The Tide is Turning for Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

Steve Wylie, General Manager for Enterprise 2.0 conference set an optimistic tone for the keynote speeches at the inaugural event in San Francisco, California. In his assessment of the current state of Enterprise 2.0, Wylie highlighted that the industry is maturing and it is no longer the domain of startups. Large players like Microsoft are leveraging their enterprise expertise and knowledge to move into this space.

Another observation he shared was the rise in professional services, which signifies the shift as enterprises move from the technology phase into adoption and implementation phase.

Tammy Erickson, President, nGenera Innovation Network, started with a bold and optimistic prediction that 2010 is going to be the year of “A-ha” for the enterprise executives who have been struggling with E 2.0 all this time. She outlined the challenges to Enterprise 2.o adoption,

For executives, E2.0 is like tsunami wave that’s overwhelming, they can’t figure out how to manage (basic, yet) critical issues like data security.

However, Erickson went on to say, that’s changing as executives move beyond the technology and understand the true business potential for this event. She also reiterated the need for executives to adopt and promote collaborative behavior to encourage E2.adoption in their organizations. She pointed out a huge shift in behavior where the E2.0 discussions have moved from technology/tools  to  serious dialogues on business implication.

Christian Finn, Director of SharePoint Product Management, Microsoft followed up with a mock “speed dating” skit designed to highlight that the software giant is serious about E2.0 with the addition of truckload of social features to SharePoint 2010.

The skit itself was wholly uninspired but what was very intriguing was the promise to deliver the best of both worlds. On the “social” side, Microsoft’s promising a slew of social features like streaming podcasts, real-time news feeds, ratings, commenting, and even social tagging. All backed by the company’s experience and expertise in enterprise software and content management system.

SpeakerAndrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist from MIT Sloan School of Management followed up with a stellar speech on what the champions of E2.0 are doing wrong.
McAfee said the tide is turning on E2.0 adoption as the success stories and case studies continue to mount. However, the evangelists are doing a huge disservice to their cause by attacking  the enterprise because they should be working with the Enterprise 1.0 advocates rather than against them. Trying to replace them will just create more barriers to E2.0 adoption.
In their effort to be fair and transparent, many E2.0 vendors and champions over-emphasize the negative aspects and thereby scare off  the decision makers. The positives far outweigh the negatives and that’s something the champions need to constantly reiterate.
McAfee pointed out something that’s very obvious to the end-user but often overlooked by the vendors and that’s to keep things simple. E2.0 champions often fall in love with the features without considering whether or not it works for the end users. McAfee was emphatic,
“Your customers don’t need more bells and whistles”
He also cautioned the audience against the pitfalls of advocating and creating walled gardens within the enterprise because E2.0 is about collaboration and these silos defeat the purpose. 
Another key point he highlighted was the attempt to replace the email was self-defeating because E2.0 and email serve two different purposes, to try to replace email was futile because for all its flaws, email works okay for most enterprises.
Another critical flaw he pointed was overuse (abuse) of the word “social”, as that word has a negative connotation for business leaders. He gave the example of executive who made it very clear that,  “I am not running a social club, I am running a business.”  So, champions need to make sure they don’t oversell the social features of E2.0 but rather focus on the business implications for an effective pitch.
The last (but not the least) speech was from Rob Tarkoff, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Productivity Solutions at Adobe. He also started off with a provocative statement that,
“”Enterprise Software is Failing”
According to Tarkoff, the full potential of E2.0 has yet to be realized. He gave a real example of how social web can be used in a very traditional industry like healthcare for real-time collaboration and provide exceptional service to end consumer. He went on to say how Adobe’s focus is on creating end-to-end user engagement while giving due attention to the “on ramps” or the devices that consumers use to access the information.

Measuring Success in Online Communities

Today, SNCR Fellow Connie Bensen & Kellie Parker walked the NewComm Forum audience through a joint presentation on “Measurement & Metrics for a Successful Community“. Connie is the Community Strategist for Techrigy SM2, a social media monitoring tool while, Kellie Parker is Community Manager at Sega of America.

Benson and Parker covered two critical measurement topics for any company:

  • How are you measuring the interaction & growth of your community?
  • What metrics are important?

They outlined 5 easy steps used to measure the progress and health of a community:

  • Identify business objectives
  • Decide on priorities
  • Chose what to measure and measurement tools
    • Quantitative
    • Qualitative
  • Define benchmark
  • Identify trends & report it

Here are some examples of business objectives:

  • Generate more word of mouth
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Bring outside ideas into organization
  • Increase product/brand awareness
  • Improve new product success rations
  • Improve PR effectiveness
  • Reduce Customer acquistion costs
  • Reduce customer support
  • Reduce market research costs
  • Reduce product development costs

Here’s a sentiment that was echoed by other speakers as well – “Identify your goals and work your way to metrics from your goals”.

Start with:

  • Target percentage of desired increase
    • Start with an estimate, if you don’t have available benchmarks
  • Use benchmarks to set goals
  • Translate that information to business needs

The presenters suggest prioritization of business objectives in order of importance. For Benson, increasing the product awareness & WOM (ROI as # of additional sales) was the key objective.

Here’s how to determine what’s important to measure:

– What keeps your boss up at night?
– What are competitive threats?

The presenters suggested choosing one measurement per business objective and here are some suggested metrics:  

– number of visitors & repeat visitors
– number of registered users vs. active
– frequency of posting & number of comments
– type of searches

– Increase in SEO ranking

– Number of subscriptions via email & RSS
– Usage of Features

Some suggested measurement tools:

Web analytics tools:
– Google analytics, stat counter, getclicky
– Proprietary to community

SM monitoring tools:
– google alers, search
Techrigy, radian6, trucast
Social search tools – deliver, who’s talking?, same point, social mention, seprh, one riot

– Survey tool used to measure sentiment about the brand

Qualitative results:

– Testimonials
– Marketing use
– Product development & use cases
– Identify brand advocates
– Appreciation for customer service

Quantitative results:
– Use to calculate progress (% increase)

Last but not the least, reporting your results:

Benson provided a sample template that she uses for monthly reporting:

– Ongoing definition of objectives
– Interaction
– Qualitative quotes
– Recommendations
–  Benchmarks based on previous report
– Web analytics (unless someone else is tracking them)
– Social web analytics

Here’s what included in the reports:

– Note & report customer requests needing immediate assistance
– Identify topics requiring FAQs or blog posts

– Marketing/pr
– Feedback on connection of messaging
– Identify sites for potential partnerships
– Report on time periods of high traffic
– Feedback on brand sentiment

– Overview of brand sentiment & competitive analysis
– Offer insight/ suggestions on future trends & key industry topics

The presenter mentioned overlap with other functions and to leverage what are other departments are already measuring. Collaboration with other departments will ensure that there’s no reinventing of the wheel.