Ticketing systems certainly have their place in EPM support. They allow for tracking, ticket distribution, and reporting. The challenge with ticketing systems is they can create a barrier between you and the users you support. Your coworkers become customers and emails and questions become tickets. Social media can break that barrier and allow your group to once again connect with your coworkers. Here are three compelling reasons to make your EPM support #social.

1. Fewer Emails
I’d venture to guess that most people have their cell phones linked to their email accounts. If you send job completion messages through email to your user base, you may have an unhappy user base, especially if those emails are being sent off hours and in the middle of the night. On the flip side, some users are anxiously awaiting the job completion in order to finish their planning and reporting. Social media enables users to choose whether or not to subscribe to your EPM support group posts.

2. Decreased Tickets
Duplicate tickets are a common occurrence with any support ticketing system. Social EPM support not only helps cut down on the volume of tickets submitted, but also the number of tickets submitted with the same inquiry. With social EPM support, you only have to answer the question once for your coworkers. Additionally, this keeps follow up questions in a thread that anyone can easily see and follow. While you can’t exactly measure the number of tickets avoided, it would not be surprising to see the overall number of monthly tickets decrease.

3. Subscription Based Alerts & Updates to Relevant Users
If there is an issue with say, for example, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), your workforce planners may not need to know. An email to the entire EPM distribution list may not be warranted. A post using hashtag #COGS allows you to target only relevant users that need to know with a status update on progress and resolution. This way you aren’t broadcasting a message to the entire EPM community for questions that only affect a handful of planners.

In a practical example, I worked with a large biotech company, to begin using Yammer as a social collaboration tool within the EPM community. They currently post automated messages regarding the status of the daily and nightly jobs. The posts alert users when a job has started and completed (in success or failure). We used hashtags to segment the messages broadcast by the Yammer account (#JobStatus, #Issue, #Reminder, #Maintenance). This has been well received by the EPM community, and my client is now planning on expanding their social media footprint.

Has your EPM team implemented social media in some clever way to solve a challenge? If so, we’d like to hear about it.

Mark Guarracino

AUTHOR: Mark Guarracino

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