(11-Jun-10) You'd have to be downright antisocial not to have noticed the current level of activity in the social software ecosystem. In fact, says Tim Hickernell, lead analyst for Info-Tech Research Group, the marketplace has begun shifting so rapidly that Info-Tech's first-ever Social CRM Landscape Evaluation — featuring case studies that focus on social media's impact on sales, marketing, and customer service — required multiple last-minute modifications due to sudden mergers and acquisitions.
Many of the players speeding through this round of musical chairs may be new, Hickernell says, but the phase itself is strikingly familiar. "If you went through Web 1.0 and established new channels," he says, "these are [just another set of] new channels to slide in there."
More precisely, the report suggests that these social channels simply cannot be ignored. "Customers," the report asserts, "will interact via social media with or without you." As a result, Info-tech says, companies need to recognize how this early wave of social media technologies will impact their business operations: