In the third and final post of my “seasons of change” series, we’ll be talking about social technologies in the enterprise as the next disruptor; this is a change that is already in motion. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I invite you to read the first and second part in the series.

 
So what does it mean to be a disruptor? And why is social technology the next one?
 
Disruptive innovation is something that has been part of the business and markets since, well, should I go as far back as the invention of the wheel?
 
Well, I think this is “disruption” in the most positive of senses. Social is shaking things up. Changing the game. Improving the game. It’s allowing us to collaborate in new ways, creating better connections between people, and enabling social businesses to rise and see successes. And that’s good news for everyone, especially Microsoft partners.
 
Microsoft is not only increasing its investment in social technologies—we’re making sure partners and customers are deriving benefits from those investments.
 
Our commitment to these technologies—and to you—is apparent in several high-profile moves. Recently, Microsoft acquired Yammer. That came on the heels of last year’s Skype acquisition. Plus, we’ve increased LinkedIn integration with Outlook and have some other plans for leveraging the power of LinkedIn in new and productive ways. And of course, there’s the ever-growing relationship between Facebook and Bing that lets you interact even more deeply with your friends. And more recently, my favorite, Bing integration with Klout. Have you checked your Klout lately?
 
These social tools can connect you to others even when you’re worlds apart. Another technology improving collaboration—particularly in the workplace—is the New Office. With its new features—from cloud power to social capabilities—you can expect heightened productivity and unprecedented flexibility. It’s never been clearer: social technologies … social media … they are fundamentally changing the way we work and play. And Microsoft is leading the way in this new era.
 
The social enterprise—the connected enterprise—is bringing these collaborative and social tools into the corporate and business environment. By harnessing the inherent power of social tools and using it to increase communication, businesses can better compete. After all, partnering means collaboration, and collaboration can lead to more success. Microsoft’s view on this social enterprise explains all of this in better detail. One fundamental you’ll instantly notice is that we are strengthening businesses by building on the people’s innate preference for personal connection. This fostering of familiarity is at the heart of our personal approach to doing business. Connecting with coworkers and customers is simply better for sustained success and can lead to more opportunities.
 
Partners can prepare to help customers evolve into more social businesses by demonstrating their expertise in tools such as SharePoint and earning the Portals and Collaboration, Content Management, or Search competencies. Keep in mind that these will soon be merging into the Collaboration and Content competency and you’ll be automatically transitioned. If you have expertise in Lync, think about earning the Communications competency to help your customers improve business productivity.
 
That’s it for the “seasons of change” series! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed contemplating the exciting trends that are paving the way for this new era.
 
I’d love to hear from you! What’s your take on the powers of social and collaboration? How do they fit into your business plan?
 
– Kat​