My Life, Next Few Months

Here we go again… the end-of-the-year conference season is upon us, life is getting very, very interesting again…  So, what’s going on this time? Lots… and all very much fun. (BTW, if you ever need to find out where I am — the widget to the right of this screen — feeds directly from Plancast where all my plans are stored… can always find me that way).

This week, actually tomorrow, I am doing a Webinar with Jacada to talk about the hype and reality surrounding Social CRM.  I have written four posts for them already and have one more coming next week (talking about the long term future for Social CRM) and I’m putting all that information, plus some tidbits that would not fit in those posts, into a webinar that is going to be aired tomorrow.  Want to register? Here you go.

I was supposed to be at the Altimeter Group conference – the Rise of Social Commerce – but was not able to make it unfortunately due to sick kids and other conspiracies.  It really bums me out since I was so looking forward to it, and I so much appreciate the Altimeter folks inviting me — especially since it is sold-out!  Do pay attention to the tweets and info coming from this conference, it will certainly  influence the way we evolve into Social Businesses.

I am  doing a webinar with bluekiwi on October 26th to talk about Social Business, Convergence between Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0, and how to leverage the data and insights that stream from there.  Unfortunately, don’t have the registration page or information ready yet — but I do know it is on October 26th,  at 11:00 AM PST.  Will post here more details when I have them, and on Twitter – of course.

I am then going to London. Paul Greenberg and Bruce Culbert are bringing the SCRM Summit to Lodon during the first week in November, the event is on November 4-5 at Cap Gemini in London actually, and they asked me to do a session on building a Social CRM Framework.  All the learnings and research I have done since the original Roadmap was published will be used in that session — Including a great training exercise to get your acquainted with how easy it is to do it.  Paul is presenting on what it takes to create a Social CRM strategy, and Bruce is talking about how to make good use of the value that Social CRM can bring.  Get more information and register here.

The following week I am going to be presenting at Enterprise 2.0 in Santa Clara (Paul Greenberg is keynoting on Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0 and Convergence – I am doing a presentation in the  Social CRM track to bring E2.0-ers up to speed on Social CRM), and will stop by to see my friends at Attensity’s Engage user conference.  Loads of good stuff on both, definitely plan on attending if you can.  The Attensity agenda is packed with amazing people and I wish I would’ve had time to be in it — but it is definitely the place to be that week if you are into Social CRM (disclaimer: Attensity is a client, but they are not paying me to say nice things about them).

The same week the Lithium Virtual Summit is coming back to life with another great lineup and opportunity to see what’s going on with Social CRM (disclaimer: also a client, not getting paid for nice words).

The following week I am going to expand my mind and find out what we are going to be talking about in the next 2-3 years– I am going to be at Defrag — also presenting on Social Business.  This is a very cool conference where the brightest minds in the world, and I, gather once a year to discuss the topics that matter.  If you want to attend, and save 20% in the process, register here and use code “spkrmagic1” (don’t use the quotes, of course).

I guess thanksgiving is coming the following week, so I am staying at home to celebrate with family and my new neighbors (picture below).  Going to be an epic one if the neighbors come to dinner… Shortly after that, I am going to Toronto — the Rotman School of Business  at the University of Toronto is doing the inaugural Social CRM Course and I was invited to teach, which I am honored to do.  Another opportunity to expose the Social CRM framework I have been building.

Coming back for the home stretch now — Going to Dreamforce in the second week in December (well, more like 6th thorugh the 9th) and then going back to Reno (of all places, I left but you can always go back — right?) to present on Becoming a Social Business at the Sm@rt Conference there.

After that, just staying home for the holidays and planning a wonderful 2011 — oh yeah, will probably write the obligatory end of year wrap-up and coming year preview notes.

What do you say?  Join me at some time?  If you are attending any of these events and want to meet, or just want to know what is going on in them — contact me.

Some Guest Posts for You to Read

There are three posts I wrote recently, not on my blog, that are very interesting (yes, my opinion is biased – I know).

I wrote my monthly contribution to TheSocialCustomer.com.  I am asking the question, is Social Done? Of course, the answer to me is Yes – so I explore a little bit more what organizations have to do to take advantage of the bounty Social X brought with it.  Please read it and comment here.

I started my series of five posts (one and two are done) on Social CRM for Jacada.  Start by looking at the need for Social CRM and continue by looking at how to put together a strategy for Social CRM in post #2.  Will also look at some success stories (next Monday) and finish with a look at 2-3 and 5-7 years down the road (following two weeks).

