Serena Software Adopts Facebook as Intranet

Serena Software in San Mateo, Calif. is wrapping Facebook in a big corporate bear hug. Today,the company is launching Facebook Fridays. The idea is to for Serena’s staff of 900 (average age, 41) to spend an hour each week on the popular social networking site—updating their profiles, collaborating with colleagues and clients, and recruiting for Serena.

The company is also setting up an employees-only group on Facebook as a kind of alternative corporate intranet.The portal will be used to exchange documents, update corporate information, and share marketing videos.

I met with René Bonvanie, an SVP at Serena who has been using Facebook for around 3 years (He apparently used his teenager’s credentials to set up a profile) He and CEO Jeremy Burton, came up with Facebook Friday and are backing it to the hilt, using their profiles as a template for what employees should know about what they should put on Facebook.

Bonvanie says some older staffers considered the idea frivolous when it was first proposed. But once they start using it, they begin to see why the company is making the switch he says. And he thinks that by using social networking seriously, he says, “we believe we can get people to communicate and collaborate more.”

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