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WHITEPAPER

Using Enterprise 2.0


to prepare for recovery

Copyright 2009-2010 © Whatever Company


Executive Summary
The current circumstances and challenges are unparalleled in recent times. Changes in business cultu-
re are accelerating to satisfy the individual demands of customers, employees and collaborators.

In recent years Web 2.0 technologies have facilitated individual participation in generating web
content and reflect a demand from internet users and at the same time acting as a catalyst for further
empowerment. Enterprise 2.0 covers the deployment of these technologies for collaboration and
knowledge management within the organisation.

Organisations that have already embraced Enterprise 2.0 find it contributes to many if not all areas
of their business including; improved employee, customer and supplier relations; enhanced resource
management and cost containment; marketing edge and perhaps most importantly innovation.

The increasing value of knowledge amid capital devaluation highlights the need for a culture change
embracing the key business drivers of an organisation; their customers, markets and resources.

Enterprise 2.0 can provide solutions to enhance the performance of these key business areas, using
tools that can be easily tested and verified for their Return on Investment.

“ This is what web


2.0 means ”
Jessica Hagy

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  2


Introduction
Recent advances in web based technologies have facilitated
easy collaboration, sharing of information, communication “Peer-to-peer learning enabled
and integration of results. Initially these tools were broadly by Web 2.0 technologies in an
defined as Web 2.0 driven by content generated and enri- organization can yield pheno-
ched by the users rather than by an information supplier. Al- menal results such as reduced
though the social aspect of the Internet has been around for time to market, increased inno-
many years as forums or message/list servers, Web 2.0 has vation, improved productivity,
enabled collaborative software to evolve into an easy to use and engaged employees”
experience for creating, tagging and sharing of data, media,
comments and cross-references. Karie Willyerd, VP & Chief
Learning Officer, Sun
These technologies applied within the enterprise are most Microsystems
commonly referred to as Enterprise 2.0, encompassing the
beneficial aspects of people centric technology and exten-
ding it into a business context. Its deployment benefits from
the skills and experience that many individuals have already acquired in using blogs, wikis and infor-
mation sharing. At the same time Enterprise 2.0 facilitates a high degree of interconnection outside
of traditional hierarchies and signals not only a procedural change within the organisation but a
cultural one as well.

In contrast to traditional Enterprise Software which supports procedures vital for primary business
processes, Enterprise 2.0 is flexible and lends itself to supporting unstructured and complex issues
by enabling individuals to collaborate according to the nature of the task, mirroring natural commu-
nication patterns rather than that of a predefined structure.

This paper will demonstrate the value of Enterprise 2.0 and how that value can be realised.

Background
The current economic environment is only one of several factors that are likely to impact future
business and administrative practices. Climate change, the demographic time-bomb of an aging
population, and concerns over irreplaceable natural resources are all forcing markets to re-evaluate
options for the future.

Despite the current disruption, it is technological innovation that has had most impact on personal
and business cultures over the last 15 years including: GSM (mobile telephony), Internet, broadband
communications, and ecommerce to name but a few. Undoubtedly ground breaking technologies
are already waiting to have their impact as soon as market conditions are favourable.

Surviving the current market disruption will require strong management, quality resources and the
flexibility to operate in environments radically different to those previously encountered. Current cir-
cumstances clearly distinguish themselves as being exceptional and so the responses for survival and
recovery need to be exceptional too. Just reducing capacity, costly staff, stock levels, or R&D spend
may contribute to short-term survival, but be crippling in the recovery.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  3


Driving the Business Forward
The life blood of the company flows in different parts of the organisation, all of which need to be kept
healthy and fit during the transition to recovery. Enterprise 2.0 activities can contribute to significant
returns on a modest investment.

Turning Customer information into Client


communities “Web 2.0 social networking has
far-reaching consequences for
It is a challenge at the best of times to keep customers hap- corporate executives managing
py and maintain their loyalty. In such times customers are relationships with customers, em-
looking to improve cash flow and boost cost effectiveness ployees and business partners”
by any means possible. Gaining a balanced view of what
Henning Kagermann,
is happening within the customer needs knowledge derived
Chairman and CEO, SAP
from multiple sources; from the chairman on the golf course
to the service engineer chatting in the canteen, all contribute
to building the customer community.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been widely deployed for some time integrating
the customer as part of a business process, but generally it has been unable to feedback the real
needs and concerns of customers by putting them at the end of an automated telephone queue or
a website that demands administrative overhead which could be serving customers.

Enterprise 2.0 can involve the customer in a community that enables vital knowledge to be harves-
ted and used to enrich the understanding of their needs and concerns. Customers notice that issues
are resolved more rapidly when raised through a transparent social network than when processed
through dedicated feedback mechanisms, and appreciate the one-on-one relationships involved.