Very cool stuff coming up, so stay tuned to it!

Friday Roundup (Yes, On Monday…)

(I was all set to put out this last Friday when I was asked to wait for news that did not come through — sorry for the delay)

Ok, here we go again… Roundup Time!

First, a big, huge thanks to all who said it was a good idea to do this and to those who tweeted, facebooked (is that a word?) and made it their job to broadcast my first roundup.  I’d love more feedback and direction, if there is something you want to see or not see in these updates (like proper grammar, better spelling, specific topics, etc.) do let me know.

***Vendors News***

Why?  Well, as we get ready to enter the Fall Trade Show and Conference Season (also known as the black plague among analysts), most of the vendors are going to be releasing their new or improved products.  This happens twice yearly (Spring season, know as bubonic plague is the other). In no particular order (well, some to make it make sense, but no preference given to anyone over anybody else),

Jive (client) held their annual sold-out user conference in San Francisco earlier this week.  No major news that were not pre-announced, (their “New Way” to work Social Business Manifesto is an interesting read, but as will all marketing manifestos, it could use a little community help to sound less hypey), except for their Jive for Mobile being released.  They did have some very interesting people talking and presenting and tweeting, some good stuff (and some corny tweets) came from there.  My perspective for them, from the CRM myopic view I have, is that they have to come up to the table and show some SCRM muscle — they are a leader (per Gartner and Forrester) but I only hear about E2.0 implementations.  They need to become a force in the market or they will be left behind… which is a great segue to…

GetSatisfaction (client) introduced a very cool new site, announced a new round of funding and brought in new people. Their product strategy is now being led by the  legendary, smart, and experienced Jeff Nolan (formerly of SAP fame) in product Marketing and Nick Prybil in Biz Dev.  These additions to an already very strong management team (Wendy Lea – which we all know, and Keith Mesnick on keyboards — sorry, Marketing) makes me almost giddy for how they are going to position themselves into the future.  I am seeing the market become fractured and segmented (this is good, means it is maturing) and I see GetSatisfaction and Lithium (client) getting ready to go tete-a-tete for the leadership in SCRM.  Both are working on their positioning, and doing quite well actually — I can only publicly talk about GetSatisfaction’s at this time, and their approach to creating a new model for communities is something you want to stay tuned to.

nGenera (client) announced their new go-to-market strategy: split software and research services, relabel software into Moxie Software (research services continues to be nGenera), and refocus the story on the software.  I am very bullish on their approach to close the gap between the internal communities and the external ones, this is an interesting new perspective that I wish Jive would’ve taken before.  There is still work to be done, but if you have not planned to attend the Enterprise 2.0 show in Santa Clara in November, you may want to reconsider, as it is likely going to be opening round of a long battle for social business positioning (just to be fair, the illustrious and forward-thinking Sameer Patel saw this coming and worked really hard to get Paul Greenberg to keynote at the E2.0 conference, and me to present on a SCRM track — going to be oodles of fun — be there!).

RightNow (not a client) announced the availability of their Facebook integration.  This is not a first-to-market move (GetSatisfaction, Parature, Genesys, and eGain had already released) but it is something that RightNow needed to do to remain competitive and in the leadership position.  As Gartner just released their new Web Customer Service Magic Quadrant (must be a client or someone with a lot of credit in your CC to see that link, Web Customer Service was born eService by my hand, renamed late last year) with RightNow, eGain, and Genesys (client) as leaders (so, they got one out of three right, not too bad — right? nah, not going to name names — you figure out or ask me…) and the biggest surprise is who is missing more than who is leading.  In any case, this is also a good segue for…

eGain (not a client) expanded their social Suite of products – communities, social media monitoring, and connectors for every possible imaginable social network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Similar to Rightnow, this positions another eService (sorry, Web Customer Service — gotta stay current) leader in the Magic Quadrant with a complete set of social tools and to remain in a competitive situation.

Few more tidbits, IBM (not client) revolutionized the world of Experience — although no one yet understands what they introduced or what they offer, SAP (not client) introduced a few analytics applications — stay tuned in the next few months for more from SAP and BusinessObjects (smart, IMO), and Oracle is getting ready to trash every  vendor in the universe and tell you why they rule at Oracle Open World (will be there, will try to  blog about it).

OK, ending this now — this changed from a vendor news section into a market commentary.

