Social Network for BAC

This week will be my final post for the topic of Enterprise 2.0 for the Brisbane Airport Corporation. In prior posts, I have detailed how micro-blogging, and collaborative wiki’s can be of assistance to the organisation, as well as how using these should be approached by the organisation. The organisation can benefit immensely from implementing and upgrading social networking both within, and external to the organisation.

Being that it is the only major Airport in the greater Brisbane area, the company doesn’t have any direct competitors – if you are flying to Brisbane, this is where you have to go. There is no way around it. Given this, the potential to reach out via a social network platform is huge, as they simply dominate the market for fliers to and from Brisbane. I detailed earlier that whilst they have quite a few ‘likes’ on Facebook, however, in comparison the Facebook page has a little less than 12,000 likes, yet in 2011/12 alone 20 million passengers passed through the airport. Now we must assume that of them, not all are frequenting the airport, but we must assume that more than 12,000 of the 20 million use the airport more than just once! It was briefly touched on earlier about how Facebook should be used as a micro-blog, but as for a social network, the approach must be slightly different. ‘Social’ implies what I mean by this. Where micro-blogs intend to get a message across, Social Networks aim to generate a more personal connection between two or more parties.

This is why I would advise that BAC should adapt a more proactive manner of maintaining their social networks. Namely Facebook, because they clearly already have a clent-base there. It will be easier to expand from here first, and then work on others, such as Twitter later. In terms of being proactive, I believe the user engagement can begin when passengers are at the airport themselves. For example, upon check-in, staff could mention that liking the Airports’ Facebook page could yield some good results for the customer. For example, running competitions is something that has been utilised very successfully in other organisations as a way of boosting presence using such mediums. Other methods are to offer rewards that use the Facebook “check-in” feature when, literally, checking in to the venue could be utlilised as a means of expanding external social networks for BAC.

Internally, BAC could benefit from an internal social network also. As I explained here, an online collaborative tool could be particularly useful for collaborating between staff and storing knowledge that is readily available. Others such as Microsofts’ Sharepoint and Yammer are also great tools for collaboration within the organisation. It is also important to note the ERP and CRM packages are now including many of these services, as well as other Enterprise 2.0 technologies within their software packages. Some examples of this are SAP and Oracle, who now bundle collaborating tools with their ERP software packages. Essentially, the Brisbane Airport Corporation would be able to implement any one of these and realise the aforementioned benefits of internal social networks.

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Wiki’s for BAC?

Last week, I detailed briefly what a micro-blog was, and how BAC is currently utilising this in their Enterprise 2.0 strategy. This week, I will examine how the corporation could make use of a corporate wiki as a means of generating business value. Namely, a wiki that could serve as a house for business intelligence.

A wiki within an organisation can hold immense amounts of invaluable company knowledge. For example, findings, tips and tricks of staff can be added to a wiki to assist in notifying other staff members, all at once instead of simply one to one interactions. Furthermore, when a staff member moves on from an organisation, instead of taking all the bits of knowledge they have gained through the course of their employment, usually priceless, is stored somewhere for others to be up to date on.

There are a multitude of options out there in terms of collaborative software for the modern enterprise. So the inherent issue here is that the correct one needs to be selected. As I did with the micro-blogging strategy, we must first cross examine the companies goals and values with technological. Keeping in mind of what was said here, the organisation wants to really build collaborative relationships and act with integrity and commitment. So, it is important that the wiki strategy that is selected aligns with this.

Having no knowledge of what currently is happening in terms of staff collaborative and wiki tools, it is difficult to suggest a direction to take. So, the best direction to suggest for a strategy for a wiki would be to employ some kind of packaged software that allows for staff to collaborate, and store information. Something like this, which allows not only wikis but a whole social experience for organisations would go hand in hand with the aforementioned goals for Brisbane Airport Corporation. Ultimately this will allow collaborative relationships to be built through staff and management alike, by keeping up to date wikis and intra-company blogs. All the while this will allow the organisation to be able to act with more integrity in the future, due to the fact that there will be knowledge housed in the application at staffs’ fingertips.

