Ian Gotts

Schneider Electric Shows What It Takes to Raise Enterprise Social Adoption Rates

Gartner has been tracking enterprise social networking (ESN) for the last couple of years and the Gartner Portals, Collaboration and Content Summit in London brought together the best research, client case studies and opportunities to network with other professionals.

Against a backdrop of skepticism about the success of ESN (in 2010 Gartner estimated 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail) Deepak Bhandary, the Social Enterprise Program Manager for Schneider Electric,  presented a different viewpoint.  He showed that if a social platform is going to have a chance of success, deployment requires a very organized approach.  Schneider Electric’s global rollout to 95,000 people has delivered tangible results and their Adoption Dashboard metrics show that it is sustainable. Within the first few months, the company saw the number of active users grow by 650%.

There approach was not “build it and they will come” or “provide and pray.” Schneider Electric has a very clear view of what they need do to support their high growth global company. Underpinned by the statement “If only Schneider knew what Schneider knows,” they had a strategic vision supported from the very top of the organization.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

The overall branding was very clear: Connect. (continued…)

Yellow Pages Group Achieves Rapid Adoption with Enterprise Social Networking

A month after Yellow Pages Group deployed tibbr, enterprise social networking, they saw over 25,000 posts and over 80% of employees added their profile picture – a good sign of adoption.

What’s more, employees transitioned from just listening to contributing. “Employees started sharing success stories,” said Andre Boisvert, Chief Architect at Yellow Pages Group, explaining how employees out in the field started sharing tips, which helped onboard new sales reps.

In a webinar, Transforming Sales and Marketing to Boost Revenue with Enterprise Social, Andre covered the key elements Yellow Pages needed for adoption:

1) Executive Level Support

“This project was a personal initiative from our CEO,” Andre said. “Throughout the deployment we had a very strong commitment from his part and I think this is the key to success. The deployment of enterprise social networking in the company is not a technical deployment it’s a cultural change … Therefore the executive support is critical to this.”

2) Early Adopter Approach

“The second approach we used for adoption gave great results,” Andre said. “It was an early adopter approach. We identified within the organization small groups of people that would use the platform when it was in pre-production mode. … We explained to those early adopters what were the objectives and what were the limitations they would face. (continued…)

Joshua Chu

Top 5 Stories on Enterprise Social Networking This Month

Enterprise social adoption requires a community effort. The most successful initiatives have a clear purpose from the beginning and strong support from senior management. Discover what else it takes to make enterprise social collaboration a success. Check out these 5 must reads on enterprise social networking for the last month.

10 Ways to get Users on the Social Business Bus

Debra Donston-Miller – informationweek.com Social business technology has the potential to increase revenue, cut costs, improve relationships with customers and enhance internal and external collaboration. If you’re willing to make the commitment to best-practice implementation of social products, there’s just one thing that can get in your way: your employees. In other words, if you build it, they may not come. And if they don’t come — or don’t fully or enthusiastically participate — your social business initiative doesn’t really stand a chance. (continued…)

Improving Sales Enablement with Enterprise Social Networks

Bill Cushard According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), U.S. businesses spend $15 billion per year on sales training and that many sales people find the training ineffective or less than useful. This statistic should drive business leaders crazy because it forces them to ask what they are getting from such a large investment. (continued…)

10 Steps to Develop a Social Business Strategy

It’s good practice to map out a strategic direction before moving forward with any business plan, and developing a social business strategy is no exception. Rob Koplowitz, VP of Forrester Research, outlines 10 steps to developing a solid social business strategy below.

Ten Steps To Develop A Social Business Strategy

1. Design a social ecosystem

2. Gain executive support

3. Develop your social capability map

4. Establish a social business council

5. Select from competing social strategies to invest, pilot and support

6. Establish social media policy & employee training

7. Empower employees to solve customer & business challenges

8. Plan social public relations

9. Engage customers in conversations

10. Measure business impact always (continued…)

Welcome to the Mobile, Social Revolution

Have you ever noticed an employee walking down the hall answering an email or text message from their smartphone? The pose—head down, back slightly hunched, eyes focused on a mobile device—is not just pervasive in our personal lives. Over 40% of information workers already use mobile devices. In the U.S., 28% of directors and executives already use tablets at least once a day.

Vice President of Forrester Research Rob Koplowitz presented interesting research on this emerging trend:

Part of the demand for mobile technology goes hand in hand with the use of social technology in the workplace. Referencing information workers, specifically executives and managers, Rob said “They’re depending on information.” And they need this information from their mobile device. It means accessing the new slide deck from your tablet in time for a meeting with a customer; or approving that purchase order so the new equipment is delivered on time, even when you’re waiting to pick up the kids.

