Are your communities making a difference to your top and bottom lines? Your third bottom line? People long for community, to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to collaborate, and to be recognized for what they do. It’s in our nature to be of help.
Evolution of communities—built on strong traditions
User Groups, SIGs, Intranets, Extranets, Portals, Wikis, Blogs led the way:
- Customer Communities: Self-Help for Problem Resolution, Product Use Best Practices, Product Development, Product/Company Evangelizing.
- Employee Communities: Team Selection, Expert Locator, Human Resources Processes, Institutional Memory, Knowledge Management, Document Sharing.
- Partner Communities: Supply Chain Management, Online Interactive Learning, Human Capital Development.
Social Business Enterprise Platforms: More promise than reality.
- PROMISE: Integrate Customer/ Employee/ Partner Communites into one Stakeholder Community collaboration platform.
- PROMISE: Provide access to and interactions with all these Stakeholder Community members, through collaboration applications including organized topical conversations, gamification, and more.
- PROMISE: Embed other internal, customer-facing applications in the collaboration platform. Provide open access through the platform.
- REALITY: Technology exists to integrate the Customer/ Employee/ Partner Communities into one Stakeholder Community. But the focus remains largely on Employee Communities and the tools that major players like IBM have invested in for years. Interesting in that IBM and Cisco especiallly have been leaders in leveraging customer communities.
- REALITY: Collaboration tools have been used largely as a feature, not as a platform.. Collaboration tools are now being embeded in other Enterprise software including Business Intelligence, Finance and ERP systems.
- BECOMING REALITY: Enable real-time unified communications—anybody, anywhere, anytime. Cisco just announced a transformative technology solution that will enable people to work better together using tools that are already out there. It will mean that everyone, not just executives, will be able to get collaboration technology on demand. Their CEO John Chambers predicts productivity gains of 5% to 10%. Most of these gains appear to be internal, but it will certainly allow for more ubiqutious collaboration. Is this social business or digital business? Or both?
For what’s next see our blog Collaboration Maturity Curve Part 2.
Customer Experience Wisdom: Communities make relevant public recognition easy for management to give. Recognition is often as important as money in motivating people.
Question: Have you taken your online communities to the next operational level? Do you leverage your communities to profit from referrals, to get support and collaboration help on your offering, to influence the conversation in the Social Media, or to take responsible social action? Are you ready to integrate your Customer/ Employee/ Partner Communities into one Stakeholder Community? Want to collaborate with us? Be In Touch.