Why Pragmatic Enteprise 2.0 Should Also Become Pragmatic SCRM

By now you probably read all about the new partnership between Hinchcliffe & Company, Asuret, and Socialtext to form Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0.  If you have not, choose from the following excellent reviews of the solution and the details.

Paul Greenberg

Marshall Lager

Sameer Patel

I was going to do some reporting on it as well, but then started to think that a) there is no way I can write something new or different, and b) these guys did a much better job than I could.  So, what’s left to do? Critical thinking – my favorite.

Here is what I think.

I like Asuret, I reviewed it before in my blog.  It is a great solution in search of problems to solve.  I also like Dion’s writing in the ZDNet blog, I think he has tremendous experience in Enterprise 2.0 and overall collaboration.  I think great of them independently – but when you can integrate them (yes, I know they are people) and use Michael’s failure prevention best practices with Dion’s success enhancement best practices you actually get the best of both worlds. The addition of Socialtext (the finest solution out there for Enterprise 2.0 bar none) makes the team even more powerful.

Any organization that takes on this offering will get first a set of guidelines and best practices on how to implement Enterprise 2.0 – compliments of Dion.  Then, when you think you know what you are doing and how to proceed with your initiative Michael comes in and interviews the key stakeholders using questions derived from Dion’s best practices – and that have been adapted to the specific situation of the prospect or client.  When you are done you have not only the best way to proceed but also know what shortcuts to take (or avoid) in the way to success in your particular organization.  This correlation between success and failure-prevention is not only invaluable but also bound to shorten the time and cost of deployment.

Why does it work for Enterprise 2.0 deployments so well?  Actually, it would work for any project with controlled environments.  Enterprise 2.0 is just an example, but implementing it for a Content Management Systems deployment, or a Knowledge Management initiative would yield similar results (far higher scores in risk management, higher chances of success, shorter deployment periods, and lower costs among other benefits).  As long as there is a controlled scenario with known players to interview, documented best practices, deployment methodologies, and measurable factors you can succeed.

I talked to Michael Krigsman about this earlier today, discussing what I was writing.  I said that my bottom line is that this model should be adapted to SCRM as well, considering that my models for E2.0 and SCRM are very similar in nature.  He was the one who mentioned the controlled scenario as known players as being critical for the success of this undertaking.  I initially agreed with him, thinking that deploying an external community has too many unknown players and uncontrolled scenarios – but then I thought a little bit more about it and realized that the success of the external community passes not through the many users, but rather the super-users and power-users.  These are known, and the scenario in which they participate is very much controlled.  Any successful community partners the sponsors and the super-users and power-users and provides them with tools and knowledge to assist them in doing their “job”.  This partnership resembles a traditional IT project (give or take a few distinctions) sufficiently that the Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0 model could be used in it – as long as the best practices and practitioner could be found in this new model.

Now, think about that for a moment.  What if you could shorten the time it would take to deploy a successful community?  What if you knew what your super-users and power-users thought of the community at every stage of the way?  What if you could (practically) ensure success for your external communities by increasing risk management and managing to certain success instead of uncertain failure?  Wouldn’t you be more willing to embrace SCRM and communities for your organization?

I think so, and that is why I think that Michael, Dion, and Socialtext should look for equivalents in the SCRM world and work towards Pragmatic SCRM.

What do you think? Is it not the secret to communities success deftly managing super-users and power-users? Wouldn’t this work?

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Disclaimer: I don’t hold any commercial relationships with any of the parties in this write-up, nor do I expect to do so in the near future.  If the situation were to change, I’d change this disclaimer to reflect it.  I write what I write out of my own will, and I neither receive nor expect any compensation for my writing (although I do wish so, until it happens the FTC cannot say much about this).  My reviews and recommendations are based on what I consider improvements for the SCRM market.  You are, as always, admonished to do your own Due Diligence before taking anything  I say or write at face value and purchasing a product or establishing a relationship.  Even my wife and daughters know that.  I am only responsible for this content and my actions, I will gladly correct any factual errors on it, and I will stand behind what I write.  Your actions, interpretation of my writing, and what you think of it is your responsibility and I cannot help you there.
http://www.estebankolsky.com/2009/09/23/only-you-can-prevent-project-failure/

7 thoughts on “Why Pragmatic Enteprise 2.0 Should Also Become Pragmatic SCRM”

  1. Hi Esteban,

    If rolling out successful online customer communities requires identifying and nurturing superusers, you’ll be glad to know that this is already a feature of the nascent community solution vendors such as Lithium Technologies with their Reputation Engine (http://www.lithium.com/what-we-offer/social-crm-suite/social-crm-platform/ – and here your lengthy disclaimer applies to me as well).

    But why limit this to external communities – the same approach can be applied to internal communities as well. You can identify the contributors who encourage other to collaborate, how the internal information flows are going, tweak the way people connect, find potential participants that can create synergies and connect them and so on. The same way as we are looking to manage customer communities, we can do as well internally which will greatly speed up successful Enterprise 2.0 implementations.

    The ultimate benefit would then come when you link the external communtites to the internal ones (whilst managing “security risk” issues), thinning the membrame a little at a time.

    And yet again, I’m not saying this is just another “Software Solves Everything” approach, but it can sure help identify and take measures to grow healthy communities.

    Back to you!

    Cheers,
    Mark
    .-= Mark Tamis´s last blog ..On Social CRM Options =-.

    1. Mark,

      I could not agree with you more on Lithium and have said so in the past in postings. they track over 120 variables for each user using any of their communities. and they use those in tracking and managing super-users among other things (a lot of the other things they do are very, very cool – but they are also mostly for internal consumption).

      as for internal communities, i also agree there. and socialtext is the tool equivalent of lithium for internal communities (in my most humble opinion). they are both established leaders by their sheer understanding of the data surrounding the communities – not the communities themselves. of course, there are other tools both internal and external that apply here (and as far as i can tell, none of the ones mentioned are customers, still covered by the disclaimer above).

      the PE20 release covers, today, internal communities and i was trying to make a case for external communities. the fact that you related them so well makes my case (at least in my mind).

      thanks
      (someday me write with uppercases, promise)

  2. Great post. I particularly like the insight re external communities being dominated by known users. In fact, if your external community is integrated with your CRM system (embedded would even be better), community identity can become a component of a customer’s overall identity (other parts of which come from marketing, sales, contact center, and other functional interactions). Deployed this way, one could argue that the actionable knowledge you have in an external community has the potential to far exceed what you have in an inernal community.

    1. Tony,

      I think you make an excellent point. The external community of known super-users and power-users should merge and work together with the internal communities. I wrote something to that effect many moons ago for Gartner, integrating social networks and communities with internal efforts, and i still believe that today… Now to convince the world.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Esteban

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