Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Monday’s Musing: Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization

Have we hit a social media plateau?  In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”.   Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks.  In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming.  While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1).  Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:

  • Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
  • Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
  • LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
  • Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)

Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue

As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out.  From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.  The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest.   These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies.  Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.

The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle

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Monday’s Musings: Seven Basic Privacy Rights Users Should Demand For Social Business

Public Outrage Grows Over Lax Privacy Polices At Popular Social Networking Sites

Recent actions by social networking leaders in the market place have brought new attention to a user’s privacy rights.  Despite the fact that these sites provide a freemium service to users, abuse and arrogance of a user’s privacy rights combined with user ignorance has led to not only a public outrage, but also increasing action from privacy advocacy groups to petition government agencies.  Three public examples include:

Figure 1. US Social Networking Sites Market Share By Page Views

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Monday’s Musings: A Working Vendor Landscape For Social Business

Confusion Persists In The Social Business Market

As with any new disruptive technology, the social business solution landscape faces a dynamic, confusing, and converging market. As vendors seek to grab mind share and market share, customers and prospects remain confused as to what are the right business problems to address with social business. However, rampant confusion among users hampers efforts to solve business issues. Three key factors accelerate this level of confusion:

  1. Early adopter market. Constantly changing conditions force customers to alter original plans as executive sponsorship fluctuates from intense to pensive and back to intense in short cycles. Projects remain secretive for competitive advantage reasons. Consequently, prospects lack strong case studies to build off of despite peer groups, adoption networks. Prospects seek metrics that matter and relevant use cases.
  2. Consumerization of IT. With increased social media penetration, success in consumer grade products highlight the potential for enterprise adoption. However, most enterprise class products remain one to two generations behind in achieving similar capabilities. As business users gravitate towards simple, scalable, and sexy attributes; IT departments seek to rein in shadow IT efforts with safety, security, and sustainability requirements.
  3. Marketing mayhem. Fast paced markets always generate hype in marketing messages. Hence, legacy collaboration, community platform, CRM, unified communications, integration platform, and office productivity vendors seek to reposition themselves and address the emerging and trendy social business use cases customers seek.

Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot

The vendor landscape for social business market represents a diverse and broad collection of solutions.  Vendors approach the market from multiple heritage points, technologies, and markets.  Four key criteria cut across two axes (see Figure 1):

  1. External facing vs internal facing.  External facing includes customers, partners, and suppliers.  Internal facing include employees and trusted networks within the corporate firewall.
  2. Platforms and infrastructure vs purpose built solutions.  Platforms and infrastructure referred to core technology solutions.  Purpose built solutions address specific applications.

Figure 1. Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot (Working Draft)

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Monday’s Musings: Auction Sites Such As Deal Umpire May Level The Playing Field Among Daily Deal Sites


Merchants Must Break Free From Daily Deal Site Hysteria

Following up on the April 4th post about the damage caused by daily deal sites such as Groupon, merchants continued to send feedback about the challenges they face.  Those who use daily deal sites express the following:

  • Peer pressure to participate. Customers and prospects flooded by daily deals try out competitors.  Merchants afraid that lack of participation will hurt the business. A large restaurant chain VP noted, “Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.  We need to raise awareness above the fray, but the prize for winning is a losing business model”
  • Attraction of a low value, price sensitive customer base. Instead of attracting brand conscious, high value customers, merchants end up with bargain hunters.  Over time, merchants have had to raise prices to make up for losses with daily deal sites.  A high end spa owner complained, “I’m attracting the wrong customers and aggravating my loyal customer base.  Everyone now wants a bargain and we’ve got no more margin to give”
  • Inability to negotiate favorable terms. A lack of transparency on terms results in higher takes of percentage of revenue. Merchants lack visibility and expertise to secure better terms.  CMO of a large hospitality chain stated, “The terms for the deals stink.  We need some pricing pressure to move the pendulum back towards the center”.

