tasks that prevent you from getting things done?
As far as software goes, the CIO is the most important person in the whole organization. After all, they hold the checkbook. The guys doing the work don’t have the checkbook. Why would you want to pitch to them?
Empowering the people
As consultants, Dean and I struggled valiantly to attain the nirvana of “User Adoption” (cue angelic chorus). We worked hard to integrate tons of tools that were the product of the CIO’s checkbook. And then we worked even harder to explain to everyone that wasn’t a CIO why they should use the Frankenstien’s monster we’d created. It was impossible.
That’s what we tried to fix with Infovark. We want the actual users of our software to be its major beneficiaries. We want people to enjoy using it. And truth be told, we don’t even care what the CIO thinks of it.
Sure, at first we crafted some of that mealy-mouthed enterprise software marketing gobbledygook:
Infovark is an ad-hoc, peer based collaborative social network, designed to harness the existing tacit efforts of your knowledge workers, facilitate effective information transfer, and minimize duplication of effort, improving productivity.
The problem was that, while Infovark actually does that stuff, that’s not why we built it. It isn’t about the money, or the processes. We built it for you. So you could get on with your work, and not have to worry about feeding the machine, or attending another training course on how to effectively and responsibly manage corporate information using some weird new system.
Enterprises are made of people, and Infovark is a tool for people, so the video we came up with in the end was this one. We hope you like it, and thanks so much to everyone who voted for us — we were humbled by your support!
Also, a big thanks to our awesome voice talent, Ben Holland from Spotland Productions. We highly recommend them!