Micro-Blogging and BAC

So, in my prior posts I have been talking about Enterprise 2.0 concepts and strategies that could be utilised in the corporate world. This is all well and good, in theory. It is not until we investigate the real way in which these can be applied in a real organisation that we can see a good example of the benefits of different enterprise 2.0 technologies. This week, in particular, the effect a micro-blogging strategy could have on an organisation – Brisbane Airport Corporation (or BAC).

Wait, what is Micro-blogging ?- In a nutshell, it is a small blog, often a way to communicate short, meaningful messages to peers.

It is important that in doing this, the strategy is aligned with the business goals of BAC, to ensure they are getting the most out of micro-blogging. So after some quick research on the BAC website,  it can be discovered that as an organisation, BAC intends to ” (build) collaborative relationships, (be) proactive and innovative, (act) with integrity and commitment, and (provide) service excellence”.  With this in mind, we can begin to develop an Enterprise 2.0 Strategy for the corporation, beginning with a micro-blogging strategy.

Currently, BAC engages with the community via their Facebook Twitter , and Pintrest accounts. In this case, it appears as though they are already utilizing some very well known micro-blogging applications. It also appears as though they have a large amount of connections via these mediums – with nearly 12,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and more than 1600 ‘followers’ on Twitter. Based upon this, I would imagine there is some kind of strategic direction at BAC for a Micro-Blogging strategy, whether it is realised by the organisation or not(they could just be following ‘the crowd’ in making these accounts). It also appears as these accounts have been managed in an appropriate manner, by communicating professionally and efficiently with customers and the like about issues pertinent to the organisation. This aligns with their ambitions to build collaborative relationships, as well as being proactive and providing service excellence.

So it appears as though they are utilizing some micro-blogs quite well, so where to from here? Well, I believe that the BAC should ultimately stick with what they are doing, as they appear to be utilising services in an effective way. It appears as though they are communicating with customers on a personal level, as well as responding professionally and appropriately. I would advise that they keep a consistent level of updating, and responding to customers to keep their strong online presence that they have built using these mediums, as well as to further enhance it.

Next week, I will detail how a wiki would assist BAC! See you then!

Knowing how well Enterprise 2.0 applications work

In my earlier posts, I have given some details about web 2.0 and its’ usefullness in the Enterprise. Indeed, it is the way of the future for most organisations, and a good social media strategy is going to increase your chances of increasing revenue/customers/interest for your organisation. This then leads to the question of how.

How what?

How do we quantify, if you will, the success of a social media strategy? Can we measure it successfully?

Asking around for an answer on this will give you varying answers. I think that, put simply – because of the relatively short amount of time these technologies have existed as a tool for organisations, it is difficult to establish a suitable ROI measuring tool. It’s simply a case of not having enough long term data to establish a baseline for a good ROI. Another issue is the fact that Enterprise 2.0 itself entails so many different constituents that attempting to look at a strategy as a whole will prove difficult to measure. Quantifying something that is not always specifically measurable is not easy to do, and I’m not alone with this viewpoint – see here and here.

Having said this, there are methods out there that attempt to measure it’s power, so let’s take a look at a few.

My starting point here is to not look at traditional ROI’s for measuring such a tool. Why you ask? Well, Enterprise 2.0 tools are not traditional business tools, so why you traditional methods for measuring its’ success? As well as this, I have looked at it as not being able to measure it as a whole, but in segments of the organisation. This is to ensure the metrics we are gathering is solving the given business problem(s).

Here’s an example of a measurement of Enterprise 2.0, for CRM. The most effective method I have come across is from here.

Using Enterprise 2.0?