New Daily Deal Auction Sites Create Win-Wins for Merchants And Daily Deal Sites

Auction sites such as Deal Umpire provide a market between merchants and daily deal sites.  These market places, if successful, will deliver two key benefits for merchants such as:

  • Visibility in deal terms among various daily deal sites. Deal site profiles include key information such as revenue split, payout terms, subscriber reach, subscriber demographics, deal site business model, credit card fees, media coverage, marketing materials, and when a deal can be featured.
  • Competition for daily deal business. The market place concept brings together multiple deal site programs into once place.   With competitive forces in play, merchants can drive pricing pressure on daily deal sites for lower revenue share and more favorable terms.

Merchants using a market place benefit with:

Product Review: Google+, Consumerization of IT, and Crossing The Chasm For Enterprise Social Business

Timing of Google+ Bodes Well For Enterprise Users And Google

Lately, one could say Google’s been a bit absent from the social business party.  The premature launch of Google Wave exposed a canvas looking for a masterpiece painting.  Failing fast and learning from the Google Wave lesson, Google’s latest offering, Google+ shows promise in bringing similar disruptive technology concepts to market, yet packaged in easier to adopt metaphors such as activity streams, walls, hangouts, and circles (see Figure 1).

As part of Google’s aspirations to deliver enterprise offerings, it’s flagship Google Apps continues to gain traction in enterprises despite a market position that places the product between a very strong pro-sumer play and an almost enterprise app.  The good news – a constant stream of incremental changes shows an evolution to an enterprise class offering built from a strong consumer bent.  As of this posting, Google Apps isn’t integrated with G+, but Google’s enterprise ambitions have been strengthened with the new offering.

Figure 1.  Logging Into Google+

Convergence And Shift To A P2P World Enables GooglePlus To Go After Both Consumers And Enterprises

Google+ launch comes at an exciting time of convergence among the mega trends for the decade: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, and unified communications.  The five pillars of Consumerization of IT (CoIT) fall in Google’s favor as consumer users rapidly seek to bring these innovations into their enterprises.  Subsequently, Google+ already takes advantage of Google’s assets to:

  • Unify the communications channels. Enterprises spend millions trying to get their fragmented communications systems to work, let alone integrate.  Google+ takes chats, emails, tweets, voice, mobile, and video and rolls it all up neatly into one offering.  More importantly, it works off of one login and its integrated.  Key video features such as Hangouts allow for impromptu video con calls without the hassle of most other video conferencing systems.
  • Provide an initial alternative to Facebook for the enterprise offerings. Procurement managers and line of business buyers face Cloud/SaaS best of breed hell as a flurry of purpose built solutions attack the enterprise IT landscape.  Should Google stream line convergent offerings for the enterprise, it will be poised to dethrone many incumbents.  Google can only succeed if they can match functional parity over the next 12 to 18 months.  Keep in mind, the long-term goal goes beyond Facebook for the enterprise.
  • Aggregate the user’s social sphere. Facing near term social networking overload, enterprise users can’t possibly fathom another social networking service.  Aggregation by a major player makes sense from a market position and user convenience. Google’s initial list allows users to notate key services in their profiles through connected accounts from Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quaora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail, and Plaxo (see Figure 2). A quick look into the codes shows that these connection services potentially can support a Microsoft Outlook email, an SAP feed, or Salesforce.com Chatter stream and may potentially support direct integrations in future road maps.

Figure 2.  Google+ Delivers Social Sphere Aggregation With Ease

Adding Connections on GooglePlus

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Monday’s Musings: Mastering When and How High End Brands Should Use Daily Deal Sites Such As Groupon


Daily Deal Sites Claim To Bring New Customers

Chicago, Illinois based Groupon, is a consumer oriented commerce site that brings consumers looking for the ultimate deal to businesses seeking new customer bases.  Local based targeting, fun cheeky copy, and a reach in almost 600 cities powers the frenzy behind the “daily deals”.   Customers pay upfront.  Groupon takes 40 to 50% of the deal.  Businesses  supposedly gain new customers.  Other start-up competitors in the digital coupon “daily deal” space include Bloomsot, BuyWithMe, LivingSocial, Scoutmob, and Tippr. Established brands Google, Facebook, Microsoft, OpenTable, Yahoo!, and Yelp all have similar offerings in play or planned.  The idea makes sense at first on a few counts for businesses with:

  • Immediate inventory items. Perishable food items, overstocked goods, closeout merchandise.
  • Unused service capacity. Unbooked hotel rooms, open spa appointments, down time at a bar.
  • Instant gratification offers. Quick promotions, fast deals, quick foot traffic.

