Show Me the Money!!!!!!!! – ROI in Enterprise 2.0

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ROI stands for Return on Investment, which mathematically calculated is:

ROI=Profits/Costs

In some business ROI is relatively easily calculated. Simplyfying, let’s say that a shopkeeper who buys merchandise for $ 1000 to selling it later at $ 1300 would have the following ROI:

ROI = ($1300-$1000)/$1000 * 100% = 30%

That was easy!

Photo credits: Chumpy’s Clip Art

But there are some arenas where the calculation is not easy and in some aspects in Enterprise 2.0 we have to be creative to crunch the numbers!

Following the Joction case study in the book Enterprise 2.0 Implementation by Newman and Thomas (pages 22-38) we could find interesting ways to find a tricky ROI. Joction is a fictional networking company that offer their services to a significant number of companies in Fortune 500 across the US. It have 20 branches spreaded in the country. It had grew really fast in past years and now an overload of information and pressure is straining the company’s employees. A big load of email sent to the managerial staff cause mental fatigue and lost of precious time.  Other problem is that creative employees from different offices don’t know each other, so that makes hard for them to collaborate in innovation ventures.

 Photo credits by The MatriXFiles

To solve all of that, the company bought and implemented an Enterprise 2.0 system that would strive to alleviate the situation and harness on the creativity of the network of savvy employees to develop innovation projects that would increase the proceeds of the company.

The case study is comprehensive and shows several methods to calculate the ROI of the implementation, I’ll show you some of the ones that were more interesting for me:

  • How they measure innovation caused by better connectivity: The Enterprise 2.0 platform has profiles for each of the employees, where they can enter their background, interests and aims. So any one in the company is able to look for people that has similar interest to theirs and connections could be created to innovate. In the case study, 20 groups were created after the implementation of the software and 16 of them attributed their formation to the Enterprise 2.0 platform. It was supposed than 10% of these groups would come up with projects that would produce significant revenue and it was assumed also that each of them would produce $ 500,000. So from the 16 groups, let’s say that two groups would come up with something profitable and that means that $ 1,000,000 would be the proceeds from that aspect of the benefit of the implementation.

Photo credits by The Creative Problem Solving Group, Inc.

  • Increased communications with customers: Facebook has 955 million of users and if compared with countries’ populations, it would be the third in the scale. That means that definitely attracted to social networking and that companies would have to create platforms that could accomodate these needs of their niche market. With the Joction’s Enterprise 2.0 plataform relations between staff and customers grew stronger and even between customers significant amount of connections were made. Wikis were created for communication and solving of issues between customers and staff, causing satisfaction for a good aftersale service. From the number of customers that use an account in Jonction social network, 70% renewed their contracts, in proportion to 45% which was the average renewal. This fact, relieved important time from sales representatives to look for new customers.
  • Better recruitment for Joction: The advent of Social Network in Joction have created an opportunity for new potential hires to join the network, so they are more aware of the culture of the company and chances of development. Employees are encouraged to reach out to the network to show them the conditions of work at Joction. Due to that, a 15% more resumes have been received for job openings posted and 60% of them are joined to the social network.

All of these methods of quantifying benefits would produce more accurate calculations of ROIs which can then be used to offer a Value Proposition for a company to implement social web technologies. That’s how you can introduce a new technology, just Showing the Money as Jerry Maguire.

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Social Media Legal Setbacks for Punk Label

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In one of my past posts I wrote about an indie record label called Epitaph based on Los Angeles, led by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, which has been one of the successful indie labels in the punk industry.

Bad Religion – Photo Credits: The Humanist

Their business and focus is continuously changing as for most of the agents in music industry, but they are mainly engage in: signing up new artists, supporting the recording of albums, design of visual art, publicity and advertising for bands products and tours and the distribution of their music, videos and other media. For internal communication, storage and collaboration they use a Social Media tool called Socialtext  which is explained extensively in a previous post, but for external communication they use: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS – Tumblr, that is where the fans are!