Given my prior posts, I feel like I have made it evident that I, among many of others that Enterprise 2.0 is the NOW for organisations. Developing strategies and business models to use these tools for organisations would not mean that they are simply ‘jumping on a bandwagon’, but moreover developing a way in which to be successful not only for the future, but to be successful now. For an organisation to at not at least be researching into how Enterprise 2.0 technologies will be of assistance to them, would put them behind their competitors in this day and age. Put simply – businesses will need to employ Enterprise 2.0 if they want to succeed in the future.

The important questions are the hows. How do we do this? How do we monitor it’s success?

I will try to address these ‘Hows’ as simply as possible.

Developing a strategy on how you will use the technology is really dependant upon the type of organisation in question. Differing company sizes, products, services and staffing are just the surface of the factors that come into developing a social media strategy for your organisation. I could go on for pages upon pages about both the subtle and not so subtle differences Enterprise 2.0 strategy development would be for different organisations, but I would much rather provide you with some of the more universal criterion that should be used.

Oganisations should recognise the different tools and use them according to their purpose. Enterprise 2.0 is no different to any other IT function within an organisation in that it must be used correctly. You could spend all the money in the world in a top notch IT solution, and it would be useless if not being used properly. The same goes for Enterprise 2.0! Know your tools!

So how do you measure the success of these? This can be tricky, and not always straightforward or direct. However the power of these tools is immense and can be measure both qualitative and quantitatively.

I have mentioned in previous postings that customer relations is a big part of the social media aspect of Enterprise 2.0. This can be particularly helpful when measuring customer satisfaction for your organisation.  For example, in the world we live in, for whatever reason, people have become very inclined to let their feelings known on the internet, more-so than in person. Once again, I could go on for pages about why this is so, so I won’t get into that. The beauty of this for organisations, is that they can find out more than ever about customers and their satisfaction(or dissatisfaction). Facebook and online forums have become  massive vendors for such testimonials, as this allows a personal interaction between company and customer. Investing time to respond to customers voicing their opinion, as well as encouraging user engagement with your organisation will have numerous positive effects on the organisation. From giving customers a more ‘personal’ relationship, to gaining a better understanding of operations that are being done well or need improvement upon, social media can help improve organisations.

The value of knowing what it is your organisation is doing vs what they could be doing better = a huge increase in an ability to satisfy customers. Again, this has to be done properly to be successful!

 

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2.0 applications in the marketplace

Much like the growth of ERP solutions over the past 2 decades, there is a current paradigm shift to enterprise 2.0, and cloud based business operations. In fact, the shift has already occurred, and with web 2.0 applications being the standard for web operations currently, organisations are using these services as vital tools for corporate success. But what exactly does this mean? And what use do these new technologies have an enterprise?

Well, services such as Facebook, Twitter(more on them here) and Company Blogs have become a common platform for organisations to create a personal interface with customers. Customer feedback, testimonials, and communication are becoming increasingly common through such services, and as such, it is important for organisations to operate in the correct manner when utilising these services. This could mean the difference between client satisfaction and them looking to move on to another organisation to deliver whatever it is they are searching for.

This however, is not the extent of enterprise 2.0 applications that are being used. Cloud services have allowed a shift in a way in which information is cycled and stored within an organisation. Staff wiki’s are now a massively common way of storing such information within organisations, allowing tacit knowledge to be easily accessible. However, not all companies using them are harnessing the great power that this technology can bring to the table (or not utilising it at all).

Most importantly, however, is the opportunity of further development of already implemented ERP solutions with cloud or 2.0 technologies. As with the aforementioned points, the shift in the way in which information and data is stored and cycled within an organisation is because of the growing opportunities cloud technologies present. This also reigns true for the way in which applications within an organisation are operating. Enterprise 2.0 is now being embedded deeply within ERP applications; with vendors utilising cloud services to not only reduce costs on themselves, but to provide clients with a more seamless overall package. Even the biggest of the Big, such as SAP have realised this and are now shifting to the future of ERP solutions, including Enterprise 2.0 into many facets of their applications.

