Tag: socialbusiness

HR Performance Event 2012 – BroadVision Seminar Sessions

Enterprise social network solutions, as well as changes in employee expectations regarding communication and collaboration at work, are placing additional challenges on HR Departments as the guardians of organisational culture. Both the desire for and the nature of these social business solutions is here to stay. HR need to navigate their way through the various interests in an organisation to manage both the bottom up ‘viral’ adoption that we have seen from various discussion platforms in recent years as well as the strategic initiatives for employee engagement. The key thing is that your organization’s culture and challenges are unique; blanket approaches such as: ‘Let’s get everyone on xxxxxx’, may not really solve your specific business problems or facilitate the transformation required.

The business benefits of social collaboration are real; unlocking knowledge; driving innovation; faster and more informed decision-making; and improved productivity. However, many social business projects fail to gain wide adoption, either through underuse and a perceived lack of real benefits; or through overuse and a perceived lack of productivity. Ultimately, whether the perception is positive or negative will tie closely to the quality of the interactions between employees and other participants, e.g., the value of the content they contribute. HR has a significant role to play both in the choice of an enterprise social network solution and in setting out a plan for adoption.

BroadVision is proud to be sponsoring the ‘HR Innovation and Technology’ Arena at the HR Performance 2012 event November 21st and 22nd at ExCel  in London where we will be presenting two key sessions on driving value out of your investment in an Enterprise Social Network.

The first session on Wednesday November 21st (10:15) will examine the way employees’ online behaviour may differ to real-life behaviour. This presents both opportunities and challenges in developing employee engagement strategies to unlock the knowledge of all participants in your enterprise social network.

The second session on Thursday November 22nd (14:15) will look at how to get the best out of your enterprise social network solution. Your social collaboration platform must be more than an additional discussion channel. To be truly effective your solution needs to be a place where real work gets done. To achieve that, the network needs to be the host of real business processes, whether they are new processes or existing processes migrated into the social network from elsewhere. Simply taking an existing business process and hosting it in a social network fails to take advantage of the inherent benefits of a social environment. This session will examine what is a “social business process”, and how does it differ from what we have seen before.

For HR, the opportunity to help drive superior business performance by designing and implementing strategies to increase and reward effective collaboration has never been more apparent. If you believe your organization can achieve significant competitive advantage by more effective internal communication, collaboration, and teamwork, then you as an HR practitioner will definitely benefit from both these sessions. To book please see the HR Performance 2012 event seminar sessions.

Enterprise Connections Part 3: The World Outside

Parts of 1 and 2 of Enterprise Connections focused on the benefits of a company intranet. However those benefits are not limited to internal use; brands also have much to gain by engaging with their customers via an enterprise social network. Of course, this is nothing new, brands have always found creative and unorthodox ways of learning about their customers and using this new information improve its interactions with them. A good example is Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewing Company, which learned that without them ever being marketed to by the company, its beer had become favorite of the younger, hipster crowd. In turn, it saw significant success by altering its marketing efforts to better reach that audience. (Though those marketing efforts were not what most people would have expected. Read this piece in Fast Company to see how they did it)

A public facing customer network is an excellent way to help facilitate the interaction between brand and customers, as well as the brand’s response to those interactions. A great example of this would be WeBank’s WePad project, which used a public facing Clearvale network to help get customers involved in the creation of a WeBank iPad app. www.wepadproject.it

For 6 weeks, 6 experts in fields such as social media, design and technology brainstormed every week for 4 hours, with the aim of producing an iPad application to make the interactions between WeBank and its customers social and collaborative, and to save their customers’ money. Each brainstorming session was broadcast live via a webcam and participants were encouraged to contribute by uploading comments, videos and feedback. An exciting, interactive and thought-leading initiative, the WePad Project successfully bridged the gap between company and customer. The entire project took place on a Clearvale network created and maintained by WeBank.

The WePad Project is a great example of how an enterprise social network can be used as platform for managing one-off campaigns and special events. The next part of Enterprise Connections will focus on the ongoing, day-to-day benefits of a customer network.

Enterprise Connections

“Let’s begin to tap the astronomical, incomprehensible amount of talent in the brains of the 6 billion people on this planet, compared with which Newton is a match in the dark at 100 miles.” James Burke – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Episode 18 “A Fly on James Burke’s Wall”

How many moves does it take to get from the philosopher Goethe’s obsession with a friend of Beethoven to the invention of margarine? According to James Burke’s Knowledge Web, only 8 (visit http://www.k-web.org/public_html/Mystery-tours/Goethe_to_Margarine.html for the full story).

James Burke is a science historian and author, and anyone who has seen his “Connections” series is probably familiar with this line of thinking: progress is not the outcome of individuals or groups working in isolation, but the product of multiple individuals and groups, interacting and connecting, seeking to fulfill their own interests, and rarely having any concept of the ultimate innovation that comes about as a result.

Many innovations are the result of coincidences. But it’s not the coincidences themselves that lead to the innovation, but rather the creativity and ingenuity that were set free on a path paved by coincidence. Coincidence has led to two strangers coming into contact with one another, or someone recommending a book to a friend, or someone remembering a colleague’s previous failure. That last one is a reference to the Post-It note, which was born from Spencer Silver’s failed attempt at creating a strong adhesive. His colleague, Arthur Fry finding the need for a weak adhesive remembered Silver’s failure, which led to the Post-It note (full story here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-it_note)

But that never had to happen. Fry didn’t have to remember Silver’s failure. It’s not like there was some cloud-based, easy to navigate repository for this kind of thing. The point is, it’s not really the coincidence that is important to innovation, so we might be able to take that out of the equation.