“ I’m calling to
close the account ”
Jessica Hagy

Some market segments will be more deeply affected than others and increased churn of the custo-
mer base is likely, but this will provide new business potential and social networks can provide vital
knowledge of these emerging opportunities. In addition establishing a community improves overall
trust levels, helps to refine product requirements and potential innovations, and provides new sales
opportunities whilst sharing experiences and helping to resolve potentially damaging issues.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  4


Transforming market watch into competitive advantage
The competition is having a hard time too. Some will be well
prepared, and some will make fatal mistakes, but what is «Mistake No. 1 is thinking
certain is that all will be looking to take advantage of any that marketing is the best place
weakness exposed. to cut when businesses are
looking to tighten their belts».
Knowing your adversary is not an easy task. Understanding
their products and services is only part of the process; a good Ann Handley, Chief Content
appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses is most effecti- Officer at MarketingProfs
vely built from personal knowledge gathered from employees,
consultants, and clients. Enterprise 2.0 environments enable in-
formation to be gathered from social networks, blogs, reports,
web-sites, and commented offering valuable market insights.

“ Problems you even


didn’t know you had ”
Jessica Hagy

Key competitors may be reducing innovative activity by de-


ferring new projects and products, leaving market opportuni- “The best companies, like
ties unexplored and exposing exploitable market niches whilst General Electric and McKinsey,
cash-rich competitors will be looking to exploit that position accelerate innovation during re-
by plundering the best talent from resource strapped competi- cessions. They know that their
tors. There will be opportunities to innovate at bargain prices. people have a little more time to
think, and they encourage them
The “buzz” in the marketplace provides valuable insights to think boldly and creatively”.
concerning the extent of innovative activity, and being able to
track this activity can gain valuable weeks or months later in Tom Davenport Babson
the business cycle. There is an abundance of tools available College (Wellesley, MA),
to track activity in blogs, social and professional information President’s Distinguished
spaces, message exchanges and publications, that can be Professor of Management and
used to identify trends, track competitive activity and iden- Information Technology
tify emerging markets. Tracking the community enables the
relevance and relative value of gathered information to be
quickly established.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  5


Market communications are also shifting from a targeted broadcast approach to customized in-
teraction with the individual who is not only demanding this change but also facilitating it by
embracing social networks. Increasingly consumers are at ease with social networks, attracted not
only by interaction with their peers concerning their favourite brands, but also demanding their sup-
pliers participate or risk the possibility that their customer will switch to one that will.

Making the most of your resources - towards a meritocracy


An organisation’s human capital is its greatest asset but often its greatest cost burden, so it is na-
turally a prime target for cost-savings. Fear of the unknown introduces uncertainty into the lives of
young talent as well as experienced practitioners and can subsequently undermine the whole work-
force if left unchecked. Improved internal communications can reassure staff and management alike,
as well as contributing to overall effectiveness.

Trust in internal and external relationships has been eroding


«Instead of [employees] focu- for many years prior to its recent collapse. Effective working
sing on what they’re supposed environments are those endowed with high degrees of mu-
to be doing and helping the tual trust between employee and employer, and client and
company to succeed…they supplier relationships. Transparency through good commu-
tend to be looking for jobs, pa- nications and sharing, contributes to the building of trust.
nicking and spending their time
talking to each other about the In the past the individual was reluctant to share informa-
bad news in the economy» tion and impart knowledge because they assumed it would
undermine their own value, but the realisation is spreading
Penny Morey, Founder of that everybody benefits from sharing, enhancing the indi-
Human Resources Consulting vidual’s worth as well as the collective knowledge. This in-
Firm RemarkAbleHR creased openness encourages participation, improving an
individual’s performance and that of a team, and provides
the vital spark to share and develop ideas leading to true
innovation.

“ Yes, there is
always another
option ”
Jessica Hagy

Most of the young who have entered into the employment over the last 10 years (so-called Gene-
ration Y) are totally at ease with social networks in their private lives and have come to expect the
same dynamics within their working environment. They are an increasingly influential component

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  6


of the organisation, expecting working environments to exhibit the immediacy, transparency and
empowerment offered by their social networks.

Empowerment is critical to the creation of effective teams, and this means sharing vision, mission,
culture, and goals. The Enterprise 2.0 environment empowers the individual and capitalises on
their greater willingness to share. Peer pressure within this environment not only helps to ensure
rapid acceptance but also promotes effective self regulation.

Remember, a destiny changing idea can originate anywhere: at board level, in the bowels of the
post room, or with a disgruntled customer.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  7


Potential Solutions
Some aspects of change may have temporarily slowed down but the need to position for recovery
is essential and the key component of this is harnessing the untapped knowledge within the organi-
sation and of those it interacts with.