***shameless plug time***

I am doing some things I want to share with you (links are below, highlighted).  First, former employer and client KANA and I are doing a webinar talking about a different perspective on where Customer Experience is  going.  This is a continuation, of sorts, of my presentation at Evolution 2010 earlier this year.  There is some cool stuff I am going to cover, from my perspective, that talks about a different way to do Customer Service and Experience Management.  I think you should attend (working on putting it all into a white paper as well, in case my sultry voice is not your cup-of-tea) and a second white paper and presentation for later this year.  Register and see you there.

Jacada (client) has retained me as part of their series on Meet the Experts (and Esteban) to talk about Social CRM.  Since they gave me plenty of latitude, I decided to move beyond the traditional what is Social CRM post and talk about the need for it.  Want to know if you need to deploy it?  Read on for the next five weeks as I talk more in detail about the existing hype and try to present a futuristic version of where SCRM is and where it is going.  This will also turn into a webinar and White Paper, so you get the chance to catch up later — but why wait?  I am awesome in installments (feel free to disagree).

***links***

Big tip of the hat to two illustrious CRM / SCRM Folks.  Last week-ish there was a conference in the Netherlands called CRM in 1 Day (yeah, all the cool stuff happens there — we get the 5-day long conferences here).  Some of the presentations were outstanding, but there are two I want to highlight: First, Dr. Graham Hill’s presentation on “Extreme CRM Makeover” where he proposes how to change the way we approach and do CRM, creating a very interesting customer-centric model in the process.  Second, Wim Rampen presented a very thoughtful and makes-you-think presentation on how companies need to change their perspective in regards to the social Customer and what it means to become a Social Business.  Both these presentations are more than worth the time to go through them and understand the concepts.  Definitely worth a cup of coffee and the better part of an hour or two.

Another very cool article this week was Dr. Michael Wu’s (Lithium – client) take on what makes a relationship — a relationship.  I always encourage people to read Dr. Wu’s work, he is one of the very few (only one I know) people in the world that can successfully bridge the gap between science, business, biology, and neurology.  He writes about very complex concepts in very simple terms and the charts and graphics  are incredible.  If you want to understand what a relationship is, definitely read this.  Also, make sure to bookmark and / or follow his blog on RSS or him on Twitter so you won’t miss the future installments of research goodness he produces.

Earlier this week I was working on a presentation and needed a reference to a statistic I had seen earlier.  Tried to do some googling, but was not able to find it — so I asked the Twitterverse.  Within 10 minutes I had found the answer I was looking for, to which I am very grateful to two of my followers – Harry Klein (@custengagement) and Lawrence Bird (@LawrenceOfAvaya), and I promised I’d share the sources.  The statistic was that 80% of companies believe they are doing a superb job with customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree.  This came from a report by Bain and Company.  Laurence sent me a tweet with two other reports on the same concept that were also interesting enough to share – a report commissioned by Avaya talking about the spend plans for 2010 (free registration required), and the commentary written by Network World that makes similar points but with slightly different numbers.

Paul Greenberg released his Experience on the Edge podcast #2 at a smidgen over one hour.  But, this is a killer hour of news, commentary, and entertainment — including the always popular and uber-cool music he picks.  Listen to it and learn about CRM.  Extremely well done, and taking on good topics once again (including a piece on the five misconceptions of Social CRM that you must listen to, a take on left-brain v right-brain, and an analysis on an Forrester’s report on CRM benchmarking).  Definitely tee it up with your second cup of coffee and the rest of your morning (you spent the rest in the presentations above, remember?).  BTW, if you want to really, really think about the state of Social and where the world is going, check out this post by Paul.  Yeah, told you… cool stuff, huh?

And to close on a high note, learned that one from Seinfeld — always leave them laughing, here is a Definitely Not Suitable for Work or the Easily Offended — but very funny — site that makes t-shirts with slogans.  Childish? yes, Offensive? Sometimes — exercise your right to chose what you see and go on to T-shirt Hell and take a gander — or ignore it and unfollow me.  My favorite? The t-shirt I believe every single customer service rep should be forced to wear…

The rest of the cool links of the week are below, please do leave me comments and let me know what you would like to see more or less off — next week will give you my quick impressions on Oracle’s show, tell you about other cool news and projects, and — make this shorter…

RSA Animate – The Secrets Powers of Time — very cool animation video

Why Vanity Metrics are Dangerous — great post shared by Graham Hill

Does God Have a Future – great discussion, regardless of your spiritual beliefs

Cootie, Candyland or Chutes and Ladders: Solving a Parent’s Dilemma with Monte Carlo Simulation (thanks Jeffrey Henning for sharing this) — want to play with your kids, but finish the game sooner? Which one lasts less time?