For Epitaph and overall for record labels the legal risks involved in their operations are:

  • Loss of confidential information: The record label plans with each of the artists when to release the album or items related. That depends in many factors such as, when the artists area planning to tour certain area, when is best to target a particular market and their related radio stations. The time for the release is critical. The fact that confidential information could be leaked untimely, i.e. a featured single, is a major setback for all the plans. The Social Media Policy (SMP) have to address this issue with workers to let them know the importance of keeping the information away from the public until is time to release it.
  • Breach of copyright: In the setup of Social Media, it is so easy to infringe copyrights. If an employee uploads illegitimately a song and share it with their friends just to show off is infringing the copyrights of the composers, recording artists and the production company, i.e. is distributing the artistic work without the permission of the author, which usually means without paying them. The SMP has to be clear in that regard, the products of Epitaph and their artists are their songs, videos, visual arts, etc. and any unauthorized publication is a breach in copyright, in other words a theft of copyrights.
  • False statements: Social Media is a way to connect with fans and is easy, is real-time! Anything that is posted is there straightaway! This means that the communication has to be thought out, not just simply write whatever comes to mind, because if that is the way to operate a lot of mistakes would have to be corrected and most serious the fans could be misled, e.g. to try to catch the band at the wrong time in the wrong music shop for autographs, which definitely leads to lower the reputation of the band and record label. SMP would have to make that clear to employees in communication positions.

Now, I get the concern and reluctance of some companies to be into Social Media, as the one that Yvonne Tang showed in her post about Singapore Airlines. I think that this is a virgin territory and that the law is being made as the fast pace Social Media effects are happening. However, with a good Social Media Strategy and Social Media Policy that would establish the rules of the game, Social Networking for companies would be more legal-safe and they could reap the benefits of Web 2.0.

🙂

Pros and Cons of Indie Record Labels Using Social Media

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What is a music record label? How can they incorporate Social Media tools to enhance their productivity? And what risks have to be taken into account to implement the system?

Record labels have been one of the most changing business models in the last couple of decades. In the last century, record labels were devoted to find and developing talent, record albums and singles and market and distribute the final product. But now, most of musicians with relative low-budget could create a studio and record an album, that’s not the critical part of the process. Also, distribution is not a problem; iTunes is there for anybody that has songs and could pay $ 35 dollars to be included in their virtual shelves. The critical problem now is: How to stand out in an ocean of music products that are on the market.

That’s why the record labels had to re-invent themselves to cater for increasing knowledgeable musicians that have all the resources to apply the Do-It-Yourself approach to the business. Record labels have to focus in how to work efficiently to make that their customers (bands) receive attention from the public and the media and could achieve a competitive advantage to get a share of the market. Epitaph Records is an indie record label that has risen up to the challenge servicing bands in the punk arena such as: Bad Religion and The Offspring.

Epitapth Logo (Taken from Wikipedia)

They are based in LA and have branches in Europe, Canada and Australia. In the ever-changing landscape of music industry, they have to implement a dynamic tool that would provide functionalities that could harness the enterprise collective intelligence and memory; for them Socialtext was the Social Media tool that help them to get the work done, together!

Socialtext is an integrated platform that includes elements of social media such as: microblogging, rss, wiki, broadcasting and social networking profiles.

Brett Gurewitz, guitarist and songwriter for Bad Religion and CEO of Epitaph Records explains: “If you think of our organization as a mind, Socialtext is our memory centre”. Following, there is a list of pros and cons of this implementation:

Pros (according to Epitaph Case Study):

