Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This week in links - week 46, 2008

8:51:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , No comments
A pan-European survey of more than 2,500 people in five countries shows that the use of social networking tools as part of everyday working life has led to an increase in efficiency. The study shows that 65% of employees surveyed in Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands say their company has adopted social networking as part of their working culture. The research also reveals that the rate of adoption is most popular in Germany, leading the way at 72% while Great Britain lags behind with 59%. The study also reveals:
  • 65% of employees surveyed say that social networking sites have made them and/or their colleagues more efficient
  • 63% say they have enabled them and their colleagues to achieve things that would not otherwise have been possible
  • 46% say they have sparked ideas and creativity for them personally
The Internet, à la industry giant Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), has finall (finally!) come up with a way to maintain and rekindle friendships online. It's called socia networking. And it's totally brand new and completely awesome and not at all something we've already seen recreated a thousand times in the past year alone.

Sorry. I'm trying this new thing, you see, called being facetious. Because the news that Microsoft will be "rolling out" a new social networking platform over the course of the next few months is, at best, dull.

We can't blame Microsoft for trying (albeit a few years too late). They had to do something in this space. But I wonder why it is that the creator of the software industry is now only capable of jumping on the bandwagon rather than spending a little extra time on something truly innovative where the Web is concerned. It's going to take more than the ever-exciting prospect of a Twitter feed to my social network to make me want to hand over my social graph data to Microsoft.
One of the key ways that UC can benefit an organization is by reducing human latency. The idea is that if you can shorten the time it takes people to find the subject matter experts that they need to solve a particular problem, you can achieve demonstrable benefits such as increased sales, increased customer retention, or greater efficiency of contact center operations.

Most vendors here at VoiceCon San Francisco are spending a lot of time talking up UC as a way to reduce human latency, but few are saying “how” you classify and identify subject matter experts. Typically you hear discussions around grouping people by role, but what is missing is the merging of social computing and UC so that your employees (and perhaps even customers & partners) can self-identify experts based on concepts such as tagging or rating user profiles. It’s not hard to see how a company can integrate something like Lotus Connections or Microsoft SharePoint with Teligent Community server to let your users create the knowledge base that allows individuals to find the experts they need for a given problem.
RightNow Technologies 2008 recently released their Customer Experience Impact Report conducted by Harris Interactive.

For the third year in a row, an increasing number of consumers indicate they will stop doing business with an organization or company because of a negative customer experience. This year it was 87%, up from 80% in 2007 and 68% in 2006.

The study found that 58% of consumers said outstanding service is the number one reason they would recommend a company to someone else; up from 51% in 2007. This beats service low prices (44%) and quality products/services (43%) in the recommendation-stakes. The flip side is that customers are almost twice as likely to tell others about poor treatment. The study found that 84% of US adults who had a negative experience with an organization or company said they would spread the word about a bad experience – up from 74% in 2007 and 67% in 2006.

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