Social networking meets professional business.  There is no doubt social networking is a powerful tool for both the individual and now an entire enterprise.

In previous weeks, the Brisbane Airport has been used as a case study scenario in which enterprise applications can be introduced to improve current business processes. Organizations use social networking in order to improve company image, improve internal and external collaboration and communication, and so forth. Through means such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc a company such as the Brisbane Airport can greatly improve business processes and see great value in using social media as a tool in its enterprise.

Social media can be used to greatly improve business processes and 3 have been discussed here;

–       Marketing

Through the means of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, organizations are able to promote their company image and brand themselves on the internet. Marketing is increased on a large scale, where a public internet post is shared among potentially thousands of people.

Through marketing, social media enables business organizations to effectively promote products that many people may not be exposed to through other forms of media. (Quora.com)

–       Feedback from customers

A company using social media can bring the company down to earth in a positive way. Social media bridges the communication gap between customer and employer. Through social media, a company such as the Brisbane Airport can open a public facing social media tool in which users can provide valuable feedback.

With open public feedback, there of course will be positive and negative feedback. This can be taken advantage of as organizations can promote a good image to customers by taking in feedback and improving on company processes, image, reputation and customer satisfaction. (Quora.com)

–       Communication and Collaboration

Social media provides a central point of communication for both customers and employees. It provides a central point for important information about upcoming events, customer feedback, competition and much more. The key is knowledge and social media brings customer knowledge sharing into one place. A user can log on and post their experiences on the Brisbane Airport’s Facebook page, whether it is positive or negative.

The organization is able to communicate to its customers through new means such as Twitter. Brisbane airport for example, can post vital information about flights, promotions and other information and any users following the appropriate tag will see the post.  Through social media communication and collaboration externally and internally is greatly increased. (CIO Journal.)

A strategy the Brisbane Airport would greatly benefit from would be to employ a Facebook page for business purposes. The page would provide a central point of information about the business itself as well as a communication tool between company and customer. Facebook is a powerful tool to create a good relationship between company and customer.

By incorporating Facebook into current business processes, greater communication can be established as well as marketing and customer feedback opportunities. Facebook opens the door to communicate effectively and promote business to customers. Users are able to visit the page, see useful articles, visit the company page and receive vital updates.

Careful considerations of course have to be taken in account such as privacy settings, linking of emails, Facebook rules, and linking services such as Twitter. Some steps in the wrong direction can cost a company its reputation. A full list of ways to use Facebook for business can be found here: 32 Ways to use Facebook for Business.

There is no doubt a Facebook page would be greatly beneficial with the ability to combine with services like Twitter. A simple Facebook page for the organization can greatly boost public image and communication to customers. Customers are the key driver for growth and reputation and Facebook provides another powerful platform to do so.

Using enterprise 2.0 services in an organization effectively can be challenging and businesses face overcoming many issues, but implementing such systems can be very beneficial. With clear focus and goals set, incorporating enterprise 2.0 systems into business processes can be very rewarding and promote growth and productivity.

In a case study, the Brisbane airport has put forward the proposal to incorporate enterprise 2.0 in its business structure. The general objectives for doing so include:

–       Bring together an organization spread out by geographical location

–       Centralization of information and knowledge sharing

–       Collaboration and productivity

–       Incorporate into current processes

–       Access data easily in a centralized location

Enterprise 2.0 systems generally address the above objectives a business, in which case the Brisbane airport, wishes to achieve. Specialised systems have to be looked at for the specific needs of an airport business process model.

Incorporating enterprise 2.0 systems can have many challenges, including the immediate benefits and predictability. The Brisbane airport may face several general issues including:

–       Governing: Who owns and controls the data?

–       Funding, liability, expenses

–       Participation and engagement

–       Policies

–       How to Centralization information

–       Accessing company data & Access restrictions

Discussed this week was the use of blogging and micro-blogging and how they can be used to the advantage of an organization. In particular for this blog post, the Brisbane airport scenario will be looked at and how blogging can address the objectives and issues discussed above.

With the use of blogging and micro-blogging, the Brisbane airport can greatly improve in-house processes and productivity. Among many other benefits, the use of blogs as an enterprise tool can enhance knowledge sharing and greatly improve efficiency in processes.

Through centralized knowledge sharing in a company blog, the discussed objectives can be achieved. Blogging in an organization gives opportunity to improve communications both internally and externally and can promote company image positively.

