Thursday Sep 20, 2012

Want to Avoid Social Media Fatigue?

Register NOW for today's webcast with R "Ray" Wang

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

The Social Business Thought Leaders - Esteban Kolsky

Esteban Kolsky's presentation at the Social Business Forum 2012 was meaningfully titled “Everything you wanted to know about Customer Service using Social but had no one to ask”. 

A recent survey by ThinkJar, Kolsky’s independent analyst firm, reported how more than 90% of the interviewed companies consider embracing social channels in customer service the right thing to do for the business and its customers. These numbers shouldn't be too surprising given the popularity of services such as Twitter and Facebook (59% and 60% respectively in the survey) among organizations, the power consumers are gaining online and the 40% preference they have to escalate issues on social services. Moreover, both large enterprises and small businesses are realizing how customer retention is cheaper and easier than customer acquisition.

Many companies are looking at communities and social networks as an opportunity to drive loyalty, satisfaction and word of mouth. However, in this early phase the way they are preparing to launch social support appears to be lacking at best:

  • 66% have no defined processes for customer service over social channels
  • 68% were not able to estimate ROI before deploying social in customer service
  • Only 8% found the expected ROI
  • Most of the projects are stuck in the pilot or testing phase
In his interview for the Social Business Thought-Leaders, Esteban discusses how to turn social media hype in business gains by touching upon some of the hottest topics organizations face when approaching social support:
  • How to go from social media monitoring to actionable insights
  • How Social CRM should be best positioned in regard to traditional CRM
  • The importance of integrating social data to transactional data 

Conversations with customer service organizations points to 2012 as the year of "understanding what social means for supporting customers". Will 2013 be the year it all becomes reality? We invite you to listen to Esteban Kolsky's interview to understand how to most effectively develop cross-channel strategies that include social channels and improve both customer satisfaction and the overall customer experience.

Ray Wang: Why engagement matters in an era of customer experience

R "Ray" WangWhy engagement matters in an era of customer experience

R "Ray" Wang
Principal Analyst & CEO, Constellation Research

Mobile enterprise, social business, cloud computing, advanced analytics, and unified communications are converging. Armed with the art of the possible, innovators are seeking to apply disruptive consumer technologies to enterprise class uses — call it the consumerization of IT in the enterprise. The likely results include new methods of furthering relationships, crafting longer term engagement, and creating transformational business models. It's part of a shift from transactional systems to engagement systems.

These transactional systems have been around since the 1950s. You know them as ERP, finance and accounting systems, or even payroll. These systems are designed for massive computational scale; users find them rigid and techie. Meanwhile, we've moved to new engagement systems such as Facebook and Twitter in the consumer world. The rich usability and intuitive design reflect how users want to work — and now users are coming to expect the same paradigms and designs in their enterprise world.


Ray is a prolific contributor to his own blog as well as others. For a sneak peak at Ray's thoughts on engagement, take a look at this quick teaser on Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Or perhaps you might agree with Ray on Dealing With The Real Problem In Social Business Adoption – The People!

Check out Ray's post on the Harvard Business Review Blog to get his perspective on "How to Engage Your Customers and Employees."

For a daily dose of Ray - follow him on Twitter: @rwang0

Register Today!

But MOST IMPORTANTLY.... Don't miss the opportunity to join leading industry analyst, R "Ray" Wang of Constellation Research in the latest webcast of the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Series as he explains how to apply the 9 C's of Engagement for both your customers and employees.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

The Nine Cs of Customer Engagement

Avoid Social Media Fatigue - Learn the 9 C's of Customer Engagement
Oracle Corporation
Avoid Social Media Fatigue - Learn the 9 C's of Customer Engagement

Have We Hit a Social-Media Plateau?

In recent years, social media has evolved from a cool but unproven medium to become the foundation of pragmatic social business and a driver of business value. Yet, time is running out for businesses to make the most out of this channel. This isn’t a warning. It’s a fact.