The goals are:


ÆÆ Improved customer satisfaction : direct dialogue, improved understanding of their needs,
problems and goals
ÆÆ  etter focussed marketing : understanding of market trends, competitors’ activities, market
B
perceptions, new marketing techniques
ÆÆ  ore effective use of internal Human capital : improved knowledge retention, enhanced
M
morale and trust, expertise identification, and more flexible structures
ÆÆ  nhanced innovation : shorter cycles and creativity resulting from enhanced group
E
communications and understanding

Communications and sharing is only effective when those involved actively contribute. Social networ-
king has rapidly becoming a part of people’s private lives and increasingly this skill set is being ap-
plied within organisations. It has enabled individuals to adopt communication and sharing mecha-
nisms more readily, and empowered them to participate more effectively in a corporate strategy that
embraces the key business drivers.

In times of flux, it makes sense to look at new structures needed to function effectively in the new
market reality. Multidisciplinary, task oriented teams, often geographically dispersed are replacing
old centralised departmental structures. For example a new marketing initiative will mix traditional
marketing know-how, internet technology expertise, and socio-economic analytical skills combining
to make sure it is adequately targeted and covering the ground. Such teams are best supported by
a common tool set available to all as they move through different project scenarios.

When recovery starts many organisations will be understaffed and with insufficient resources to
address business opportunities as they arise. With better mechanisms in place for knowledge and
expertise sharing, the risk of missing out on sudden movements in the market is reduced.

Approaches for introducing Enterprise 2.0


ÆÆ A trial is the most effective way of proving the viability of a project
ÆÆ Select a well defined objective where ROI can be determined and KPIs defined
ÆÆ Ensure there are at least one or two strong advocates involved in the trial
ÆÆ Visible senior management commitment is essential
ÆÆ Current infrastructure need not be changed

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  8


Whatever’s offering
Whatever recognises that new technologies can require new methodologies for their deployment,
and follow the principles of “solve”, “guide”, and “evangelise”.

Whatever has multidisciplinary roots, facilitating their understanding of the issues confronting organi-
sations that need to make the most of their knowledge advantage. By providing a uniform approach
linking into existing infrastructures, Whatever aims to bring the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 to address
some of the most pressing issues confronting organisations today.

Whatever provides the following services:


ÆÆ Consultancy
ÆÆ Advocacy
ÆÆ Solutions

Knowledge Plaza
Knowledge Plaza is Whatever’s platform environment that supports the needs of the en-
terprise. It builds a base of knowledge using the expertise of the participants, and can run
either hosted within the corporate network or as SaaS (Software as a service). In its various
configurations Knowledge Plaza can service the needs of large multinationals as well as small ad-
hoc project teams established between cooperating SMEs.

“ People listen to
the loudest noise ”
Jessica Hagy

The MicroPlaza service is an example of how Whatever can provide a tailored solution to new en-
vironments. MicroPlaza is a public tool to help the individual discover relevant information that has
already been evaluated and filtered by people whose opinion they value. This service enables the
recommendations distributed through Twitter to be categorized, prioritized, searched and saved.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  9


Business Benefits
Deployment of Enterprise 2.0 and will facilitate the embodiment of expertise in the organisation with
specific benefits:
ÆÆ Improved market communications using especially using viral and guerrilla marketing tactics
ÆÆ Improved market and competition positioning
ÆÆ  etention of critical expertise and rendering the work environment more rewarding for the
R
individual
ÆÆ  nhanced customer/supplier relationship through broader harvesting of feedback and better
E
understanding of their issues and objectives
ÆÆ Faster response resulting from increased flexibility in setting up ad hoc teams
ÆÆ Rapid identification of expertise
ÆÆ In-sourcing opportunities
ÆÆ Improved trust levels internally and externally
ÆÆ Incremental implementation facilitating cost justification
ÆÆ Enterprise 2.0 can be built on existing infrastructure and platforms

Summary
As the first shoots of recovery are emerging it is very likely many aspects of the business environ-
ment will have changed substantially posing new threats and new opportunities that have not been
encountered before.

Introducing Enterprise 2.0 has the potential to endow your organisation with flexibility and the fluidity
of knowledge flows that will enable many facets of your business to be one step ahead of the com-
petition on the road to recovery.

Customers, suppliers, management and employees alike will all appreciate the new spirit of collabo-
ration and trust engendered by the new facilities.

These tools are relatively simple to evaluate, with transparent cost scenarios that enable phased
roll-out in line in a controlled environment.

Action Plan
To start on the path to recovery with Enterprise 2.0
1. Identify potential areas where Enterprise 2.0 solutions might be applicable
2. Consult departments within your organisation and identify potential champions
3. Contact Whatever for an informal discussion and demonstration
4. Whatever can answer many of your questions, and a small pilot will answer the rest

Using Enterprise 2.0 to prepare for recovery  10


Written by innovate solve guide

Whatever Company sa/nv


rue Fond Cattelain 5
B-1435 Mont-Saint-Guibert
www.whatever-company.com

EU : +32 (0)10 23 59 30 UK : +44 (0)845 226 3369


Gregory Culpin : g.culpin@whatever-company.com
Scott Gavin : s.gavin@knowledgeplaza.co.uk
Engage with us
Blog: http://blog.whatever-company.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/whateverco

© Indexed cards courtesy of Jessica Hagy