Micro-blogging can be of a great advantage to the Brisbane Airport organization. As effective as blogging in general can be, micro-blogging can be a powerful tool to promote public image and assist customers.

There are many micro-blogging tools in existence including wordpress, SharePoint and the obvious Twitter. Twitter was the original micro-blogging tool used by organizations but there are many other tools in existence that are following the trend. An article by ZDNet describes many of the micro-blogging tools in existence today.

One strategy the Brisbane Airport should incorporate into their business strategy is Microsoft’s’ Office SharePoint. Although it will need to be customized heavily to meet requirements, it can be a very powerful tool with extensive functionality including micro-blogging to an internal organization, Collaboration, knowledge sharing, searchable information and many more features. There are many organizations that already use SharePoint and their models and experiences can be used to implement a successful SharePoint strategy.

(Image Source)

Enterprise Wiki’s

Posted: October 7, 2012 in INB346 Enterprise 2.0

Wikis are vastly becoming a popular tool in the workplace today. Organizations are starting to take on the trend and implement Wiki pages for their company to centralize knowledge sharing, documentation and announcements. Wiki pages, if implemented correctly, can have the power to centralize all information and provide a knowledge base for employees in an enterprise.

As discussed in previous posts, the Brisbane Airport case study is used as an example, where the organization requires the use of social media and web 2.0 to enhance business processes and efficiency. As mentioned in my previous blog post, common challenges businesses face, including Brisbane Airport, can be narrowed down to the following:

–       Bring together an organization spread out by geographical location

–       Centralization of information and knowledge sharing

–       Collaboration and productivity

–       Incorporate into current processes

–       Access data easily in a centralized location

Wiki systems ideally are used as collaboration software and tackles business issues and challenges in dealing with collaboration issues and centralization of information. Generally, these wikis are simple to use and can be broken down into several specialised areas for different business areas using separate web pages for each. (Ezra Goodnoe, August 08, 2005, InformationWeek)

A wiki is simply a collaborative database of information that can be edited freely by anyone and everyone. Business organizations, including the Brisbane Airport case study, generally have issues with keeping up-to-date with information and centralizing it so all respective parties have the right information. This can be in the form of important memos, project documentation, proposals, meetings and meeting agenda, news etc. Rather than traditionally sending and sharing this information via email, wikis allow the information to be up-to-date and available to everyone in a central location on a company’s intranet.

As discussed, wikis can tackle several challenges businesses face including centralization of information, documentation, data access and much more. In using the Brisbane airport scenario, these issues/challenges can be eased with the use of a business wiki.

Three business process issues Brisbane Airport can rectify using wikis, according to business wiki trends suggested in webtrends.about.com, include:

1. Global communications

Using wikis for global communications can be greatly beneficial to large scale organizations such as an airport. Wikis are easy to use and can be used as a source of information both publically and within an organization. Users are able to edit and add information when required. Users spread out across geographical locations who are possibly working on the same task, require the same information etc. are able to work together collaboratively in the same online workspace. No longer is email required as the sole source of communication where information can be lost or left behind.

2. Knowledge sharing

Once again, the team emphasis comes into play. Knowledge sharing is made easier with the collaborative abilities of a wiki. No longer are documents needed to be stored in a network that can become out of date or lost. Documentation is easily kept up–to-date and no longer are users lost with the wrong copy of documents. Knowledge bases are kept in a singular online location within the business intranet.

The wiki provides a singular point of location for all business documents with the ability to have specialised areas for particular teams or sectors of a business. Common issues, questions or general information is easily shared to all employees, (or the public for public facing wikis) in a centralized location.

3. Project management

Project management information can be a difficult piece of artefact to keep up-to-date and everyone informed regularly. Meetings may take place where topics are forgotten or follow-up emails are ignored. The wiki provides a central source of information and the ability to upload, update and store important documentation and project management information.

In the Brisbane airport’s case, projects may be conducted on a massive scale, and physical documentation or simply keeping everyone up-to-date can be near impossible. The powerful wiki tool comes into play, where this simple wiki tool can provide the platform for all project management and teams to view upload and store information regarding the project in a single location. Projects become much simpler to manage.

Building a company wiki can be challenging and the Brisbane Airport will have to take measures with a clear goal in mind for implementing the wiki. Other case scenarios have to be considered where organizations have both considered and failed.