Join leading industry analyst R “Ray” Wang as he explains how to apply the nine Cs of engagement to strengthen customer relationships. Learn:

  • How to overcome social-media fatigue and make the most of the medium
  • Why engagement is the most critical factor in the age of overexposure
  • The nine pillars of successful customer engagement

Register for the eighth Webcast in the Social Business Thought Leaders series today.

Oracle Fusino Middleware Webcenter logo
Thurs., Sept. 20, 2012
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
Presented by:

Presenter Ray Wong

R “Ray” Wang
Principal Analyst and CEO,
Constellation Research

Presenter Christian Finn

Christian Finn
Senior Director, Product Management

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Monday Sep 17, 2012

Systems of Engagement

 Engagement Week

This week we’ll be looking at the ever evolving topic of systems of engagement. This topic continues generating widespread discussion around how we connect with businesses, employers, governments, and extended social communities across multiple channels spanning web, mobile and human face to face contact.

Earlier in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series, we had AIIM President John Mancini presenting "Moving from Records to Engagement to Insight" discussing the factors that are driving organizations to think more strategically about the intersection of content management, social technologies, and business processes. John spoke about how Content Management and Enterprise IT are being changed by social technologies and how new technologies are being used to drive innovation and transform processes along and what the implications of this transformation are for information professionals. He used these two slides below to illustrate the evolution from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.

The AIIM White Paper is available for download from the AIIM website.

Later this week (09/20), we'll have another session in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series featuring  R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0) Principal Analyst & CEO from Constellation Research presenting: "Engaging Customers in the Era of Overexposure" 

More info to come tomorrow on the upcoming webcast this week.


In the spirit of spreading good karma - one of the first things that came to mind as I was thinking about "Engagement" was the evolution of the Marriage Proposal.  Someone sent me a link to this link a couple of months ago and it raises the bar on all proposals. I hope you'll enjoy!

Friday Sep 14, 2012

Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise – Part 2

Reggie BradfordReggie Bradford, Senior Vice President, Oracle 

On September 13, 2012, I sat down with Altimeter Analyst Jeremiah Owyang to talk about how enterprise businesses are approaching the management of both their social media strategies and internal structures.Jeremiah Owyang

There’s no longer any question as to whether companies are adopting social full throttle. That’s exactly the way it should be, because it’s a top online behavior across all age groups. For your consumers, it’s an ingrained, normal form of communication.

And beyond connecting with friends, social users are reaching out for information and service from brands. Jeremiah tells us 29% of Twitter followers follow a brand and 58% of Facebook users have “Liked” a brand. Even on the B2B side, people act on reviews and recommendations.

Just as in the early 90’s we saw companies move from static to dynamic web sites, businesses of all sizes are moving from just establishing a social presence to determining effective and efficient ways to use it. I like to say we’re in the 2nd or 3rd inning of a 9-inning game. Corporate social started out as a Facebook page, it’s multiple channels servicing customers wherever they are. Social is also moving from merely moderating to analyzing so that the signal can be separated from the noise, so that impactful influencers can be separated from other users.

Organizationally, social started with the marketers. Now we’re getting into social selling, commerce, service, HR, recruiting, and collaboration. That’s Oracle’s concept of enterprise social relationship management, a framework to extend social across the entire organization real-time in as holistic a way as possible.

Social requires more corporate coordination than ever before. One of my favorite statistics is that the average corporation at enterprise has 178 social accounts, according to Altimeter. Not all of them active, not all of them necessary, but 178 of them. That kind of fragmentation creates risk, so the smarter companies will look for solutions (as opposed to tools) that can organize, scale and defragment, as well as quickly integrate other networks and technologies that will come along.

Our conversation goes deep into the various corporate social structures we’re seeing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. There are also a couple of great examples of how known brands used an integrated, holistic approach to achieve stated social goals.

