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Deep flows the River between Social and Business… July 25, 2012

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Enterprise 2.0.
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3 comments

It’s been quite a while since the world has been gripped by the Social Media fever . However, as is the case with any new concept that catches the masses by their eyeballs and wallets, social media too has turned into a big Gold Rush with many following suit.  Suddenly, plenty of creative designers, copywriters, and account managers have now turned into peer-recognized and self-proclaimed social media specialists.

Yet, like every time the dust rises, it also has to settle down. When it does settle down, are we going to see despair as we did with the Dot Com bust in the 1990s? For everyone’s sake, I hope not, but, somewhere deep inside I sense a repeat of history.

Can businesses reinvigorate themselves from the inevitable social media overkill when the time comes? Yes, it can and this will be the time when they wake up to Enterprise 2.0. Coined by Andrew P. McAfee, Enterprise 2.0 is defined as “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.”

However, the future will not be just about Enterprise 2.0 platforms; this will also be a journey of how the corporate world adopts its Customer Engagement Strategies. Customer Engagement sees itself metamorphose itself over 4 key stages, namely, Initiation, Integration, Intelligence and Value Creation.

  • Initiation – being the welcoming stage for the customer
  • Integration – stepping it up to engage the customer to consume the products or services
  • Intelligence  – used to accumulate past learning and understand the customer’s engagements
  • Value Creation – to develop an ongoing relationship through knowledge gained from the previous 3 stages.

Today, we can witness a trend where Initiation and Value Creation are being actively promoted on the Social Media ecosystem through interactive products like events, games, competitions, etc. Obviously, these are conceptualized from the Intelligence gathered over time through proven methodologies. However, a weak Integration presence would result in many customers being bored of all the fun around without any real work being done.  All Play and No Work can also make Jack a dull boy.

So, what does all this mean? This means that until Social Technology evolves in such a manner that customers can execute business transactions via these platforms, they will over a period of time go the way of Newsletters and Raffle Draw tickets as just another marketing gimmick.

This evolution has been defined very eloquently by John Mancini of AIIM in this info graph published in his OccupyIT manifesto.

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Yes, Facebook has taken interaction with the customer to different experience, but it still lacks that most important activity between a customer and a provider and that is the “business transaction”. Naively portrayed below is my vision of the future and where I believe the future should move to.

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A world where one can log on to online banking, traverse to a single transaction and engage in a query or clarification with customer service.

The future is not just social and it’s not just business, but in a nutshell, it will and must be socio-business.

Rebooting the Human Mindset – The Invisible Challenge July 12, 2011

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management, Others.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Google + brings about a renewed wave of energy in the Social Networking scene. 30% of my Twitter (another Social Networking phenomenon) now buzzes with Google + and related hash tags. With Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook himself checking it out, how could I be left behind?

Dan O’Leary was kind enough to invite me and as I joined in, my initial excitement was vanquished by my inability to adapt to Google + easily. Perhaps, the lingering experience of Facebook was prompting me to find a Facebook in Google +. I created my account, click a couple of circles and I was out of there. It took me a lot of intention to come back 2 days later! And when I returned I had to reboot my mindset to explore and adopt Google +, a task not as easy as our favorite 3-finger salute; CTRL+ALT+DEL.

It’s been 4 days now and Google + has not connected me to anyone new; instead it’s synergized a selection of my Facebook contacts and Twitter followers into one. Only time will tell whether I enjoy this cohesion or not.

As an ECM-BPM cohesion advocate, this small experience was a reflection of the invisible challenge I have faced on a daily basis during the course of my humble career. As a non-technical resource in the information management world, it’s a difficult journey to meet the expectations of the business without upsetting the ability of the techies to deliver with the tools at their disposal.

Be it a Document Management System or a Records Management System or a Collaboration System or the conventional BPM or Social BPM or Adaptive Case Management or Dynamic Case Management, they are all a change to the business user from their interactions and experiences with their current systems and processes.

In spite of all these innovative solutions, why do we still see the email as the most prominent unstructured information communication and collaboration medium? It’s simple; the email did not change the behavior of communication; it merely changed the medium of communication. The snail mail approach was merely adapted to a digital medium.  The new solutions require the human to UNLEARN while emails kept it down to an acceptable minimum.

However, the completely anarchic nature of the E-mail began to pose other challenges to an enterprise in terms of security, storage and retrieval. The processes that were probably better controlled albeit at a much slower pace through a paper trail was now run through the chaotic freedom of emails.

Naturally, the world began to search for alternatives to control their content and processes resulting in a whole new gamut of information management solutions. However, the innovators in their excitement to lead the brat pack forgot that the human mind is not as excited to adopt changes as they desire to. A slow and steady release would have allowed the Average Joe to visualize, experiment, experience and then execute these solutions.

Today, within 4 days, as I start to crib about the unavailability of Google + on Blackberry, I must also be honest that I may not have appreciated too much features from Google + in one go. Just as I started on Facebook when it was not as feature rich as it is now, I had a natural growth into it.

As an ECM-BPM consultant, I take great efforts to restrain my excitement at releasing a plethora of features to the business user. The challenge of rebooting their mindset to unlearn the current and re-learn the future is more daunting that delivering exciting new features.

Unless, one gauges the organizational or departmental psyche towards unlearning, it is best advised to feed them one biscuit at a time and not the whole pack. The Invisible Challenge must be made visible before any ECM-BPM program is launched and to crack this code, I’m off to reading that greatest lesson ever – “Aesop’s The Hare and The Tortoise”.

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