Enterprise social networks are integrated technology suites that are modeled after aspects of popular consumer sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, but they deploy communication features on platforms that are secure, private and oriented to the internal business user or corporate employee. The communication approaches these technologies provide - promoting employee-to-employee connections, facilitating new idea discovery and prompting cross-company knowledge sharing - can provide significant value to organizations that need to work more efficiently.

Large and decentralized companies typically enjoy the greatest benefits of a corporate social network since they can break down communication barriers between physically distinct locations. However, smaller organizations frequently realize great value from these technologies if they are in a fast-moving industry that involves a lot of rapid change or if economic conditions have prompted a recent corporate restructuring or other dramatic change.

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