What’s especially exciting to me is the Oracle SRM framework for the enterprise provides companywide integration into one seamless system. This is not a dream. This is going to have substantial business impact in the next several years.

Watch Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise On-Demand

Thursday Sep 13, 2012

Join the Conversation #socbiz #oracle


Join us for this webcast Today!

The Social Business Thought Leaders - Steve Denning

How is the average organization doing? Not very well according to a number of recent books and reports. A few indicators provide quite a gloomy picture:
  • Return on assets and invested capitals dropped to 25% of its value in 1965 in the entire US market (see The Shift Index by John Hagel)
  • Firms are dying faster and faster with the average lifespan of companies listed in the S&P 500 index gone from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years today (see Creative Disruption by Richard Foster)
  • Employee engagement ratio, a high level indicator of an organization’s health proved to affect performance outcomes, does not exceed on average 20%-30% (see Employee Engagement, Gallup or The Engagement Gap, Towers Perrin)

In one of the most enjoyable keynotes of the Social Business Forum 2012, Steve Denning (Author of Radical Management and Independent Management Consultant) explained why this is happening and especially what leaders should do to reverse the worrying trends. In this Social Business Thought Leaders series, we asked Steve to collapse some key suggestions in a 2 minutes video that we strongly recommend.

Steve discusses traditional management - that set of principles and practices born in the early 20th century and largely inspired by thinkers such as Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford - as the main responsible for the declining performance of modern organizations. While so many things have changed in the last 100 or so years, most companies are in fact still primarily focused on maximizing profits and efficiency, cutting costs, coordinating individuals top-down through command and control. The issue is, in a knowledge intensive, customer centred, turbulent market like the one we are experiencing, similar concepts are not just alienating employees' passion but also destroying the last source of competitive differentiation left: creativity and the innovative potential.

According to Steve Denning, in a phase change from old industrial to a creative, collaborative, knowledge economy, the answer is hidden in a whole new business ecosystem that puts the individual (both the employee and the customer) at the center of the organization. He calls this new paradigm Radical Management and in the video interview he articulates the huge challenges and amazing rewards our enterprises are facing during this inevitable transition.

Wednesday Sep 12, 2012

Social By The Numbers

Tuesday Sep 11, 2012

Who is Jeremiah Owyang?

Jeremiah Owyang

Q: What’s your current role and what career path brought you here?

J.O.: I'm currently a partner and one of the founding team members at Altimeter Group.  I'm currently the Research Director, as well as wear the hat of Industry Analyst. Prior to joining Altimeter, I was an Industry Analyst at Forrester covering Social Computing, and before that, deployed and managed the social media program at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara.  Around that time, I started a career blog called Web Strategy which focused on how companies were using the web to connect with customers --and never looked back.

Q: As an industry analyst, what are you focused on these days?

J.O.: There are three trends that I'm focused my research on at this time:  1) The Dynamic Customer Journey:  Individuals (both b2c and b2b) are given so many options in their sources of data, channels to choose from and screens to consume them on that we've found that at each given touchpoint there are 75 potential permutations.  Companies that can map this, then deliver information to individuals when they need it will have a competitive advantage and we want to find out who's doing this.  2) One of the sub themes that supports this trend is Social Performance.  Yesterday's social web was disparate engagement of humans, but the next phase will be data driven, and soon new technologies will emerge to help all those that are consuming, publishing, and engaging on the social web to be more efficient with their time through forms of automation.  As you might expect, this comes with upsides and downsides.  3) The Sentient World is our research theme that looks out the furthest as the world around us (even inanimate objects) become 'self aware' and are able to talk back to us via digital devices and beyond.  Big data, internet of things, mobile devices will all be this next set.

Q: People cite that the line between work and life is getting more and more blurred. Do you see your personal life influencing your professional work?