One case where a large organization the Los Angeles Times deployed a wiki, consideration and care was not taken into the implementation. In this case, a public wiki was created based on the Iraq war, the Times hoped users would create their own opinion column as a general sharing of information. What was ill predicted was the amount of spam posts made by users. The organization spent days trying to police the wiki article before eventually taking it down. (Ezra Goodnoe, August 08, 2005, InformationWeek)

Cases like these need to be taken into account if the Brisbane Airport were to introduce such technology. Although wikis can be very beneficial and provide an open source of information and improve collaboration, they require careful considerations and strict guidelines. As seen in the Los Angeles Times example, employing a public wiki (or even internal) on a large scale can be difficult to manage.

It can be very challenging, yet rewarding for organizations to adopt enterprise 2.0 strategies.  Creating corporate blogs or wikis, or a twitter account can have its benefits in improving staff awareness and increasing knowledge, but can it really improve the workplace so much that productivity is increased and a higher return on investment is achieved through better productivity? How can factors of increased company knowledge and engagement be measured and deemed successful?

This blog post aims to introduce a case study from NewCorp that successfully adopted a web 2.0 strategy in order to improve business processes.

For an enterprise 2.0 system to be deemed successful in an organization it needs to equal money to the company. It can be difficult and time consuming for organizations to employ a social media service into its organization and to realise the benefits and value of social media services.

In order to see the benefits of social networking in a professional organization, goals need to be defined; costs and times estimated and then return of investment estimated.

Once a goal is in place, the organization needs a push from the end users of the tools to engage and participate in the social media tool, but employees need encouragement from higher management to set the example.

It seems that the trend in deploying successful enterprise 2.0 systems in an organization comes down to several key factors. Organizations who have overcome the grey areas and risks, have addressed concerns by employing a high level of control over the enterprise 2.0 services.

According to an article by Steve Raddick, It seems that the reasons for failure can trend to;

–       Not having a vision for your enterprise 2.0 platform

–       IT departments implementing other organizational tools leading the implementation of the platform

–       No long-term planning

–       Being feature-focused rather than reliability and accessibility focused

these factors appear to be the common downfalls in organizations wishing to employ enterprise 2.0. There are several key factors leading to the success of many real-life professional implementations of enterprise 2.0 systems, the common trend of factors found are:

–       Higher management to lead by example

–       Incorporate enterprise 2.0 systems into business processes

–       Train and engage employees

–       Have a clear vision or plan

–       Trust employees but have clear guidelines

(newsgator, CIO.com, B2C.com)

A good example of an organization that followed good practices and implemented enterprise 2.0 systems successfully is News Corp. The company was struggling to maintain connection between its many geographical locations and maintain a good culture, as well as communication and collaboration; so it turned to enterprise 2.0.

With this vision of maintaining a good company culture and collaboration on a global scale, News Corp created its own social media site called OurNews. The social media site according to the organisation brings together at least 15,000 workers.

The 5 man team that maintains the social media site concentrates on generating content to raise company awareness and encourage user engagement and monitoring user-generated content.

Like many enterprise 2.0 implementations, the many benefits and power of the social media tool are still emerging and continue to grow. The key factor seen with the implementation of enterprise services is the benefits grow and is driven by user participation.

This blog is concerned with the potential legal risks an organization can encounter when deploying an enterprise 2.0 structure into their business. Although these enterprise 2.0 systems are very useful and beneficial to organizations, there can be downfalls if the organization doesn’t introduce a structured policy to control these social media and web 2.0 services. As discussed in my previous blog, web services in a business can be very beneficial to increase productivity and efficiency, knowledge sharing, reputation and staff engagement but without a proper structure to control and manage these services, the company is at risk of negative exploitation.

Because of the openness and freedom of social media, it is hard to see how it can fit into a professional organization and many may ask that question. But web 2.0 has allowed organizations to move away from strict structure to a more free working environment where employees can share valuable information. There is substantial legal risk as you can imagine and without a proper policy in place a company can be staring down the barrel of many legal complications. In reviewing many sources, I found this the most helpful The Risks of Social Media… And How They Can Be Managed,while cross referencing with other sources, the trending 6 risks I believe are most relevant are:

  1. Discriminatory or Derogatory Postings
  2. Threats of Violence
  3. Disclosure of Confidential Information and/or Trade Secrets/False advertising
  4. Defamation
  5. Terms and conditions of social media sites
  6. Ownership

There is a lot of useful information regarding these risks and how they can damage an organization due to misuse or misunderstanding by employees. The risks stated above can be easily done either intentionally or accidently by employees when a seemingly harmless tweet, Facebook post or photo is made that can damage the company’s reputation, or worse aim to damage a competitor’s reputation.