However, Most Orgs Face Massive Pricing And Brand Dilution

After talking to over 50 high end, high profit customers, we’ve unveiled a growing resentment with how the current model works.  Despite the advertised 95% of merchants who’d use Groupon again stats, the numbers fail to tell the story.  In fact, the top three complaints we personally heard in our informal 51 high end organization survey include:

  • Brand value dilution. The novelty and brand promise not appreciated by new customers.  Brand value not fully communicated or achieved by customers.
  • Downward price pressure. Overall perception on pricing trends downward due to lack of scarcity.  Customers now see a new price for an existing luxury service.
  • Loss of profitability among existing customer base.  Existing profitable customers wait for deals instead of pay full price.  Loyal customers feel cheated.

The Bottom Line:  Use The Customer Profitability Matrix To Determine Your Strategy

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Monday’s Musings: Reflections On Obama And The False Hope For A Tech Halo

President Obama’s Visit Reflects The Importance Of Silicon Valley To The US Economy
By now everyone’s seen and re-seen the photo showing the tech-centric dinner at John Doerr’s house in Woodside, CA on February 17th, 2011 (see Figure 1).  With a guest list that included most of the “Captains of the Tech Industry” it would have been great to be a fly on the wall that night to hear what was the secret to innovation and how we could improve education.  On many levels, the dinner and the publicity surrounding the visit did emphasize:

  • The President’s desire to rub off the tech halo. For the White House, here was a chance to highlight an area of the economy that has managed to survive the global meltdown by out innovating the competition.  President Obama’s State of the Union talked about how a tech led job creation would be a key component of recovery.  The valley served as a great backdrop to show where this was already happening.
  • How lobbying does pay off for the Valley. For tech leaders in the valley, here was a chance to bend the President’s ear on a number of policies and reap the benefits of all the money spent lobbying.  In fact, among the 10 guests, MAPlight.org showed $735,000 given to the President’s party among the overall $913,000 contributed to all political candidates.  I would expect more official economic delegations and trade missions to come from the renewed focus on tech.  Many tech firms pondering the need for strong government affairs teams regained religion.
  • The state of Steve Jobs’ health. Good news!  Steve seemed healthy enough to dine with the President. After all the trash talk in the papers, a picture proved enough to quiet the critics.  Yes, that wasn’t a stunt double like Kim Jong Il!  In fact, the picture quelled all rumors.

Figure 1. President Obama’s Tech Centric Dinner Photo Op

Credits: White House Press Office.  Attendees include: Carol Bartz, President and CEO, Yahoo!; John Chambers, CEO and Chairman, Cisco Systems; Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter; John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Larry Ellison, Co-Founder and CEO, Oracle; Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix; John Hennessy, President, Stanford University; Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO, Apple; Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO, Genentech; Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google; Steve Westly, Managing Partner and Founder, The Westly Group; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, President, and CEO, Facebook

Success In The Valley Stems From The Hard Work And Investment From…<GASP> Other Countries

One can only imagine the reasons punted around that night on why Silicon Valley is successful in delivering on concept to cash.  It’s true – the valley enjoys many of the assets that bring out innovation and helps the US lead with high tech jobs.  We have a top notch workforce.  We have several great universities.  We have a history of entrepreneurship.  We have access to funding and capital.  Many would think these elements were endemic to Silicon Valley.  Unfortunately, that’s not true.

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Monday’s Musings: Why I’m Unplugging From Location Based Services Until The Privacy Issue Is Resolved

Convergence Of Smart Phone Affordability And Broad Network Access Drives Growth In Location Based Services

I’ve been a big fan of location based services (LBS).  In fact, many of you have followed my whereabouts on Yelp, Tripit, and other integrated Twitter services.  As many of you know, location based services take your geographical position from your mobile device and deliver relevant information services based on your relationship to people, objects, places, etc.  In the 2010 Pew Research Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, surveys showed, 4% of Americans utilized Location Based Services (LBS) (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Layar’s Augmented Reality location based service (LBS).