J.O.: The lines between our work and personal lives are dissolving, and this leads to a greater upside of being always connected and have deeper relationships with those that are not.  It also means a downside of society expectations that we're always around and available for colleagues, customers, and beyond.  In the future, a balance will be sought as we seek to achieve the goals of family, friends, work, and our own personal desires.  All of this is being ironically written at 430 am on a Sunday am. 

Q: How can people keep up with what you’re working on?

J.O.: A great question, thanks.  There are a few sources of information to find out, I'll lead with the first which is my blog at  A few times a week I'll publish my industry insights (hires, trends, forces, funding, M&A, business needs) as well as on twitter where I'll point to all the news that's fit to print @jowyang.  As my research reports go live (we publish them for all to read --called Open Research-- at no cost) they'll emerge on my blog, or checkout the research tab to find out more now.

Q: Recently, you’ve been working with us here at Oracle on something exciting coming up later this week. What’s on the horizon?

 J.O.: Absolutely! This coming Thursday, September 13th, I’m doing a webcast with Oracle on “Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise”. This is going to be a great discussion with Reggie Bradford, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Oracle and Christian Finn, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle WebCenter. I’m looking forward to a great discussion around all those issues that so many companies are struggling with these days as they realize how much social media is impacting their business. It’s changing the way your customers and employees interact with your brand. Today it’s no longer a matter of when to become a social-enabled enterprise, but how to become a successful one.

Register NOW! Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise

Q: You’ve been very actively pursued for media interviews and conference and company speaking engagements – anything you’d like to share to give us a sneak peak of what to expect on Thursday’s webcast?

 J.O.: Below is a 15 minute video which encapsulates Altimeter’s themes on the Dynamic Customer Journey and the Sentient World.

I’m really proud to have taken an active role in the first ever LeWeb outside of Paris. This one, which was featured in downtown London across the street from Westminster Abbey was sold out. If you’ve not heard of LeWeb, this is a global Internet conference hosted by Loic and Geraldine Le Meur, a power couple that stem from Paris but are also living in Silicon Valley, this is one of my favorite conferences to connect with brands, technology innovators, investors and friends.

Altimeter was able to play a minor role in suggesting the theme for the event “Faster Than Real Time” which stems off previous LeWebs that focused on the “Real time web”. In this radical state, companies are able to anticipate the needs of their customers by using data, technology, and devices and deliver meaningful experiences before customers even know they need it. I explore two of three of Altimeter’s research themes, the Dynamic Customer Journey, and the Sentient World in my speech, but due to time, did not focus on Adaptive Organization.

The Social Business Thought Leaders - Christian Finn

Television reached the 50M spectators mark in 13 years. The Internet 50M subscribers in just 3 years. It took Facebook one year only to attract 50M users and Twitter overcame the same threshold in no more than 9 months. No longer a fad, Social Media has been entering our life at a faster rate than any other media in history reaching the humongous number of 1.5B social networking users in the world. The net result is that 80% of the online population actively uses web 2.0 services to satisfy its most human need: identifying, connecting and sharing at scale with individuals with common characteristics, interests, and needs.

Such widespread new social behaviors clearly introduce new opportunities for enterprises and yet, according to McKinsey, in the era of uber-connected and empowered customers only 3% of organizations consider themselves fully networked for their ability to leverage social technologies to achieve business benefits across their entire ecosystem of employees, customers and external partners.

Why is this then so hard to direct an apparently natural human tendency to business benefit? Which cultural, organizational and technological obstacles stand in the way to a new era of business profitability? How do we best address them?

In this second video interview from the Social Business Forum, Christian Finn (Senior Director, WebCenter Product Management at Oracle) shared his vision regarding the social business journey by covering both the barriers preventing companies from gaining maximum result derived by people participation and provided valuable first-hand recommendations on how to overcome such hurdles. Touching upon a variety of topics such as putting collaboration in the context of processes, building trust, rethinking the end-to-end customer experience, taking advantage from conversational marketing and peer to peer communities, Christian shares both strategic and very pragmatic insights on how to go from social media hype to relevant business outcomes.

