Archive for October, 2012

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.

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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.