In relevance to how these risks can occur in an organisation, Novell will be used as an example. Novell was used in a case study in my previous blog and I think it is a good example of how enterprise 2.0 is employed successfully into a business.

Novell is a software development company that aims at enhancing workplaces making them more productive through Local Area Connections (LANS). Novell creates framework for businesses to centralize, manage and secure services over a local area network through its software services. It mainly uses wikis in the organisation to enhance productivity and knowledge sharing.

The following is an overview of how Novell can be exploited by misconduct of the above legal risks:

  1. Discriminatory or Derogatory Postings may be made by an employee to purposely hurt other employees or derogate from either the company’s reputation or others or even fellow employees. Through Novells use of wikis, pages with posts may be made that can be unprofessional and potentially damage an employee’s reputation.
  2. Threats of violence, serious or not, may be made and how people choose to read it varies from person to person, although it is social media, if the account is made under the intention of being used in a work place, it is considered unacceptable and can once again damage reputation.
  3. Once information is on the web, it’s out there forever and can be found by anyone. The risk of company information being exposed is of a high risk. Employees could face extreme legal action and sacking if for example a new product is on the way and someone shares confidential information on a social media site, damaging the marketing of a product. An employee may obtain information from the business’ internal wiki taking another person’s works credit, or posting it online either intentionally or by accident.
  4. Using social media, it can be easy to be unprofessional and let your personal interests take control, defamation is the result where the truth is eluded about products or services either internally or externally. While using the company’s social media services, an employee falsely misleading readers or followers about a product and its superiority to others can lead to many legal risks.
  5. As well as the terms and conditions a company may have in its policy on social media for business purposes, of course the services themselves have terms and conditions.  There is substantial risk when companies use social media to advertise products and services, as web services have strict terms and conditions surrounding this are. Novell would have to ensure a policy is in place for its internal wiki, ensuring it maintains professional content and is managed by higher authority.
  6. Finally the ownership of the service accounts. Although an employee uses his or her own information signing up to the web service, they are bound to a company policy. Who has the right to access the social media account? Should the management have access to passwords when an employee leaves? What will happen when an employee leaves, will they take vital information with them and do they own or have rights to it? Although content is posted on the wiki and could be an employee’s work of designs, codes etc, the company may have full rights and access to it.

The business should ensure a social media policy addresses the above risks and many more that are associated with the use of web services for business purposes. Ensuring social media maintains a professional approach I believe is extremely important to make sure the above risks are avoided.

Enterprise 2.0, as explained in previous blogs is the concept of incorporating web 2.0 applications into a business model. Social networking and other web 2.0 tools are used within a business to increase productivity and target wider marketing and therefore higher profit opportunities.

This blog post is all about the important benefits businesses can embrace when incorporating enterprise 2.0 applications into their respective business operations. These enterprise 2.0 applications can be costly and it is important to identify the benefits and also point out proof from case studies undertaken where success factors have been seen. Some would think to themselves, incorporating social media tools and other web 2.0 services into a business is a distraction and a waste of time, but businesses will benefit from key factors surrounding:

– Productivity and efficiency from employees

– Knowledge through sharing

– Reputation of the business

– Staff engagement

The business wanting to attain an enterprise 2.0 service will have to identify and manage the risks associated with it.

These are the key benefits and the drivers for businesses, as well as the risks, to incorporate enterprise 2.0 services into everyday business applications. To realize the success businesses have achieved from enterprise 2.0 applications, I’ve taken a detailed look at a case study from a business that has realized the benefits.

There are of course risks involved with incorporating enterprise 2.0 systems. Being web 2.0 tools these services can be used in a damaging and non professional way. The risks associated with using enterprise 2.0 applications through misuse or ill-managed in a business include:

– Reliability

– Damaging reputation

– Loss of control through wrongly-controlled security membership

– Loss of productivity through misuse (unprofessional use)

– Resources to manage the wiki, who keeps it up-to-date, growth

– Security, who has access and to what level?

The success story I will be looking at is where Novell has incorporated Wikis into their business infrastructure to improve productivity and knowledge; two of the above benefits outlined.