Until then, please do comment.

Friday Roundup (aka Desperate Attempt to Post Something)

Yes, Yes, Yes… I have been absent.

It is not that I am not doing anything, mind you – I have been working on the future of Social Business, and it is looking very, very cool.  My clients, who I do get to pick thankfully, have some of the coolest ideas around, and they are working hard to deploy the next generation of Social X.  Thankfully, and I am truly grateful, they asked me to help with some parts of it — which means I have had no time.

Well, I was almost caught up before the Petri dishes we call Elementary School and Preschool reconvened and my system was exposed to some incredible new viruses that I have never been exposed before (I am going to say that having moved recently probably helped that) and I was out for a week.

But I digress.

I decided to do a roundup to let you know some of the very cool stuff I have found in the last few weeks, give you a glimpse as to what’s coming down the pipeline, and some links and interesting — stuff I collected this week.  If sufficient people read this over the weekend, maybe I will do this every week… in my spare time.

Oh, yeah – back to regular blogging (once-a-week— ish) next week I hope.

So, without further do — some of the links and stuff I have collected this week (or been working on).  Goes without saying, I hope, in no particular order.

John Coldwell, from InfoQuest in the UK, knows about Customer Satisfaction for B2B.  Has a methodology, product, and oodles of experience.  He started a blog about it, and he is quite good with it — so see if you can make some space in your readers for this one.

Thierry be Baillon wrote a killer post to support the idea of the collaborative enterprise (he has not yet called it that, he will soon) and you can read that here.

Joseph Morin, who seems to be everywhere in social these days — including his new enterprise Social Rewards, introduced me to a very cool new solution (hashable),  a very cool Social Sales add-on, leveraging Social Networks to be social – check it out.

Oldi-sh, but a very good one, understanding the consumer of the future at Inc. magazine, an interview with John Gerzema, Chief Insights Officer at Young and Rubicam.  Read it, has some good insights into the changing marketplace.

Exceptional piece by Beth Harte and Geoff Livingston in her blog – The Meme to End All Memes.  Excellent compilation of where the world is today with Social — this is a great read.

If you followed the #SM76  chat last Monday, those amongst us with ADD quickly degenerated a good conversation on SCRM into a discussion on trust, authenticity, privacy and other heady issues.  Following that debacle, Mr. Godfather of CRM himself (why, Paul Greenberg – of course) regaled us with a link to Outside of the Box a blog by Karl Wabst  on privacy and related issues.  Incredibly good read.

I came across these on Twitter, and I cannot recall who posted them — or where they came from — so here is a generous hat tip in the direction of the Twitterverse — keepstream (dyamic collection of tweets) and curated.by (just what it sounds like , very easy to use).

Good friend, and excellent Customer Service professional, Kate Leggett joined Forrester to cover the spot left by Dr. Natalie Petohouff.  Please follow her on Twitter — and do ask her any questions you may have, she is way knowledgeable.  She can put me to shame in Customer Service (I am sure in other topics as well, but we are talking Customer Service here).

I am introducing a whole slew of new content and research in the next few weeks via Webinars and White Papers (see? I do work).  I will post more details next week on this.  Stay tuned and I guarantee you will not be disappointed (cannot promise you agree, but can promise it will be very, very interesting).

I am kicking off two projects to collect user stories on social and CRM (not necessarily together – but they can be).  More details on that also next week.  This is in response to your requests to post more case studies and use cases for Social and CRM.  See how it works? Closing the loop, delivering against expectations for most — exceeding for some that thought I was not even listening.  Eat your own dog food — that is what I am talking about… (cliche-heavy section of the post is now done)

And, finally for this Friday, have you checked out Experience on the Edge yet? Paul Greenberg reverted to his roots and started doing his weekly-ish podcasts.  If you are in the CRM world… heck, if you are in the business world — definitely check it out… I am going to guess the next one comes out today – but if I do the FTC and SEC may come after me for insider information… so just subscribe to the RSS Feed.

What do you think? Is this Valuable? Want me to continue? Leave me a comment and let me know… it is fun to do, but takes some time…