In fact, if we take the opposite approach, I think we can speed up and multiply opportunities for innovation within the enterprise. This is most easily evident via the activity stream, and some theoretical examples can include:

  • I learn of a coworker’s project that does not involve me, though I might have some previous experience, and can easily offer some ideas
  • Sales informs the company of a new prospect, which turns out to be the former employer of someone from engineering, who can now offer some insight into the company
  • Marketing posts about working on a video, and someone from finance has experience with video editing and volunteers to help

Of course, the above examples would only represent one “move”. Think about the potential for multiple connections, all working in harmony.

CRM at the Crossroads: An Evening with Paul Greenberg

We’re all very excited to be partnering with the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, enabling us to bring our Clearvale SecondFloor speaker series to Boston.  The event will feature author, thought leader and CRM expert, Paul Greenberg.

Taking place on Tuesday June 21st, the event will include food, drinks and an insightful conversation between Paul and Richard Hughes, Director of Product Strategy at BroadVision, as they discuss the topic of Social CRM and how companies are using technology to engage customers. A raffle will also be held, giving guests the chance to win a free iPad at the event.

Space is limited and we’d love to see you there. To sign up, please visit: http://www.clearvale.com/mkt-eco/en/e2boston2011.php

Paul is an excellent speaker and expert in the field of CRM, and CRM at the Crossroads will be a great opportunity to answer the question that many people have been asking lately: “what is social CRM?”

We did a little pre-show primer to help things get started:

So we know what we’re dealing with, can you provide a working definition of “social CRM”?

The answer is probably simpler than it should be, it’s almost a ‘Tweetable’ definition, but the best working definition is: “a company’s programmatic response to the customer’s control of the conversation.” The company is saying that the customer is in control of the conversation. The social customer is communicating in channels that the company does not own, and impacting the company in ways it does not control. Consequently, for a company to respond to that, they have to accede to the fact that that is occurring; that they do not control the conversation.

When we’re talking about a programmatic response, we’re saying several things. Given that the customer is in control, the customer is communicating in different ways with other customers, and potential customers. Because they’re not under the control of the company, they can potentially impact thousands of other people. The reason that impact matters is because the person who is making comments about the brand is assumed to be similar to the person who is listening to the comments, and therefore is trustworthy. That category of people is replicated by the thousands. The company then has to consider that person might be influential, or even minimally influential, and that the person is communicating where the company is not present, the company has to do one of two things. The first is they have to go out and engage them in places where the company is not present, which could mean Facebook, Twitter, Get Satisfaction or any other external social network. The other option is the company has to have social inputs where the customer can get enough information from the company (which requires the company to be transparent) so that they can make an intelligent decision on how to interact with that company. Also, the customer has to be able to provide the company with information so that the company can decide how to engage the customer. It can be information about a product or service, but either way it benefits the company and provides the customer with the ability to get the kinds of products, services, tools and consumable experience s they want.

Is the transition from traditional CRM to Social CRM a natural one, or is it something that people rooted in traditional CRM will find difficult?

It’s evolutionary but they’re going to find it difficult to make. Traditional CRM is very straightforward, very ‘left-brain’. It’s concerned with opportunity management or pipeline management, or lead scoring and nurturing, all of which are based on an application of metrics and getting some kind of quantifiable return that’s based on specific things that either impact efficiencies or the bottom line. The data that is gathered about customers tends to be based on transactional histories that those customers have with the company and they’re organized and structured to fit standard reporting formats.  Senior management can take a look at the reports and say, “we’re doing good” or “against this metric we’re doing poorly”.

However, once you start engaging in those conversations that exist outside of the company, that do not directly involve the company, you end up with tons of unstructured information that does not have a formal format that companies need to handle their operational and transactional details. The people who have been dealing with traditional CRM for years and years are looking at this and saying there’s a problem, because they don’t know how to translate this information into something of value about their customers.

Social tends to be more ‘right brain’ or emotional. The customers says, “the company sucks” then “the company is great,” do they really mean one or the other, or does one comment fit for one particular instance? So all of a sudden companies are dealing with the complexity of identifying human behavior and forecasting future behavior, which goes well beyond transactional and into emotional and sentimental.

So the fundamental strategic approach changes. Now we’re dealing with engagement. The customer wants to sculpt their experience with the company, and that’s a whole other ballgame. We’re all individuals and when push comes to shove, we don’t want to be treated like a demographic.  I don’t want to be treated like a New York Jewish guy who roots for the Yankees; I want to be treated like Paul Greenberg. And not Paul Greenberg the syndicated right-wing columnist, I want to be treated a Paul Greenberg, that Jewish New Yorker that roots for the Yankees.

With so many social platforms and new ones arriving all the times, is it too much to ask that companies be listening to all of them?

No and I’ll tell you why.  Frank Eliason, who is something of a rock star in service channels, created Comcast Cares. By the time he left, there were 11 Comcast employees dedicated to monitoring Twitter, which is quite substantial. That program was wildly successful: you can point to increased efficiencies, reduced costs and more first-contact resolutions. Comcast thought that the success of Comcast Cares was great PR, so they funded it. The fundamental problem with that is that it’s not PR, its cultural shift towards engaging customers. It was successful not just because they could get to customers in a short amount of time but actually solve their problems quickly. The problem is that culture has not spread within the company beyond Comcast Cares.

So the concept of Comcast Cares, not the fact that it was on Twitter, was what was important. If you reproduce that culture throughout the company, than the ability to solve those problems is what becomes important, not the channels the company is listening to.

Customers are going to communicate in channels of their choosing. The company needs to decide that they’re going to solve customer problems no matter which channels are being used.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when you go to Boston, does the Yankees hat stay in the suitcase?

When I spoke in Boston at Radian6 Social 2011, I made it very clear that I was a Yankees fan!