Enterprise 2.0 : Telcos can cash in !!

Presentation1aIn its most basic form, Enterprise 2.0 is about communication. When information is free, people can get more feedback and input (collaborate), react more quickly (agility), and make better decisions. This is the opportunity inherent in Enterprise 2.0: a more efficient, productive and intelligent workforce.

The current crop of Collaborative solutions focus around unified communications (instant messaging, web conferencing and VoIP for example), working in teams, sharing documentation and knowledge, working with (self-service) portals and working with social collaboration tools.

Organizations are beginning to take advantage of social collaboration aspects like communities, blogging and wikis to connect with external parties like partners, customers and local government. A survey done by McKinsey & Company showed that companies that benefit most from B2C/B2B collaboration are:

• Networked organizations;
• Business to business organizations;
• Big companies (> $1 billion revenue);
• International companies;
• Decentralized organizations.

According to Industry experts there are three fundamental ingredients to be successful with E20/Social Business (or any major corporate initiative): Adequate resources/budget, organizational commitment, and a business problem to solve. Missing any of these greatly slows down and/or blunts the outcome of the effort. The top challenge is culture change. You can drop social technology into any organization, but you can’t suddenly expect that employees will adopt the way that social media works or that business processes or traditions will automatically change.

Social is a new way of operating (observable work, openly participative processes, co-creation) and this requires conscious effort to change our thinking and the way we function. Other top challenges include enterprise apps with overlapping features (e-mail, CMS/DMS, IM, unified communication, enterprise microblogs, customer forums, CRM, etc.), underinvestment in community management, and lack of executive understanding or buy-in.

The Enterprise 2.0 Tools go Mobile

Web 2.0 is the term for web‐based tools and services that allow for – and even improve with – user participation. The most well‐known examples of this technology are found in sites like YouTube , Facebook , Wikipedia and Amazon, where users to find and connect to what they are looking. Social media tools like blogs and microblogs (Twitter) opened up the world of media and publishing to anyone with an internet connection – or a smartphone.

Social network tools help staff find the right individual or group of people.Tagging and rating provide a straightforward way to find content and make judgments about what to look at. Blogs and wikis are natural collaboration and communication platforms.Giving employees the freedom to speak their mind and voice ideas is required for there to be a harnessing of collective intelligence

Case studies in Enterprise 2.0

One of the biggest car lease firms worldwide had a clear vision on the use of social collaboration, both internally and B2C/B2B. In this vision it outlines the many strategies it intends to use for social collaboration.

* Launching an employee community
* Engaging in social recruitment
* Social software enabled car remarketing
* Launching fleet management communities
* Social software enabled car quotations
* Launching driver and supplier community
* Launching a supplier community
* Conducting online reputation management

A Global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company implemented off the shelf social media platforms technology to introduce knowledge sharing communities and social networks. Blogs and wikis function as collaboration tools, and as such, they have uses mainly in sharing “unstructured” information associated with ad hoc or ongoing projects and processes, but not for “structured informational” retrieval.

However, Shell has started converting its official documentation to wikis, because this enables that company to make documentation updates available in real time and allows non-editors to contribute to the documentation. In this process Shell restructures the paper documents to a set of on-line wiki pages. Their key challenge was to get key stakeholders aware of how social computing can solve business problems and be integrated into business processes. The business case was based on the following metrics:

• Finding people and identifying experts;
• Finding information;
• Reducing the need for travel;
• Speed up the decision making process.

Telcos are in pole position to deliver Enterprise 2.0 services

Current Telco mainstream offerings to the Enterprise market are based around capacity and hosted services, sometimes complemented by IT outsourcing projects. Mass-market consumers and Enterprise customers alike are increasingly demanding rich, portable, personalised, access and device-independent services from their Telco Service Providers.Telco 2.0 and Web 2.0 components creates more value to the Enterprise . For example Telco resources can be embedded with the Enterprise applications to identify the real time location and distribution of a service engineer’s customers (using Google Maps and Location feeds) to view the geography of the area covered.

In the UK, BT (British Telecom) has become one of the country’s strongest proponents of enterprise 2.0. The company has introduced a raft of social media tools, including a huge Wikipedia-style database called BTpedia, a central blogging tool, a podcasting tool, project collaboration software and enterprise social networking.

With SDP / IMS platforms Telco customers can become part of the social networking phenomena by complementing these content based sites with telecom capabilities such as anonymous calling (whisper calls) and real time updates showing the physical location of friends and contacts within the community group. Whilst Telecom Web Services standard will revolutionise Telco service offerings to both the Large Enterprise and the SMB market, it is important not to overlook the benefits of being able to offer fully hosted services.

These include “Virtual PBXs” and “Virtual Contact Centres”, plus a suite of complementary services to customer’s own installed platforms such as “Mobile PBX Extensions”, “Multi-line” services for handsets and of course “Voice Call Continuity” to provide Enterprise roaming in WiFi hotspots.The availability of Enterprise 2.0 tool combined with high speed networks smartphones and cloud computing will unlock fresh new revenue streams for agile Telcos and CSP’s in the Enterprise / SMB markets.

We are on the cusp of a management revolution that is likely to be as profound and unsettling as the one that gave birth to the modern industrial age. Driven by the emergence of powerful new collaborative technologies, this transformation will radically reshape the nature of work, the boundaries of the enterprise, and the responsibilites of business leaders.

You can download a slide presentation explaining the concept of Enterprise 2.0 from this link : http://www.slideshare.net/dhinchcliffe/pragmatic-enterprise-20-overview

Sadiq Malik ( Telco Strategist )

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