Social CRM meets Enterprise 2.0: Social Business becomes Business as Usual?

23rd Nov 2011

...or #scrm + #e2.0 = #socbiz by @markw_h – please read this article and let me know your thoughts!

For many people considerable aspects of both our personal and work lives have changed in recent times. At home we use an ever-growing and capable range of personal, mobile, and hi-tech devices.  At work there is a growing trend towards flexible working whether that is flexible, hours, days or the location we work from. The divide between home and work (which most organisations have been built upon) is also blurring, as technology provides more options for people to get their jobs done at their convenience within a what is now a global marketplace.
Change and evolution are inevitable; everything around us is constantly changing, adapting, and morphing. Without getting philosophical about it (as the subject of change and evolution isn’t the key focus of this article), change has a significant impact on each and every one of us. This impact is magnified when it relates to a subject that you are both 'connected' to and care deeply about.
Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 are two very large, significant, and growing markets, with Enterprise 2.0 being the larger and arguably the more mature of the two. My personal background and expertise is predominately in the area of Social CRM. I also have some experience in Enterprise 2.0 and both are subjects that I am passionate about.
Social CRM encapsulates a business strategy and approach for serving customers in a more personalised way. Ultimately, this makes it much easier and far less frustrating for customers to consume goods and services from suppliers. The corresponding phenomenon inside the organisation is Enterprise 2.0; it enables true collaboration, participation, and engagement. Traditionally, Enterprise 2.0 has been focused on employees within an enterprise and sometimes the suppliers to the enterprise too.
However, despite their differences, it has been my view for some time that these two worlds are very closely interlinked with each other. And I now believe it is time to explicitly document and describe an approach which enables businesses to become Social.
In summary, Social CRM + Enterprise 2.0 = Social Business. Yes it’s that simple. Social Business is about making transformational business change happen within the enterprise. This business change happens through the practical application of tried and tested approaches, methods, and processes spanning the interconnected networks of customers, partners, and employees.
Attending this year’s Cloudforce event in London re-affirmed this. It was clear that Mr Benioff and his team are generally heading in the same direction as my peers and colleagues in terms of the thinking on the subject. It is also refreshing that the thinking and observations on this subject is also resonating with customers. Focussing on Social Business enables us to look at the opportunity that the 'social' layer provides in much more meaningful and broader terms. Often projects for the delivery of Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM have been built on buzzwords and flaky business benefits. Initiatives have been focused on something perceived to be cool and the technology required to deliver it rather than the business change required to make a difference.
The single biggest barrier to successful Social Business projects is the subject of change itself: business change, culture change, organisational change and changes to the products and services offered by businesses to customers. However, a business cannot operate in a vacuum; to succeed in social business employees, partners, and customers must work together in collaborative value networks. These value networks will provide a shared workplace to co-create products and services whilst addressing the simplest question from all stakeholders: what’s in it for me as illustrated in figure 1 opposite.
Human nature has already determined that in order to persuade people to do something they need the reason why they are doing it. It is even better if the reason why aligns with their core values and beliefs. Therefore, a combination of excellent service design and social business are essential in joining up the physical and virtual networks that connect employees, partners, and customers enabling them to co-create value with each other. If you can design products and services that answer the “what’s in it for me?” question and keep all of the faces in that simple but diverse co-system happy then your chances of success are much higher.
Examining successful Social Business implementations paints the same picture. From the Nike+ collaboration with Apple, to Dell, Starbucks, Jimmy Choo, GiffGaff, and Logitech - all of these businesses have successfully answered the question of “What’s in it for me?” across their enterprise. In some respects it is simple, and on the surface it sounds simple too. However, there are many subtleties which add complexity, in addition to the fact that all of the traditional concepts surrounding successful business transformation also apply too. Taking an approach such as the one outlined above to Social Business will enable those relationships to mature and reduce many of the barriers that exist today.
Partly for fun and partly to support the arguments presented in this article, I decided to compare Social CRM (#scrm), Enterprise 2.0 (#e2.0), and Social Business (#socbiz) by performing some social media monitoring.
It is telling that the results over a period of 30 days illustrate a bigger audience for #socbiz than exists for both #e2.0 and #scrm combined. What is also interesting is that the peaks and troughs are broadly similar too. Granted there is a small lag between them but the conversations are about the same topics. Indeed so are many of the contributors to articles within the topics discussed.
In summary, there is a large overlap at the intersect between Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM. This intersect is indeed Social Business. Indeed it is a much larger and broader subject to tackle. However, it is necessary to do so in order to achieve buy-in from all involved and deliver real change and benefit from investments in people, process and technology in this area.
If we apply a 'Venn diagram' to depict this to Figure 1 and add the core concepts of relationships, trust and value, which apply across and between all stakeholders, then we can start to model how stakeholders needs can be addressed at all levels. Similar models can then be used to communicate change across the enterprise as well as with external stakeholders too.
The courtship between Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 is heating up and will continue to blossom in 2011; the wedding date is set for June 2012. Product vendors will continue to build their software suites either through development and/or acquisition. However, ultimately, the ability to execute Social Business as Business as Usual will increase. Personally I know we will have been successful when the 'social' moniker is dropped and the principals underpinning Social Business become just another part of the fabric of the everyday business world. Organisations seeking to obtain value for money from their investments in Social Business will most likely do so by delivering a Social Business portfolio that joins up and drives commonality across employee, partner and customer networks as described throughout.
Mark Walton-Hayfield is a Principal Social Business Strategist at CSC UK. He leads CSC’s customers in both the strategy and practical application of Social Business across the areas described in this article.CSC have invested in Social Business both internally with the successful implementation of a circa 91,000 seat Social Business Suite and externally in the Global Social Business Practice and the work that they undertake with CSC clients.
For more information please contact Mark Walton-Hayfield (@markw_h).
CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled business solutions and services. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., CSC has approximately 97,000 employees and reported revenue of $16.2 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2011. For more information, visit the company’s website at