Layar - Augmented Reality and Location Based Services

Constellation Research, Inc. estimates these services to grow and generate up to $10.7B in revenue by 2013.  Among the early adopter set, LBS is on fire.  Among the general population, growth will most likely trend with smartphone adoption, which market research firm IDC estimates a 55% growth from 2009 to 2010 (~270 million units).  You do the math!

As one of those early adopters, I and many others have enjoyed LBS from a consumer tech point of view to:

  • Navigate around places.  Use turn by turn navigation and traffic maps through services such as Google Navigation and Yahoo! Maps.
  • Identify events to attend. See where my friends are by date and location to make time to catch up using Loopt, Rummble, and Tripit.
  • Locate friends near me.  Catch up with people near me using Foursquare and Gowalla as a matter of convenience.  In some cases, track people by mobile device location.
  • Reduce traffic fines. Warn and be warned where speed traps, sobriety check points, and cameras through crowdsourcing apps such as Trapster and Phantom Alert
  • Find places to eat.  Follow foodie friends to see where they check in on Yelp.
  • Receive offers from merchants. Get rewarded for checking in to locations with discounts from merchants.  Take advantage of M-commerce (mobile).

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Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

Credits: Hugh MacLeod

Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

  • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
  • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
  • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.

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Research Report: How The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Influence Enterprise Innovation

Most Enterprise Software Vendors Fail To Deliver Innovation

Despite hundreds of billions wasted on failed research and development projects, most market influencers would agree that enterprise software vendors have produced a dearth of innovation over the past decade.  Vendors often cite UI re-skins, major functionality additions, integration of acquisitions, technology re-platforms, and weak attempts at faking cloud computing as innovations.  In fact, let’s call it what it is.  Only a handful of enterprise software vendors have truly innovated.   Many enterprise software vendors are fast followers.  Most are innovation laggards living off fat maintenance revenue streams.  Ask any product strategist where they gain their inspiration and they will all cite advancements in consumer technology; and not peer enterprise competitors.

Innovative Enterprises Push Forward Mostly On Their Own

During this year’s Information Week 500 event, conversations with over 50 leading business technology leaders highlighted the growing gap in innovation.  These next gen leaders demonstrated how they were turning to consumer tech advancements to influence their custom development efforts; and/or seeking emerging vendors with innovative offerings.

For example, Bill Martin, the CIO of Royal Caribbean showed how design thinking coupled with real-time analytics and on-board mobility could improve the cruise experience on the largest ship ever built.  Shawn Kleim, Director of Development at WetSeal, provided proof points on mobility and social convergence in driving retail sales and eCommerce in the highly competitive teen apparel market.  Dave Bent, Senior VP of eBusiness services and CIO of United Stationers, proved how a company could deliver cloud services to partners and create competitive advantage across a value chain.

A number of CIO’s showcased how they were taking advantage of the cloud with SaaS apps and private clouds. Others discussed their efforts to optimize costs using third party maintenance to pay for innovation.  The common lessons learned – most did not expect to gain market advantage from their existing and legacy vendors.  Innovations came from the consumer tech side and next generation solution providers.  Consumer tech advancements influenced business driven technology advancements.

Software And Tech Vendors Rush To Incorporate The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech

Ten elements drive key design points for next generation apps.  These design points showcase how advancements in consumer tech now permeate the enterprise.  Design thinking concepts drive dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness.  Based on existing research, deep dives into major vendor road maps, and validation with clients, five pillars of consumer tech have emerged as the foundation for future inspiration in the enterprise (see Figure 1):

Figure 1.  Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Will Influence Enterprise Software Throughout The Next Decade

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Monday’s Musings: Why Next Gen Apps Must Improve Existing Activity Streams

Upcoming Data Deluge Threatens The Effectiveness Of Activity Streams

Activity streams, best popularized by consumer apps such as Facebook and Twitter, have emerged as the Web 2.0 visualization paradigm that addresses the massive flows of information users face (see Figure 1).  As a key element of the dynamic user experiences discussed in the 10 elements of social enterprise apps, activity streams epitomize how apps can deliver contextual and relevant information.  Unfortunately, what was seen as an elegant solution that brought people, data, applications, and information flow into a centralized real-time interface, now faces assault from the exponential growth in data and information sources.  In fact, most people can barely keep up with the information overload, let alone face the four forces of data deluge that will likely paralyze both collaboration and decision making (see Figure 2):

