Socialcast: Facebook for business or an innovative way for collaboration?


Socialcast is cloud-based social network for business that aims at easing communication between employees and vendors. Its platform allows employees to share ideas, documents, videos, and seek for help, when needed.

VMware bought Socialcast in May 2011, when the company was just starting to target business with its goal of easing internal communication. VMWare, with it new update in mid-April, transformed Socialcast from merely a commination tool, to a dream product for any Project Manager.

VMWare, through Socialcast, wants to alter the way businesses access information by improving business processes. The new update is especially important for Project Managers as it integrates multiple different systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Sharepoint (document management software), email, and other applications. It creates a centralized workspace that helps Project Manager to keep track of deliverables and critical activities through communication with the team.

The new update also allows for instant messaging feature, called Socialcast Messenger, that is available on the platform as well as on mobile devices. While it is not an innovative feature, the IM keeps employees off using other massagers, such as Google Chat, and instead, keeps the communication centralized. Socialcast also allows employees to post updates, such a new security policy, and lets others in the company to comment on the post.

DePaul IT department, at which I am currently employed in as a Help Desk Analyst, uses similar features that Socialcast provides. We have a database, called DePaul University Knowledgebase or the “Wiki,” where specialists from different IT teams post documents and articles on various topics. This is especially helpful for my team because it aids in troubleshooting a technical problem. There are documents ranging from security polices to instructions on how to install various programs, such as SPSS, on DePaul machines. The Knowledgebase is especially useful for new employees, as they are not familiar with DePaul technology policies.

Socialcast Broadcast. Does this look like a Facebook wall?

We also use internal instant messaging to aid in communication between different teams. I can communicate with my supervisor instantly without the hassle of e-mails. I personally find the IM and the Knowledgebase very useful, as I don’t need to get away from my desk and take time from others to ask questions that can be otherwise answered with a support document.

While Socialcast is useful for employees to familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and seek help, how much does it look to you like Facebook, but just for business? Even the platform of Socialcast looks very much alike the Facebook wall. The idea of Socialcast new update is to centralize the workspace and minimize e-mail communication, or even eliminate meetings. Has the way we communicate changed so drastically that we no longer seek face-to-face interaction even in the workplace? What do you think of the new Project Management update to Socialcast?




Socialcast Website

VMware Adds Project Management, Secure IM to Socialcast Platform By Thor Olavsrud. April 18, 2013. 

VMware Updates SocialCast With Private Messaging By Chris Preimesberger. April 22, 2013. 




11 thoughts on “Socialcast: Facebook for business or an innovative way for collaboration?

  1. Socialcast seems like a pretty good system to get information flowing around the office. I can see the benefit of having numerous resources and input from various users of the site at your fingertips. My only criticism would be to ask whether or not people will go onto the site and either wait for a reply from a fellow colleague or scroll down and research until you find the answer to your problem, opposed to asking the person who sits at the desk next to you or picking up the phone. It would depend on the type of information and convenience you are seeking, but I agree it is a handy tool to have if you are stumped. Because the layout is similar to Facebook, it is most likely user-friendly and easy for employees to navigate. I think it’s a really smart idea.

  2. My initial reaction to the Facebook-like interface for this new functionality was very positive and enthusiastic. I agree with spr1322cleahy that this project management update seems to eliminate the need for in-person conversations. However, it is great for employees who are working from multiple locations, especially internationally. One of my concerns is that if a conversation or interaction takes place in-persona or via another medium, will this create a possible information gap? In theory it sounds like a dream for PMs managing large teams or complex projects. I am curious to know how this software is working for actual companies.

  3. I think this is a very good idea because I feel like team and departmental inter dependence is increasing daily in the work force. Each department in a company or a business needs to collaborate with each other and exchange and ideas and this interface helps them stay on the same page. Outlook, which most companies use as their medium of communication, can only do a little bit of that through CC emails and shared calendars and folders. This easy to use interface can be really helpful for different employees in a company to feel connected to the same mission or task. Good blog post!

  4. This is an excellent idea for corporations and firms that are actually in need of this sort of thing. Socialcast provides a formal system for coworkers to communicate and share ideas, although it could eventually prove to be just as much of a distraction as any other social network. Many companies have replaced printed office mail with office email, and this seems to be the next logical step in progression. However, businesses will have to explore ways to control this and not allow it to cause any problems in the office, in anyway imaginable, including constant distraction or improper posting, etc.

  5. This an excellent idea, and an excellent article. I think a centralized workstation that can be controlled in real time is a key look into global business and productivity. If you think about it connects people all over the world at once so they dont all have to fly in and meet in a single location. Not only would this save money, but it would save time, give instant results, and be efficient. I think this poses bette than facebook because this website is strictly for business and it is nice to have it concentrated. Overall im really curious to see where this goes in terms of future business.

  6. I think SocialCast is a good idea in the sense that it is a type of social media in the business world. It’s kind of a step ahead from LinkedIn, because people also put videos and articles on that too (except they do not have chat, etc). I wonder the impact it what have on them, and how they will try to change the social media services they offer to the corporate world. Although I would prefer to use chat for quick questions versus an email, I still believe one-on-one conversations and meetings are necessary at times. Some things are just better done in person.

  7. Socialcast is absolutely something I can see some vendors and employees utilizing to create easier transactions among them. Though, in my opinion I think that if this takes off it will be because it is infused into the business transaction other than a need called on by either the vendor or employee. Now, I do not mean for that to reflect negatively on my opinion of this idea as I truly think this could work. Your mentioning of the sites looking like Facebook did convince me to affirm. It is shocking how many times we see new ideas molded from a former idea. This is like what we just discussed today in class about reverse engineering with physical goods!

    Some hiccups I think need to be address are: Why use Socialcast when there are an array of other ways its services can be utilized by their potential clients? I think that this idea may get shattered unless it is marketed to perfection, otherwise it will could potentially be washed away by the many other online “make my life easier” companies.

    I really like your inclusion of your job with DePaul’s IT Department as I had no idea the ‘DePaul’s Knowledgebase’ existed. How did that come to be created? I am curious if it was through student employes or an overarching assignment from the powers at be?

    Great post, well done!

  8. Overall, I believe SocialCast is a great idea to have a centralized workstation that can be controlled in real time. People can now be more easily connected from all around the world for business. This way it will be efficient and save corporations millions of dollars annually. This will also allow for instant results and eliminate waste of time. I like how this website is strictly for business because many of times Facebook does not seem like the appropriate application for professional businesses. I also really enjoyed how you took the article and tied it into your current job at DePaul’s IT Department. You have seen first hand how this new social media website will benefit your business as well as many others. Great post!

  9. I think Socialcast will help make communication easier with all the information in one place. The user interface is designed almost like Facebook, because most people are already familiar with it. This system with the new instant messaging will make it more convenient for people. The only problem to this is face to face interaction will decrease and could possibly affect the the relationships at work. It depends on how the people will use it, because the messages can possibly be misunderstood by others.

  10. Personally, I think Socialcast provides a great way to communicate with all members of an organization. The non-profit organization that I’ve been working for, for the last three years, could really benefit from this website because it would be a really great way to communicate and connect team members that work in various regions throughout chicago and chicagoland, As a team leader, I sometimes have questions that other team leaders of different sites might be able to answer (instead of always bombarding the site manager) but as of right now we have no way of contacting them. Being in Socialcast as a private group, this organization could help the members communicate better, easier, and have all information needed, all in one site.

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