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ITEXPO: Jive's Rawlins Speaks on Leveraging Customer Engagement

October 05, 2010

As trends emerge and change rapidly within the communications sector, it can be difficult to pinpoint those trends that make the most impact. According to Nathan Rawlins, senior director of product marketing at Jive Software, the most significant trend in communications today is the change in communication in our personal lives versus the ancient tools still used in companies today. 

Rawlins recently took part in a ContactCenterSolutions interview in anticipation of this week’s ITEXPO West. When asked about the one product or service the market needs the most, Rawlins pointed to a delete button for most enterprise software. As far as how social media has changed the way Rawlins communications with customers, he pointed out that it does not change the communication, but instead the way customers are engaged. Simply using this channel to only get the word out is missing a key tool in driving customer interactions. 

Rawlins also had something to say on the most overhyped technology and pointed to microblogging, wikis, blogs, IM, chat, etc. He has seen too many people jump on board with new technology for technology’s sake. At ITEXPO this week, Rawlins is speaking about how to rethink engagement with employees, customers and partners. Attendees will walk away with concrete examples of the benefits of social business software. As for his bold technology prediction, Rawlins believes people will finally stop using IE6.

The entire conversation follows:

What is the most significant trend in communications today? Why?

While the way we communicate using technology in our personal lives has changed dramatically in the past few years, most businesses are still stuck using ancient tools. That’s driving the biggest trend in business communications software: a shift in expectations. Employees spend much of their personal time using software they love. And then they come to work and stare at their screens in utter disbelief.

That’s going to change, and fast.

What is the one product or service the market is most in need of?

Other than a delete button for most enterprise software?

Has social media changed how you communicate with customers?

Social media isn’t about how you communicate with customers; it’s about how you engage them. If you only use social media to get the word out, you’re missing the boat. Because it gives individuals a voice, social media makes it possible for businesses to actively engage customers in ways that weren’t possible using yesterday’s communication tools.

What is the most overhyped technology in your opinion?

Microblogging. Wikis. Blogs. IM. Video chat. The list could go on. Any time there’s a new wave of technology innovation, people get hopped up on technology for technology’s sake. People start thinking that if only they had (insert feature du jour) life would forever change. We’ve got to start with clear business objectives, and then figure out how technology can help. Not the other way around.

You are speaking at ITEXPO West 2010. What is your session about?

The way we get business done is broken. Employees are disengaged. Customers are sick of being “managed.” It’s time to rethink how we engage our employees, customers, and partners.

What will attendees take away from your session?

Attendees will walk away with concrete examples of how people such as themselves have increased revenue, decreased costs, and driven innovation by implementing Social Business Software in support of key business imperatives.

Please make a bold technology prediction for 2011.

People will finally stop using IE6.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf