In 2012 we saw many cases where public companies were hit by social networks causing major headaches and even impacting their business decisions. As an example, take Bank of America’s strategy change when they announced an additional $5 a month fee for debit cards holders. One person started a petition on the social networks requesting Bank of America to revert this decision. In a few days, 300,000 people had joined the group. After that, Bank of America abandoned its plans on the maintenance fee. The social effect caused the bank to have to react with complex actions while being closely-monitored by the media and society. And what is worse, causing a reputational impact, which is very difficult to recover from.

In times when everybody can become a journalist, using twitter or any other similar tool, the risk to a company’s reputation is increased. A tweet from an influential person who has had a bad experience with his retail bank can cause lasting damage, if one doesn’t act fast. Also, an errant tweet from an official company account could negatively affect a trade or client relationship. For highly regulated industries, social media can be a legal minefield.

On top of that, one cannot forget the cultural change that is needed within public companies to adapt to this reality. Everyone needs to be on-board as soon as possible. The social media strategy is a matter of the whole company and not of a specific department. Companies need to manage social networks and share the responsibility throughout the organisation

There are many solutions that public companies are already putting in place by using a mash of different products and technologies, and setting up specific departments within the business to solve these sorts of problems.

Wouldn’t it then be good to detect all the tweets that are mention our company and process them accordingly in a workflow type tool? Identifying the relevant tweets and acting is quite easy. But when it comes to certain, specific actions by specific departments, and depending on the nature of the tweet, this gets a bit more complex. Additionally, regulators can ask for evidence on how a customer in a regulated industry acts in social media. All activity must be recorded and archived.

We have recently done this for one of our customers that wanted to capture all their relevant tweets and then process them accordingly in the appropriate departments (legal, risk, compliance, marketing, etc.). We achieved this using ServiceNow (NOW), an ITSM SaaS and PaaS tool. The success of the solution is that once our tweets are loaded into the tool, we can treat them accordingly: archive, monitor and act, based on specific metadata fields, such as message content, social profiles and dates. The customisable workflow means that we can adapt to the client organisation’s way of working. From each tweet we can create a task for the risk department, an incident for the helpdesk or notify the marketing department about a specific feedback on a campaign it recently launched. And on top of this, we can add the reporting the teams need. Managing those tweets in time (and broadly speaking any social media content) can help us to manage very efficiently the reputational and compliance risks of the business, while helping us to meet the regulators requirements. It’s possible that if some of the headaches in 2012 might have been detected earlier, if such as system had been in place, meaning the corporations could have responded in time.  So, what’s your social strategy within your company?

After looking in many forums with no joy, this is the method it worked for me:

Press the Menu and Power button at the same time for a few seconds.

and forget about the Reset hole!

Some days ago I had a white screen in my iPod Touch with IOS version 5.0.1.
After googling posts and solutions, nothing solved my problem. The I decided to leave the iPod to run out of battery. So then what? Next morning, I recharged and everything came back to normal!

Innovation, does it go with me?

Posted: January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recently I had a conversation with a collegue about a proposal he had to do for a customer about a specific BI development around a financial product. He did the proposal on his own, googling information, analysing it, matching it with the requirements and then, writing something from scratch. I explained him about a similar work that other group was doing in the company. He was quite surprised.

The experience the other group could bring into the proposal could be crucial on the decission making process for the customer. So then, what?

I immediatelly started thinking about many different things to do to improve this type of scenarios. In that same conversation we already identify a bunch of them that we could easily implement. Once the improvements are identified, we need to analyse them in deep and do a minimal impact and cost analysis. And then it is the action time, maybe, the most difficult one since normally involves other people’s way of doing things.

To sumarise, the process goes like this:

  • identify an improvement point (normally a problem for the company)
  • identify solutions
  • analyse them in deep considering your company and market realities (most of the times the perfect solution simply doesn’t fit in our company!), costs and impact to other people
  • classify, prioritise
  • implement them
  • check the performance
  • reaction! (go Back to to first step)

Some people could say this is not innovation, but for me, anything we do to better perform our processes it is indeed innovation.

Now, let’s apply the same rational process in the market. It is pretty frequent on me that, whenever I read an article about any tendency or problem a company or sector has, I start thinking on how my company could help to solve it or add value. So the innovation process is something companies need now to spread around their employees. It does not sit anymore only in the R&D departments or management (see what Google did with its Google Labs department last year).  And once our employees come with these new ideas, then let’s put a formal process in place to filter them down and implement those more beneficial for the company.

Some years ago we could do this process from time to time. Information, products and processes were pretty stable. We can’t afford doing this any more. We need to certainly change the way we, our employees, behave. We need all to do this innovation process constantly and at all levels. From improving a daily and small simple process to create a new product or service for our clients. Live is so demanding! This is the game we have to play now! And if we don’t want to play this game, let’s then get out of it and retire to our dreamed countryside house!

Jeff Bezos – A visionare?

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have a look at this interesting interview to Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder.

Full article interview:

I heard last May in San Diego an excellent speech by Chris Dancy from PinkElephant. Chris explained to the audience about the evolution of IT: in the 1980s our bosses didn’t want us to use the phone because of the potential lose of productivity. In the 90s the problem was with email. In the 2000s, the web was seen as something that decreased productivity. Today, all these tools form part of our daily work and nobody is concerned about them. In the 2010 decade, tools such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter are seen as the problem, but companies can extract huge advantage from these tools to boost their efficiency and productivity.

For example, the number of employees asking one of their colleagues for IT help is difficult to avoid, even where there is a very efficient service desk. When users have a problem, complaint or question they want answers quickly. More importantly, they want a result, their problem solved. On top of that, this common practice does not allow companies to gather valuable information about the problems their employees are finding in their daily work and as such, companies cannot act accordingly.

Something that is helping organisations to solve such a problem is knowledge management; a process responsible for collecting and maintaining the knowledge crucial to all of the IT processes, including information about configuration items, company policies, asset information, etc. In this way employees can easily and quickly find answers to their problems.

But the last next step must be to introduce Social Networks into your company (intra Social Networks), and especially in the ITSM arena. ServiceNow, a privately held SanDiego-based company, which specialises in on-demand IT management software, has made the first move here by integration within its cloud-based solution, chat and live feeds. We see  the benefits of Social IT as:

  • Organisations can easily identify SME and talented people
  • Reduction of email usage by a large percentage
  • Information is not stored in private employee email inboxes but in a shared environment. No loses when an employee leaves the organisation
  • Incorporates a new searchable knowledge source
  • Fosters innovation since the best innovation comes from our employees

So why are organisations holding back and what are the main obstacles you see when applying Social IT within your company?

English version to come soon

Las redes sociales aplicadas dentro de las empresas nos proporcionan varias ventajas que de otro modo son bastante costosas de conseguir.

Analicemos cada punto de los del enunciado brevemente:

Innovación: La mejor innovación puede venir de nuestro empleados. Cuando nos preguntamos como mejorar nuestros servicios o productos, ¿por que no hacerlo internamente? Incluso de forma natural, con comentarios a actividades diarias, podemos mejorar nuestros productos o servicios de forma muy eficiente  y económica.

Compartir conocimiento: ¿cuanto conocimiento restringido ponemos en los centenares de correos electrónicos que escribimos? Mucho de estos correos podrían ser perfectamente públicos dentro de nuestra empresa. Una forma de compartirlo muy sencilla es evidentemente mediante el uso de estas redes sociales corporativas. Otro beneficio de mantener este conocimiento publico es que, en el caso de bajas de empleados, este quedará en manos de la red social, no perdiéndose con el borrado del buzón de correo del empleado.

Descubrir talento: y por último, el talento. Cuan fácil será ahora descubrir talento en una cierta actividad dentro de nuestra empresa por parte de ciertos empleados. La participación en la red de nuestra masa corporativa laboral nos permitirá descubrir a gurús y a empleados talentosos, que de otra forma, quizás nunca descubriríamos, o al menos, de forma tan fácil y económica.
¿que otra ventajas se te ocurren de la aplicación de redes sociales dentro de las empresas?