Balance Your Social Networks

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The work-life balance is becoming more of an issue in today’s technology-enabled world. How are you at balancing your private and work life? Perhaps you are seeing some overlap. Many of us also face the challenge of walking a tightrope between our work and personal social networks. Is managing one Facebook page that combines your personal and professional life the answer? Personally, I would keep them separate.

One company that is helping bring balance to your social networks is Solaborate. Solaborate is a combination of the words “social” and “collaboration” and comes with a twist. This social network is geared for technology professionals.

Solaborate at SAP TechEd Las Vegas

Solaborate jumped on my radar screen at a session with CEO and founder Labinot Bytyqi at SAP TechEd Las Vegas. Bytyqi was holding court at the SAP HANA Startups area: demonstrating the platform, showing off its analytic capability, encouraging everyone to sign up, and highlighting how HTML5 enables the Solaborate platform to eliminate some of the occasional headaches we suffer with online meetings. In April 2013, Solaborate announced it raised more than $1 million from investors, and at TechEd Las Vegas, the company officially announced the availability of its public beta.

Next page: The gap between Facebook and LinkedIn

Bytyqi laid it out in simple terms. “We saw a gap between Facebook and LinkedIn,” he said. “Facebook is mainly for personal use and LinkedIn for your professional life. What if we combined the best of both for professionals working in the technology industry?” Solaborate was born.

Solaborate runs on the SAP HANA platform, which provides users with real-time information on your social network. Bytyqi was quick to point out that they were headed down the Hadoop route when he had a chance encounter at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. He learned about the SAP Startup Focus program and was convinced that SAP HANA was the best way to go. Bytyqi notes that the company was able to spin up an instance of SAP HANA on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and develop real time insights in only two weeks.

Benefits: Deeper insight into social activity, saying no to plugs-ins

Bytyqi had many use cases for Solaborate, but I found the following among the most compelling:

  1. Solaborate users get deeper insight into their social activity by getting insight into common questions like, “Who are my viewers by demographic – whether it be age, gender, education, location, work position, etc.” The more granular the information, the better you can tailor content and grow your following and influence. It helps you answer the questions: What is my influence and who am I influencing? At the end of the day, isn’t that what sharing content is all about? As Bytyqi likes to put it: “Now you are viewing the entire demographic in real time.”
  2.  Simple and easy collaboration. With built-in Web conferencing and desktop sharing, Solaborate helps you “just say no to plug-ins.” In his demo, Bytyqi showed how simple it was to receive an incoming call, initiate a conference call, and share screens on the fly. The two key selling points are (a) the capability is free and included in the platform; and (b) the technology is based on HTML5, so no plug-ins are required. It’s the “next generation of communication,” according to Bytyqi.

Next page: Company plans to publish API for developers

Like any new platform, the proof is in the pudding, so Solaborate faces the typical startup challenge of attracting an audience. But I don’t expect this to be a problem, considering the functionality. I can see many technology professionals investigating the platform and signing up to check it out. In the future, the company plans to publish its API so developers can build apps on the platform, opening up to an even wider audience.

If you are social and tech savvy, and continue to look for a work-life balance on your social channels, take a look at Solaborate and let me know what you think. I signed up and immediately had a dozen invites to connect.

Solaborate and the SAP Startup Focus program

Solaborate is part of the SAP Startup Focus program, which supports startups in developing new applications on SAP HANA. SAP’s database platform streamlines analytics, planning and predictive and sentiment assessments to allow business to operate in real-time. The SAP Startup Focus program is an accelerator for Big Data, predictive and real-time analytics startups. More than 650 startups have participated in the program to-date, and they have developed SAP HANA use cases from gaming and manufacturing to retail and finance.

Michael Mankowski is a Senior Director in the SAP Integrated Digital Marketing group.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.