  • All-in-one: Socialtext Dashboard is a customized homepage for each employee, presenting a glance of all what they need to know in the company.
  • Social networking: This is an impressive tool for the staff to get connected; even if Epitaph Records is based in LA it has branches in Canada, Europe and Australia and there are a significant number of employees scattered around the world that could help each other if they could connect. Socialtext People is a functionality that allows creating profiles with important information such as, interests and current projects; any employee could follow any other who is interesting to their objectives and likes; so the first employee would be well-informed about the other employee’s publications such as, blogs, wikis and updates.
  • Instant information: Socialtext Signals is the microblogging service of the suite. This element helps the employees to get to know the important projects, accomplishments, updates of the different members; staying on top of what the other people is doing and therefore collaborate or comment when is relevant; also, as everybody in the company would have a general idea of what the others are doing, this could prevent duplication of work. If an employee has a question, this one could be posed through Socialtext Signals so that any leads to solve the problem could be provided by the community. Click to see the Socialtext signals video.
  • A central place for sharing ideas: The blog functionality would create a place for sharing and developing ideas in the community. RSS feeds exist for maintaining informed the subscribed contacts. Epitaph Records have a blog system called: “Great Ideas Blog”, where employees are encouraged to write their ideas and suggestions. Also, there is another blog system named: “Interesting Read Blog” where links to different references from relevant topics are posted.
  • Process templates: Epitaph has developed several templates regarding diverse processes in the company which are in the Socialtext system, these items provide a standardized system for following procedures and in case that any of these processes would have to be improved, the templates are changed and the staff would have the revised template straight away.

Cons:  

  • Incorrect subscription brings un-relevant information: If the employees don’t subscribe to the right blogs or follow the right contacts, they could end up with a dashboard of useless information that instead of helping them would create hurdles in their efficiency.
  • Posting of un-significant information: The system is as good as the information put into it. If the employees fill the system with inadequate information, then it would be useless and the employees’ adoption index would slip to the ground. This could be solved with good education about the system and policies related.

Overall, this is a great tool for effective communication in an enterprise and if is ordely deployed the system would be the information and collaboration hub of the organization; quoting Gurewitz: “The Memory”.

As you can see I am into music business and I am interested on how Enterprise 2.0 has been implemented by successful companies in the sector, I’ll keep researching about this and if you are interested in this topic follow me!

Cheers,

Jacques Kerguelen Blog

Smart Use of Reverbnation (Enterprise 2.0 for Musicians)

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Web 2.0 is about communicate and putting in contact people. The expansion of our networks is critical to fulfil our goals, a lot of times is who you know and how you deal with that relationship the critical aspect to achieve the things that you want.

Photo taken from Mindbridge

Besides my interest in Enterprise 2.0, I am a musician and music manager on the make. For musicians or their supporters (booking agents or managers) is critical to establish a relation with the proper contacts that could hire them for shows and events, such as weddings or corporate gatherings. How to create a network where musicians and bands could develop and strengthen links with their potential customers or go-betweens?

For most of musicians, their original music is their preferred way to go; but a few make a living out of it. The weddings and corporate events though, where they play cover music, are the mine of their living. In these, the bands are critical elements in the provision of entertainment to a specific crowd. In the case of weddings there are other key elements such as: caterers, wedding dress makers, venues, cake manufacturers, etc.

Gig booking is an art: A good way to get gigs is to work with referees in the industry, which means if a band performs well in a reception and creates a great relationship with a caterer it is likely that this person would suggest their future customers to get the band for their wedding reception. This applies also for other key contacts in the function. Referees are one of the most effective ways to become part of the product chain and get work!

So, we need a social website that could showcase bands and would allow them to create and show relationships with contacts in the social event industry. In each of the bands’ pages, music would be made available as well as live videos. The contacts (members of the supply chain, past customers or guests to events) would be able to rate the bands that they have had the chance to know, according to their skill, public engagement, timeliness, etc. With this information, any prospect would be able to become a member of this social media a check out the bands around and see their description, rates and comments and would be able to make a booking with the most adequate band.

Reberbnation has most of the features that I would like to have for this Social Website: It has a page for each band where they could have music, live videos, band reviews, comments, etc. Also, when a person is signing up, it has the chance to do it as an artist, fan or venue giving different functionalities to each of them. The rating functionality is not in this page though, and I mean by rating the stars that could show the reputation of an entity (as is usual in eBay). As a venue, any person is able to check the bands in their whereabouts, what kind of music they play, how they sound on stage and the comments of different people.

I think that this a good way to create work relationships between the musos and the industry, after all, in addition to who you are and what you can do, the who you know factor is critical to get the dough!

Jacques