Friday Sep 07, 2012

The Social Business Thought Leaders - John Hagel

While many European economies are on the brink of a recession between increasing taxation and mounting loss of jobs and bankruptcy filing rates, there's an understandable risk of losing sight of the deeper forces at play. Yet instead of surrendering to uncertainty and trying to survive in the short term, many organizations are feeling the urge to be better prepared to thrive in these complex times by developing a more articulated long term understanding of both the opportunities / challenges ahead.

For example:

  • What long-term economic, technological and societal changes are rolling out?
  • Which foundational dynamics will affect our companies' performance, productivity, competition, and innovative potential in the upcoming decades?
  • How will digital infrastructure change our business landscape?
  • What kind of capabilities will be key to compete in a market shaped by growing turbulence, unpredictability and volatility?

Breaking out from a strictly cyclical thinking, studies such as the Shift Index by John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Center for the Edge at Deloitte & Touche (See Measuring the forces of long-term change - The 2009 Shift Index), depict a worrying performance challenge that affected every industry in the entire US economy over the last 45 years. Amidst a more than doubled competitive intensity of the market, and even with an improved labor productivity, the actual performance of US firms has consistently fallen to 25% of what it was in 1965. Most of this reported value is shifting from institutions and organizations to individuals, whether they are customers or young creative talent.

To thrive in the digital economy and reverse declining performance trends, companies will have to fundamentally rethink their management approach by moving from knowledge stocks to knowledge flows, from scalable efficiency to scalable learning, from push organizations to pull organizations.

Based on the outcomes of the Shift Index and on the book The Power of Pull, the first episode of the Social Business Thought-Leaders features John Hagel to provide strategic insights on how companies will succeed in the 21st century.

Thursday Sep 06, 2012

The Social Business Thought Leaders

Enterprise Gamification, Big Data, Social Support, Total Customer Experience, Pull Organizations, Social Business. Are these purely the latest buzzwords to enter the market or significant trends that companies should keep an eye on?

Oracle recently sponsored and presented at the 5th Social Business Forum, one of the largest European events on the use of social media as a business tool and accelerator. Through the participation of dozens of practitioners, experts and customer success stories, the conference demonstrated how a perfect storm of technology, management and cultural change is pushing peer-to-peer conversations deep into business processes. It is clear that Social Business is serving as a new propellant of agility, efficiency and reactivity.

According to Deloitte and MIT what we have learned to call Social Business is considered important in the next 3 years by 86% of managers (see Social Business: What Are Companies Really Doing?, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte). McKinsey further estimates the value that can be unlocked in terms of knowledge-worker productivity, consumer insights, product co-creation, improved sales, marketing and customer service up to $1300B (See The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, McKinsey Global Institute). This impacts any industry, with the strongest effects seen in Media & Entertainment, Technology, Telcos and Education.

For those not able to attend the Social Business Forum and also for the many friends that joined us in Milan, we decided to keep the conversation going by extracting some golden nuggets from the perspective of five of the most well-known thought-leaders in this space. Starting this week you will have the chance to view:

  • John Hagel (Author of the Power of Pull and Co-Chairman Center for the Edge at Deloitte & Touche)
  • Christian Finn (Senior Director, WebCenter Evangelist at Oracle)
  • Steve Denning (Author of The Radical Management and Independent Management Consulting Professional)
  • Esteban Kolsky (Principal & Founder at ThinkJar)
  • Ray Wang (Principal Analyst & CEO at Constellation Research)
Stay tuned to hear:
  • How pull organizations are addressing some of the deepest challenges impacting the market.
  • How to integrate social into existing infrastructure and processes.
  • How to apply radical management to become more agile and profitable.
  • About the importance of gamification as an engagement lever.
The first interview with John Hagel will be published tomorrow. Don't miss it and the entire series!

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