  1. Massive activity stream aggregation by enterprise apps. Every enterprise app seeking sexy social-ness plans one or more social networking feeds into their next release.  The mixing and mashing of personal and work related feeds will leave users confused about context and lower existing signal to noise ratios.  Yet, proliferation will continue as users seek to bring aggregated sources of information into one centralized feed.
  2. Explosive growth in the Internet of Things (IOT). Beyond just device to device communications, the web of objects, appliances, and living creatures through wired and wireless sensors, chips, and tags will drive most of the growth in the internet in the next 5 to 10 years.  With an estimated 100 billion net-enabled devices by 2020, these networks seek to discover activity patterns, predict outcomes, and monitor operational health.  The massive amounts of sensing data driven into systems will not only overwhelm users, but also handicap the performance of today’s data warehouses, analytics platforms, and applications.
  3. Flood of user generated content (UGC). User generated content continues to grow.  Facebook has over 500 million users populating pages with rich social meta data.  There are over 300 million blogs.  Wikipedia has more than 15 million articles.  Content sources will propagate at geometric rates, especially as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries up their adoption.
  4. Proliferation of social meta data. Organizations seeking a marketing edge must digest, interpret, and asses large volumes of meta data from sources such as Facebook Open Graph.  Successful identification of social graphs require matching gargantuan volumes of meta data (e.g. likes, check-ins, groups, etc) through introspection across a vast array of objects.  Human centric and object centric events will inevitably coexist and engulf unified activity streams.

Figure 1.  Activity Streams Improve Collaboration And Deliver Dynamic User Experiences


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News Analysis: Salesforce.com Announces Private Beta Of Chatter

Chatter Represents SFDC’s Unified Move Into Social

screen-shot-2010-02-18-at-15959-am

Announced at the 2009 Dreamforce conference, Chatter represents both a collaboration application and platform.  Software built on the Force.com platform will gain the collaboration capabilities.   Solutions in AppExchange will be able to use profiles, real time streams, and other API’s.   With a 100 customers testing out user experience, scalability, and security, Salesforce.com, moves from vaporware to beta.   Some key features include:

  • Aggregating streams of information. Employees can subscribe to feeds such as internal updates, social networks, and documents.
  • Automating status updates. Users can receive updates from system and user generated alerts.  Alerts can include documents and related links.
  • Enabling secure document sharing. Chatter feeds can be searched to find relevant information.  Document sharing is protected by a secure sharing model from the Force.com platform.

The Bottom Line For Customers – Chatter Represents A First Step Towards Social CRM

Customers seek solutions that bridge the gap between Enterprise 2.0 collaboration with enterprise applications.  Investment in solutions like Chatter fit well with Salesforce.com’s existing list of innovative customers.   Many require more in-depth social capabilities.  Should Chatter be delivered in 2010, customers will win by being able to minimize the number of SaaS platforms,  reduce the related costs of vendor management, and take a first step into Social CRM.

The Bottom Line For Vendors – Chatter Beta Buys Salesforce.com Time To Fend Of Best of Breed Competitors.

Learning from the lessons of Siebel, Marc Benioff does not intend for SalesForce.com to be a one trick pony.  Force.com represented a step to build an ecosystem and extend beyond CRM.  Success in AppExchange proves out the strength of the ecosystem. With Chatter, Salesforce.com establishes a second foothold into the world of Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0.  The pre-announcing in November bought Salesforce.com time to fend off best of  breed collaboration solutions and emerging Social CRM vendors.  Announcing a private beta with 100 customers, not only shows momentum, but also gives Salesforce.com time to prove out the solution.  In any case, they SaaS leader buys time and can keep some of the best of breed solutions temporarily out of its accounts.

Your POV

Are you a Salesforce.com customer?  How will you use chatter?  When do you plan to deploy.  Let us know if you need help with:

  • Building a multi-vendor SaaS strategy
  • Negotiating your Salesforce.com contract
  • Crafting a SaaS integration strategy

Please post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

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