• February 14, 2008
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Does Enterprise 2.0 Have Traction?

Enterprise 2.0 is not merely a buzzword, but a codified set of technologies and tools that can form a checklist for companies trying to move forward in their approaches to CRM. AMR Research's new report, "Enterprise 2.0: Emerging Technologies and Models for Customer Management," indicates that 64 percent of the 200 respondents have adopted at least some of the technologies, but lack of understanding of the tools' potential value -- or the appropriate metrics to apply to gauge that value -- are major barriers to full adoption. "This wasn't originally going to be a customer-facing technology report," says Chris Fletcher, research director and report author. "We discovered that, where customer-facing activities were the business drivers behind Enterprise 2.0 adoption, respondents were getting real value and were very happy." In AMR's formulation, Enterprise 2.0 comprises the following technologies, among others:
  • Web services;
  • IM/presence applications;
  • Blogs;
  • Podcasts;
  • Wikis;
  • RSS;
  • Collective intelligence;
  • Social networking;
  • P2P;
  • Tagging;
  • Rich client technologies;
  • Semantic Web technologies;
  • Mashups; and
  • 3D Web.
The benefits that companies realize are both internal and external. In terms of internal usage, 32 percent of respondents cited better internal collaboration as a result of their current Enterprise 2.0 implementations; but 39 percent of current users identified the following customer-facing issues among their primary benefits:
  • improved sales and customer satisfaction;
  • a better understanding of customer issues; and
  • a reduction of sales and marketing costs.
Fletcher points to one respondent in particular, a retail-product vendor who created a blog and community for customers to discuss products. One topic that attracted a lot of attention was parents who were having trouble getting their children to eat a proper lunch at school. The information shared by community members eventually led the vendor to create a line of prepackaged vegetable snack packs that kids found more attractive than what the parents had been providing. But not all respondents have equally positive 2.0 experiences to report. The "64 percent adoption" statistic means that 36 percent of AMR's sample -- a full third -- still hasn't started the move to Enterprise 2.0 technologies. "[Forty-one percent] of respondents cited a lack of understanding of Enterprise 2.0 technologies or lack of interest on the part of the organization or end users as one of the major obstacles they had to overcome," the report states, and 20 percent of respondents cited outright roadblocks put in place by legal, finance, or IT departments. Other factors include confusion over the proper metrics to use in evaluating Enterprise 2.0's impact, lack of integration with core functions, and a weak business case for adoption. "It's primarily an education-and-understanding issue," Fletcher says. "Many of those respondents didn't know what the technology was, or how to use it in the organization to improve results. Some didn't want to touch it if it wasn't involved with CRM, ERP, human capital, or supply chain systems." He advises tighter integration with those core systems, considered along with a solid business case for users focused on the ability to use the organization's wealth of unstructured information. The spirit of discovery and a willingness to try new approaches should also inform the growth of new technology in CRM. "Enterprise 2.0 is definitely moving forward, despite the caveats," Fletcher says. "Companies should take a close look at what's available, and try some experiments." Related articles: Feature: It's All Coming 2.0gether As 2007 ends, and 2008 looms ahead of us, patterns are beginning to emerge: The future of business may not be in the hands of the executives, but those of the customer instead. And yet, hasn't it always been that way? Feature: Always On The new generation of consumers, clients, and customers is perpetually connected -- to the Internet, to you, and to each other. What can Web 2.0 do for you? Social Networking Continues to Permeate Customer Service Solutions The expanded partnership between eVergance and Jive Software underscores a growing need to provide tools enabling online consumer forums. Web 2.0 and the Digital Client Handling the customers who represent the future of your business. The Rise of the Digital Client Catering to this new breed of always-on customer will require a new approach to CRM. CRM at the Tipping Point The renowned author of The Tipping Point and Blink speaks at destinationCRM2007 about how CRM can break the barrier and make its way to success. The 2.0 Effect At destinationCRM2007, author and futurist Stan Davis outlines the influence that Web 2.0 is having on companies and their ability to service and sell to the next generation of consumers. Best Practices: 10 Tips to Online Community Success Well-defined structures and roles are key to maximizing community involvement in Web 2.0 initiatives such as forums, blogs, and chats; a destinationCRM2007 exclusive. Web 2.0: Secure Now, Succeed Later A new Gartner report says Web 2.0 technologies will force businesses to reconsider their approaches to security. CRM Strategy and Methodologies for the 21st Century With the advent of Web 2.0 and other technologies, the CRM landscape may look vastly different in the not-so-distant future. Or will it? Securing Data in a Web 2.0 World New technologies expose information in new ways. Are you prepared? SMBs Love Web 2.0 Small and medium businesses are quick adopters of Web 2.0, fueled by cost and performance pressures, according to a new study from AMI. CRM 2.0 Once transactional systems are in place many ask the obvious next-step question: What do I do with the information?
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