Novell introduced wikis within their intranet for the purpose of improving team productivity and also across the entire enterprise. The case study used here: http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_km/2006/06/making_wikis_wo.html describes how Novell has used wikis on both a team level for engineers as well as across the entire business effectively to improve on the above outlined areas, in particular productivity and efficiency and knowledge. Two of the focus areas of this case study, and part of the key success factors in successful enterprise 2.0 services are knowledge, and Productivity and efficiency.

Novell has realized these two benefits through its use of wikis. At a team level, the business is using the wikis and is achieving higher productivity and knowledge levels through software development. This is due to the openness of wiki pages in which teams on small and large scales can contribute pieces of vital information, documentation, suggestions and historical details about projects and development. The wiki allows knowledge sharing with team members posting progress on the wiki where other  members of the team or company are able to keep track of updates and documentation, bug fixes, etc. This also ensures no overlap in work is being done as oppose to relying on conversations, emails, memos etc. It is easy to see here that collaborating with a team has become far more effective.  Having a project and all of the information associated with it centralised in one place, the wiki, makes for far better efficiency and performance.

On a larger scale across an entire enterprise, the wiki is available for everyone in the business to retrieve important information on the company such as changes, social events, meetings or general information. Users can easily follow information from the intranet wiki rather than relying on email or conversation, or watching out for physical notices. No longer are employees having to keep up with notice boards that can go ignored.

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The boring unattractive noticeboard becomes….

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…An attractive, easy to use, specialised wiki page

The benefit of the wiki is that it is available to everyone in an enterprise, it is easy to keep track of information and can be specialised for certain users through the use of hyperlinks to separate pages. Novell is a great example of how using web 2.0 tools has benefitted their business and is seeing a greater return of productivity and increased business awareness through knowledge sharing.

Web 2.0 has opened many doors for both personal and business use to improve productivity and enables users to achieve whatever they desire. This second blog post in enterprise 2.0 is about grasping and enhancing personal productivity using web 2.0 tools.

Web 2.0 and social applications are not just here for fun, they can be a powerful tool for data sharing with the world through any means thinkable. Examples of how a person can be productive through the web are used in wiki articles, twitter, blog posts, photo/video sharing and forums.  The more useful web 2.0 tools a person can use and use effectively, the more self-productive and knowledgeable a person can be, simply through effective manipulation of web 2.0 tools.

The web allows us to be self-productive through many means and I’ve found this theory to apply to me through the use of many web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, SkyDrive, Google Docs, Forums and many more tools. There are two tools in particular that I have recently signed up for and used that I have found very helpful in being self-productive.

SkyDrive:

I first used SkyDrive by default is my new Nokia Lumia windows phone had it built into the operating system, and I must say Microsoft have done a great job of this application.

SkyDrive is a cloud storage service that allows users who have either previously a Hotmail account or now a windows live account to upload and share data. Settings allow you to control the privacy of your files so not everything is public or private.

As far as self-productivity is concerned, this SkyDrive cloud service is a great application, no longer is there a need for a USB stick anymore. With 25GB of online storage for free, I can upload all photos and videos easily, especially because every photo taken with my phone is automatically uploaded. In a backup sense this service is very useful as all assignment files, resumes and any kind of documents can be uploaded and stored.

Because of my Windows phone, I have found this service very productive in a way that I can launch my SkyDrive application and open an MS word document, power point presentation, excel spreadsheet or any file and view it straight from my windows phone and even edit the documents then save it again to SkyDrive. SkyDrive has been a very self-productive and fulfilling service for my everyday life, allowing me to have Microsoft apps, photos, and backup storage retrievable anywhere at any time.

Twitter:

Twitter for those who don’t use it, is a social networking website designed for users to post and read text size ‘’tweets’’. These tweets can be read by followers or those using a hashtag. I am only very new to Twitter as a part of my university subject it is very handy to use.

Twitter is a very handy self-productive tool as it is a very useful source of information. Not just used to social use or ranting it can be used productively to actively find latest news of what just happened in the world. One thing I will find very useful from Twitter is the people or organizations I’m following, these days many companies and organizations use Twitter to post updates about product software, updates and soon to be released products which is very useful. You can even use it to post reminders and notes.

A very useful website that has helped me realize Twitters full potential, as I am new to it, is here: http://lifehacker.com/5788266/top-10-uses-for-twitter-that-arent-self+indulgent