Replies (4)

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By cvancourt
24th Nov 2011 19:37

Greetings Mark. 

We too beleive that it is just a matter of time before all organizations will expect their systems to selectively support knowledge sharing among all internal and external stakeholders and E2.0 and SCRM labeling will fold into some form of "social business software."   

Every stakeholder in an organization's ecosystem has unique insights and something of value to bring to the table.  However, supporting systems need to enable organizations to selectively bring together the stakeholders that have the right knowledge, experience, context and expectations/responsibilities to add value in each exchange, without too much education required, which can significantly dillute both effectiveness and efficiency.

We also believe that to create sustainable online communities the systems supporting these interactions need to have an overridding reputation engine that can measure and motivate desired contributions that in turn can also be used to identify and proactively leverage specific subject matter expertise. This is about measuring real value provided rather than measuring participation, which is what most "reputation" engines today actually measure rather than demonstrated expertise.

What's the future hold? Anyone who has been tasked with melding together disparate (and duplicate) content and individual reputations knows that this task will be challenging if not impossible, which means that companies will be well served to start planning for this inevitable melding sooner rather than later.

Collaboration and synergy are certainly only supressed by unintended segmentation!

Chuck Van Court
CEO and Founder, FuzeDigital

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By Mark Walton-Hayfield
24th Nov 2011 23:38

Hi Chuck,

Many thanks for the read and the comments. I agree completely with your points. Unless Social Business is designed into business operating models, business strategies, products and services as part of the service design process (where appropriate and relevant) it will be much more difficult to obtain success.

In addition your points about influence and reputation are well made too. However, this is indeed an emerging area which is not quite there yet. Whilst many of the Social Media Monitoring tools (Radian6 and Attensity to name 2) use Klout for example as a measure of influence and reach) it is not ideal. Although, I have now doubt that the measurement of influence and reputation will mature as structured and unstructured data are brought together through the application of text analytics and big data in the longer term.

Once again thank you for your well made comments and joining the debate.



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By cvancourt
25th Nov 2011 17:35

Thanks Mark for starting this conversation. 

Beyond influence, which Klout and some software monitoring solutions attempt to measure, I believe that the reputation engines used in social business software need to motivate participation in the organzation's online community, but most importantly they also need to measure specific expertise demonstrated. 

As an example, badgeville does a good job measuring participation/contributions but is not good at indentifying expertise.  As another example, Lithium is more focused on the quality of contributions, but the measurement is across the entire community rather than being specific to subject domains, and how many communies are about one subject matter?  To smartsource diverse stakeholder insights I beleive you really need a way to identify and quickly tap into the individual's best suited to help out in your oraganization's ecosystem based on the focus at the time.

Best, Chuck

P.S.  I believe that our company offers the first and only social business solution to support all stakeholders across an organization's entire ecosystem that also includes a reputation engine to measures specific expertise while motivating sustainable particpation.  I would love to get your take on our offering, if you get a moment.

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By Mark Walton-Hayfield
28th Nov 2011 10:18

 Hi Chuck

Thank you for your comments and insight. To be fair this is probably the subject of another article in itself, and possibly a fairly interesting one too. It turns out that we already have some folks researching some of the areas you mentioned as part of one of our Leading Edge Forum grants that we issue to employees. In any case I think I will return to this subject in Q1 2012 possibly writing something up to some up my perspective on it. I will take a look at Fuze as part of that research and analysis.

Kind regards,

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