Networking is a funny business and quite random at times. I came across Joel Garcia of TidalWaveApp purely by accident when trawling LinkedIn for a ‘Social BPM’ tool around 18 months ago. At that time he was like a Kung Fu Panda (ie ‘in stealth mode’) but I got my first glimpse at TidalWave which promised a different perspective on social processes and CRM. 18 months on and they are now working the scene across Facebook by introducing the first (that I’ve seen) business based FB application that handles CRM and social media marketing with a fully fledged BPM engine in the background for workflow.
TidalWave works on the basis that you can build campaigns, marketing response handling and business facing applications with Facebook through a simple form builder and use workflow in the background to handle the responses and process instances, essentially the process can be initiated via a social media platform. Facebook is the natural choice but there are future plans to look into extending into LinkedIn. The engine is actually Billfish which is completely Cloud based for this implementation and Joel says that customers can build things as simple or as complex as they want, for those wanting more complicated processing the team are on hand to help design the workflow handling (although anyone with a head for BPM will be able to navigate Billfish and build processes themselves)
Building an app is simply a case of using the web form designer (ready to use templates are available) and checking the preview to view the latest build. The dashboard allows you to also check what apps you have running currently, what responses have been received to live campaigns and export them for further analysis and future campaign targeting.
Joel explained that the problem with static Facebook pages or ‘Likes’ is that there is no way to track this kind of information easily (or cheaply) and also get at the data to improve and monitor engagement. He then cited the rather nifty case study in which a Night Club in NJ used TidalWave to reach out to its fan base across Facebook and allow them to book tickets and VIP guest list slots all through the app alone with minimal fuss in design. What’s more is that the owner of the club was able to design, implement and analyse the responses for better campaign handling, stock and resource control in advance of any event all through the app and Facebook. What I found pretty cool was that the bouncers could use the app via their mobiles to monitor who was already checked into the club from the guest list and trigger a further campaign for those already inside using Facebook authentication.
It’s the first time I’ve seen something that’s taken a unique perspective on BPM and CRM and mashed up a few concepts to come up with a different approach. There are a number of vendors who enable you to build Facebook apps for sure but none as far as I know who are using Facebook to launch configurable processes that adhere to BPMN.
If you want to know more there’s a new video which explains more here.