RaceTalk at Enterprise 2.0 Conference (Part 1 of 2) 5

Written with Jackie Lustig

This week RaceTalk attended the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston to hear from business and IT professionals who want challenge the status quo and lead the charge to Enterprise 2.0. There were some great panel sessions throughout the conference and below is a summary of the discussions that took place.

1. Applying the Social Dimension to the Lockheed Martin Mission
Lockheed Martin (LM) is using social media in order to facilitate collaboration among engineers who tend to work on very narrowly focused products.  They said that social media has to bubble up from grassroots and cannot be imposed from top down management.  In fact, LM said that the company’s HR department was afraid of social media and wanted to control internal employee communities. Final words of wisdom for the audience were: 1) don’t be afraid of social media and 2) you need to put social media in the context of your company’s mission-critical challenges.  When #2 happens, senior executives will support social media adoption.  Also, why it’s the 20-somethings who are the digital natives, it’s the 40-somethings who have the deep business experience.  You have to put the two together to get the winning combination.

2. The Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise
This panel included the traditional unified messaging players (Alcatel-Lucent, IBM) and up-start social messaging companies such as Socialcast. The conclusion was that it’s not an either or situation and that UCS and Social Messaging are different technologies that are converging.  Unified messaging is about transactions and connectivity. Social messaging is about relationships and engagement.

There was a really interesting discussion about governance and social media policy. There are two extremes. In one corner are the organizations that want to control and lock down everything.  In the other corner are the advocates of sharing is great and we want to share everything. Conclusion: there are no easy answers. It depends on the company culture. Although you want to and should trust employees, it’s risky and total control is impossible. Education is part of the answer.

3. Does Social Media and Marketing Matter?
Great panel including companies that are doing terrific things with social media. All agreed that social media really does matter and is having significant impact on customer service, new product development, sales, corporate reputation, market research, and more. Allstate showed new community that is designed to raise awareness of Allstate brand, increase sales by providing content and stay in touch with customers who had canceled their policies.

JetBlue is a great example as the company has 730,000 followers on Twitter and uses Twitter for real-time monitoring, responding and engaging with customers, pushing out info (e.g., weather alerts) and to humanize JetBlue. This was also the same company that put its CEO on YouTube after delays caused by an ice storm.

One final thought: Its amazing how Enterprise 2.0, which used to be all about gorpy big technologies, is now about all things social media.

Make sure to check back for part two of our look-back at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.

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