From the moment the world embraced social media, the way businesses interact with their customers has undergone a huge change. The old Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Partner Relationship Management (PRM) models have undergone some major transformations in the way they are executed to a more holistic approach in the form of Social CRM and Social Collaboration. As per McKinsey Global Institute report “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies”, MGI reached a conclusion that businesses could realize a 25% productivity gain through the adoption of social and collaborative strategies and technologies.
What is Social and Collaborative Technology?
Over 70% of the companies are using social technologies in some form, but none has even scratched the surface when it comes to exploiting its full potential. Social technology is a host of digital technologies that are used by people to interact with each other on a social level. The most popular social technology powered sites on the internet today are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. where people are constantly interacting with one another on diverse issues at a personal and mass level.
Collaborative technology can be loosely defined as the functionality provided by the social networking and media websites, which appears in the form of instant messages, blogs, videos, images, tags, discussion forums, wall postings, etc., using which anyone can easily find, create, and share content and further collaborate with each other.
Ecosystem Social Collaboration (ESC)
ESC is a system of methodologies, software, strategies, and web-based capabilities that are used in tandem within an enterprise to facilitate and engage in collaboration with and among the ecosystem of companies and individuals that engage in demand generation and supply fulfillment. Through this system, the collection and distribution of data through the organization happens among the constituents of the ecosystem using social technologies.
The Components of ESC
Collaboration at the operational level will work towards the automation of collaborative marketing, sales and service business processes and engagements. It will facilitate workgroup and peer to peer collaboration by analyzing ecosystem behavior and implementing business intelligence technology. Finally, ESC will transform your company culture to a collaborative culture.
A. Operational Collaboration
Operational collaboration transforms front end activities of the business process, which include sales, market, services etc. into collaborative engagements. This is achieved through the facilitation of teamwork between two or more companies or individuals through collaboration on shared tasks.
Operational Collaboration Typically Covers Four Areas of Business :
- Sales Collaboration : It encompasses critical sales and sales force management functions by addressing the entire ecosystem. The key components of sales collaboration are the facilitation of joint management of sales processes with ecosystem members, using web, social and mobile tools and its tight integration with CRM, product catalogues, and pricing.
- Marketing Collaboration : It facilitates information sharing within the business environment, while including competitors, industry trends, and macro-environmental variables. Its main intent is to improve marketing campaign efficiency and effectiveness across the ecosystem.
- Collaborative and Cooperative Learning : It enables the transfer of knowledge from the source and individuals within the ecosystem to the role the individual performs on behalf of the company. Collaborative learning gets an impetus from cooperation among participants, which is motivated by interactions for accomplishments of specific goals, which are content specific.
- Service and Support Collaboration : This encompasses the shared responsibility for providing customer service and support through joint management of the ecosystem members, using web, social, and mobile tools in tight integration with CSS systems.
B. Community Collaboration
In order to ensure community collaboration, the company must facilitate community dialogues and engagements within the company ecosystem as well as with those of other ecosystem. This can be achieved effectively via communication, using internet technology for networking among individuals sharing common roles, experiences, skills, and the desire to share knowledge, information and documents for collaborative conversations. The internet technology used for collaborative communication include social networking sites, mobile apps, instant messaging tools etc.
C. Multi-Channel Collaborative Communication
ESC occurs through interactions at various levels such as personal, professional or casual through different mediums such as web, emails, letters, and mobile interactions, which support employee and team level coordination.
D. Analytical Collaboration
Under analytical collaboration, the data from other forms of collaboration are gathered and analyzed to segment the ecosystem communities as per the profiles and behavior to enhance peer, workgroup, and community collaboration.
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