For a percentage of iMessage users in the world, there was a frustrating period in recent weeks that has caused some angst, to say the least. There’s nothing worse than relying on a system that suddenly starts to fail you. Thankfully, for most, iMessage hasn’t quite hit the classification of enterprise level, but it’s definitely in play as a communication system for a lot of folks in the workplace. For a majority of users though, it just means they missed a note from their spouse about picking up some bread on the way home from work.
When dealing with software, there are differing levels of importance (and opinion) about the quality of your software and how it matters to its users. For folks on the space shuttle, it’s pretty important that software is functioning correctly and is tested without fail. For medical device folks, similar story. Compare that to Candy Crush, and well, you get the point. What enterprises are finding more and more are the “mission critical” social aspects of their business. When thinking about the evolving industry of social data, it’s important to know that everything your population is saying about you is critical. It is absolutely mission critical to your business to see every Tweet, read every blog mention, see every comment about your business. You never know when the impact of that social activity will become viral. Consider the “United Breaks Guitars” video or the sponsored Tweet by @hvsvn for a complaint about British Airways. Those are both aggressively seeking resolution within social media, but there are countless others that aren’t as creative that can impact your business. The importance of my message really surrounds the old adage of, you don’t know what you don’t know. What happens if you think you’re paying attention to what everyone is saying about your brand, your company (your livelihood?) and you don’t see it?
Social data has completely become part of the critical IT infrastructure that needs to deliver in realtime, all the time. Some of our most successful partners are employing a wide variety of data sources into their product solutions so that they can see the whole picture, and monitor with confidence. At Gnip we refer to this as the social cocktail, well, mostly because we like cocktails, but also because it’s a blend of a varying set of ingredients that make a complete product. As my buddy Dave Heal points out in his latest blog post, they also want reliable, certifiable data that they can count on. You can’t rely on the timeliness of scraped data if you’re building any type of engagement product, so you need that reliability of a firehose in your infrastructure. If a complaint over Twitter goes viral and you don’t get notified in your system because of delays, you can imagine the impact. Sales leaders can’t go into meetings without the knowledge that something went viral about their product and marketing can’t respond to bad PR if they didn’t know something negative hit the wire.
It’s sometimes hard for big corporations to turn the ship on a dime, but it’s impressive to watch them change their product lines to digest streaming data from multiple publishers, adjust their rules on the fly, have the vision to ask for historical insight into social data so they can plan forward, and help drive industry change through the Big Boulder Initiative. When you get a phone call from your customer asking if you can help them build better signaling in their systems to alert them of the one activity in the 4 billion social activities Gnip delivers a day, it puts that missing text about picking up bread in perspective.