As business grows more mobile, social business technology does too. This means accessing critical updates essentially from anywhere.

“The interesting thing about tibbr is the mobile experience,” Rob said, mentioning how it was one of the 3 main components driving tibbr’s ranking as a leader in the Forrester Research Activity Streams Wave (along with tibbr’s “vision around integration” and ability to “deliver cloud verses on premise” offerings). (continued…)

5 Keys to Enterprise Social Software Implementation Success

I like the way Charlene Li of Altimeter Group said it: “Most companies approach enterprise social networks as a technology deployment and fail to understand that the new relationships created by enterprise social networks are the source for value creation.” In other words, besides IT considerations, there are other important factors to account for when making the move to a more social business environment.

How will employees interact in the space and what positive outcomes will that activity bring to your business? How will you measure the success of the system and use it to its maximum potential? To answer these questions and more, here are five ways to ensure a successful implementation of your enterprise social network:

1.  Make employee buy-in a priority. Introduce employees and management to the benefits of enterprise social prior to implementation. You could even brainstorm with them on ways to put the network to use. This goes a long way in encouraging employees to use the network and accomplish your business goals.

2.  Understand the opportunity. Companies need to critically examine current forms of collaboration in order to identify opportunities for improvement. tibbr’s Lars Plougmann recently offered his insight. He said, there is a disconnect, where close to 80% of executives believe collaboration is critical to growth, yet only 25% believe their organization collaborates effectively. (continued…)

Promoting Positive Use of Enterprise Social Across Your Organization

Executives are realizing the potential of private social networks at an increasing rate; a recent International Data Corporation report shows 67% of the 700 companies surveyed have deployed enterprise social software in 2012. That’s up from 43% in 2011.

Private social networks drive communication and collaboration, breaking down geographic and organizational boundaries. But, to ensure best use of this technology, it helps to have a solid actionable plan consisting of these elements highlighted below:

Bridging the Gap Between C-Level, IT & Employees for Enterprise Social Success. You can’t just install an enterprise social network at your company and expect magic to happen. It helps to have one person in your organization, a dedicated community manager, who can make the transition to a more social business model much smoother. Having a liaison to act as an intermediary resource to IT, management and employees will help inform, guide and drive your enterprise social network’s usability and business value throughout the organization.

Training Employees in Private Social Network Use. Employee training is imperative and should take place with each new social network member prior to their using the site. Enterprise social networks create an instant feedback loop across the company, breaking down barriers but also requiring that all employees adhere to acceptable use standards. (continued…)

VP of Forrester Research on Why CEOs Want Facebook-like Tools

The way we work will evolve to be social, across boundaries and devices, anywhere and anytime.  Executives are investing in private social networking with these goals in mind. They know their business cannot function productively without the knowledge and insights from the “people that are running the business every day.”

“We’re investing in social technology more than before,” vice president of Forrester Research Rob Koplowitz said at TUCON 2012, Las Vegas. “What’s changed more than anything else is the global economic reality… We’re working across geographic boundaries.” From headquarters to manufacturing plants, engineering teams to sales teams, employees are more spread out and in need of better ways to communicate and interact. Executives are implementing social technology to meet the demand.

  • 62% of organizations plan to or have implemented mobile applications.
  • 55% of organizations plan to implement video conferencing at work to make communicating even more interactive.
  • And, out of US information workers, 56% are investing in enterprise social solutions.

What’s even more interesting is where the demand for social technology at work comes from. According to Rob’s presentation at TUCON, the biggest demand does not come from the millennial generation, but from the baby boomers generation. Of this demographic, 49% are managers, directors or executives, 52% make more than $60K per year and, on average, work more than 40 hours per week. (continued…)

Measuring & Adjusting the Effectiveness of Collaboration Software

Measuring anything in businesses accurately and understanding what that measurement actually reflects can often be a challenge.  This can especially be true in situations where you have a new technology, software or process in place.  There are success stories and testimonials that clearly show that collaboration software helps businesses communicate more efficiently, but how do you actually prove and maximize its effectiveness?  Here are some areas to focus on and what they most likely reflect:

User activity.  What’s the point of having an enterprise social network if you really don’t know how much employees use it?  Even if you measure the average number of posts people make during the week or month, you may not be receiving an accurate measurement.  After all, sometimes it takes six or seven messages to understand what can be clearly communicated in one. One way to measure effective activity would be to examine your organization’s total costs.  If your total costs decrease significantly during a time period in which you haven’t implemented any other substantial cost-saving meas (continued…)