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Social business model a struggle for many; Infor pushes cloud apps

Editors Joe Hebert, Lauren Horwitz and David Essex tackle social media initiatives and the future of back-office applications in this BizApps Today video report on The Social Shake-Up 2014 and Inforum 2014 conferences.

First, Horwitz discusses what's next for the social business model, which was a central theme at the Social Shake-Up event in Atlanta. Horwitz says social business processes have become pervasive in organizations -- but many companies "adopt certain basic practices and then they sort of dial in their social strategy from there." Explaining the danger behind such a lackluster approach, she says such companies might not get the kind of insight that they could from a more concerted social business effort.

Horwitz also points to a video interview on the future of social business that she recorded before the conference with consultant Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks. In the interview, DiMauro posed a key question for organizations to ask themselves about social business: "Has it become so integrated into the work that we do that it's a nonissue? Or are we just … starting to explore it, and needing to push the envelope further and further?" Continuing her discussion with Hebert, Horwitz lists a few of the trends signaling a way forward for companies struggling with social business initiatives, such as the emergence of so-called sharing economies. Also featured in this episode are comments from Natanya Anderson of Whole Foods Market, who in Atlanta outlined to Horwitz her hopes to use data and predictive analytics tools to understand customers' future preferences.

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Looking at social business applications

Essex next joins the conversation to highlight news from software vendor Infor's Inforum 2014 conference in New Orleans and some of the flavor of the Big Easy. Essex explains the company's new Infor Xi business applications offering, which delves further into the cloud -- and into mobility and predictive analytics. Essex also notes that every Xi application will run on Amazon Web Services. While the move isn't entirely unwelcome, Essex says most users aren't ready to shift to the cloud.

Essex also touches on other Inforum news, including several new CloudSuite products that also run on AWS. Watch the six-minute video to hear more of what Horwitz and Essex have to say about the evolution of the social business model and Infor's efforts to take on cloud-oriented-application rivals such as Workday Inc.

Text by Joe Hebert, associate managing editor for e-publications. Email him at jhebert@techtarget.com and follow him on Twitter: @jhbrt_TT.

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