I first heard the term “Social Enterprise” back in 2008 from Alex Blum, who was the CEO at a NYC-based startup I was working for called KickApps. We were while-label software that allowed any website to have an online community bolted onto it.
At the time the term “social media” was still young and companies didn’t really understand much about it. However even then we saw the enterprise’s desire to create more social network-like environments for their employees. We had a few major corporations use our platform to deploy these sites behind the firewall, but never really saw any meaningful usage.
I was absolutely skeptical of the enterprise collaboration/social enterprise space for a long time. I never saw us leaving Microsoft office, abandoning email, or posting to an activity feed at work; until I started using Google Apps. Google apps showed me the power of collaboration and operating in “the cloud”.
I see this as being the consumerization and socialization of the enterprise.