The world and 2.0

Well now it is inherently obvious that web 2.0 is something of the present, and has been for at least a couple of years now. The ‘social’ web has been ushered in over the past 7-9 years and is now bigger than ever, and growing at an increasing rate. In fact, it is a massive part of our everyday lives. Don’t believe me?

Think to yourself for a minute here and try to remember the last time you heard some of these statements. Shall we?

‘I saw it on Facebook’

‘Yeah it was officially confirmed on Twitter today’

‘There’s a video of it on Youtube’

‘#someindiecaption #instagram #cooleffect’

Ring any bells? If the answer is no, then you probably live underground with no communication to the outside world, no friends, no family, no job, and no grasp on reality because the reality is that these web 2.0 instances are increasingly vital parts of our everyday lives. It seems as though there is a paradigm shift occurring in that we as humans are becoming reliant upon such technologies to go about our daily tasks, and for what reason? Let’s take a closer look at what some of these things do and why it is useful.

First of all, Facebook. I don’t need to present figures here – we all know that this thing is massive. What it is allowing us to do is to share aspects of our lives with all our friends simultaneously. The beauty of it is that no matter where you are, you can share and view information, images, messages, events, and pretty much anything else you can think of with all your friends – all day everyday. This is why it has become so popular, the fact that it is connecting so many people at once wields immense power on so many levels. More about this in later posts.

There are others out there that do very similar things for connections, LinkedIn, Google+, Myspace etc. all have similar characteristics in connecting the community.

Twitter connects users as well. Short messages can be ‘tweeted’ by a user to let their followers know what they are doing, thinking, or planning. Who cares? a lot, apparently and once again, it keeps users in touch with once another, regardless of time or location.

Then there is the multitude of media sites, Youtube, Vimeo(videos) Instagram, flickr(photos), Soundcloud, Spotify(Music) that all allow users to share these different kinds of media with one another, again regardless of the time, status and location.

So I think I’ve alluded to it enough, but I will be straight up and say why I think social media and web 2.0 are helpful and important to us. They allow us to share a multitude of daily personal artefacts, which keep others up to date and personalised on various happenings all over the place.They allow for instant access to a whole database of information and media, accessible to anybody within the same community.

Stay tuned, in my next post I will show you some of the power that can be harnessed by these web 2.0 capabilities within the corporate world, and give insight to the world of Enterprise 2.0/

Is Blog… Is Good

Hi all! Well here it is, the long overdue first post on my blog. Here it will be possible to view the bits and pieces of knowledge that I, in my infinite wisdom (or lack thereof), will bestow upon the world! I aim to analyse and discuss in quite some depth different web/enterprise 2.0 technologies and their characteristics. Firstly though, I think that it is important to explain how this will work.

This blog is here for me to produce and deliver some insights to everyone about enterprise 2.0. How will this be done? What strategy will be taken to ensure this is done in the best possible manner?

Simple.

Yes, that’s it.

sim·ple/ˈsimpəl/ – Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.

I guess this would be my strategy to a successful blog. I will endeavour to keep these things simple, easy to follow, and above all understandable. I think that too often people will get lost in the thousands of words in reports or other large documents, simply because they aren’t well…. simple! I am of the opinion that this is a big reason why blogs and other “2.0” technologies have become a solid alternate to reports and other official documents as a means of obtaining information. Ehem…..

As an IT professional, I feel as though my opinion and knowledge on web 2.0 in the workplace is valuable and interesting(to some at least). I aim to maintain this blog with helpful insight, analysis, and humour to obtain and retain readership. Above all, I want to engage in a social revolution in blogging whereby information can be freely shared between me, and other aspiring IT professionals on what is essentially the future of the web and the workplace!

Finally.

Here are a couple of blogs that I really feel have been done correctly. Clean, simple, and full of good insight (for the most part). I look forward to sharing as time goes on, thank you for reading!

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com.au/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

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