June 2nd, 2009 by Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC

By Mike Fauscette, Software Business Solutions Group, IDC

CRM magazine, June 2009, cover

CRM magazine, June 2009, cover

[EDITORS’ NOTE: This is part of a series of posts that began here, dissecting a two-page chart that appeared in CRM magazine’s June 2009 issue on social media. The digital edition of that issue can be found here, and a standalone image of the chart itself can be seen here. (Click on the “View Full Size” button at the top right of that page.) To view all posts in the series, please add this RSS feed to your RSS reader.]

JUNE 2, 2009 — First I’d like to thank Josh, the editors of CRM magazine and the destinationCRMblog readers for facilitating this “experiment.” In the spirit shared yesterday by Josh in the introductory post on the Social Media Maturity Model: 30 Posts, 30 People, 30 Days, I’ve agreed to kick this “conversation” off. I’ve had the benefit of chatting about the Model quite a bit and living with it in some form for a few weeks. From that experience I have several observations that I’ll share in no particular order.

Sales: I agree in principal with the Model but there’s something nagging me in the five-year view. Maybe it’s the word “buyer” — I guess I think the end state is more trusted partner, which in fact changes the dynamic into a conversation and a real interactive relationship. The salesperson reaches the level of trusted advisor through the trust relationship created by the shift to social media.

I also think social analytics plays a part here (see my comments on social analytics below). Why doesn’t selling turn into predictive selling at a new level? Because there is a trust relationship between customer and salesperson, and because new tools evolve to help the sales team predict what would be of value and interest to the customer, the conversation changes to one of “I see you have this issue, here’s a solution that fits what you’ve said you like and need.”

[More after the jump…]

The five-year era of “social commerce” and “social context”: I couldn’t agree more. I had a thought recently that what’s happening is in fact not new but a shift back in time but Internet- and social-Web–enabled. A recent post on my blog covered this idea. What I mean is that we’re recreating the local mom-and-pop neighborhood store in a new virtual environment. While the transaction Web made cottage industries into global businesses, this new social Web phase puts the human or social element back into business.

Just like you might have known your local butcher — and he knew what you liked and needed — the new virtual business “knows” you and has an ongoing relationship with you. As a result, the social business is trusted and can predict what you need based on experience. Big enterprise can relate to you on a new personal and individual level — but at scale and not constrained by geography. This is an extension of my concept of the shift of the friendship model, or the relationship continuum, that I discussed in this post.

  • Friendship – old model = proximity and time
  • Friendship – new model = value and interaction

Social analytics: See this blog post for more details but basically I believe that social software and the social enterprise is following the same path as ERP and CRM followed in their respective infancies:

Stage 1: transactions & data generation
Stage 2: analytics
Stage 3: decision or action based on information
Stage 4: automation of some decisions to free information workers for higher value interaction.

We’re generating the social data now; the next step is to provide a way to analyze that data and eventually base action or decisions on the data transformed into information.

Scale: This is an interesting topic. A lot of social data already exists and a lot of Web 2.0 tools are available for use in the new social enterprise — but the issue for enterprise adoption is scale. In fact, IMHO, scale represents the opportunity for technology and technology vendors. We want to leave the customer, partner, supplier, etc., “experience” in the model of “when, where, and how” THEY want it, but on the back end we have to deploy tools that allow us to build business processes around the interaction and to scale at a reasonable cost. We will also need the tools to collect, manage, and analyze the social information.

We’re starting to see attempts to provide these tools, but those attempts are in their infancy. Over the next five years we’ll see a whole different class of technology to support what we’re doing and where we’re going. What we have today are the authoring tools or platforms — and to some extent the start of tools that can facilitate sharing — but that’s mostly it.

We are seeing the birth of a bunch of start-ups trying to figure this out, but we’re a long way away from the end game.

Oh, and I’ve heard some experts call things like Twitter and Facebook “channels”… At first I joined them, but now I’m starting to think that may not be the right term. Not sure what is, but I think channel may present the wrong image.

In almost any part of the five-year view, you can substitute the term “engaged.” To me engaged is a big part of what’s behind predictive selling, user-generated marketing, preventative customer service, and customer-driven relations. Right now, we’re learning how to use the social Web — mostly by “doing,” by the way. This is sort of like my grandparents learning how to use a refrigerator instead of an icebox; it was new, different, and novel. They had to think about what to do with it, but I’ve never not had a refrigerator. I don’t think about how to use it, I just use it — it’s second nature.

That’s how the social Web will be someday; we’ll stop talking about how we might use it — and just use it.


Michael Fauscette (@mfauscette on Twitter) leads IDC’s Software Business Solutions Group which includes research and consulting in ERP, SCM, CRM, and PLM applications (and the associated business process that the software supports), small and medium business applications, partner and alliance ecosystems, open source, software vendor business models (SaaS) and software pricing and licensing.

Fauscette‘s experience with software vendors ranging from large enterprise companies to small Silicon Valley startups enables him to provide a unique perspective by relating research data and trends to overall strategic focus and go-to-market strategies. Having spent an extensive amount of time working with software end users throughout his career, Fauscette has a business-process–oriented and end-user–focused approach to software research and analysis. He conducts market research, analysis, and consulting on emerging markets, go-to-market strategies, end-user experience and requirements, application implementation, vendor business models, and partner strategy.

Prior to joining IDC, Fauscette held senior consulting and services roles with seven software vendors including Autodesk, PeopleSoft, and MRO. His software experience spans the entire enterprise life-cycle process and covers all facets of the global software business. An ex-U.S. Naval Officer, he began his technology career as a Surface Line Engineering Officer.

What if…

…we don’t call twitter and facebook channels, we call them enablers. they enable information to go out from more places and reach more places.

…we don’t call it the social enterprise, we call it a reversal of the traditional enterprise model. organizations no longer behave like the end of the road where we go to get products and services, they are one more part of a collective, perpetually moving machine.

Since I am writing a post sometime this month about this, I don’t want to put it all here. But the idea is not that we are adding or changing to existing applications and business models. the idea is that we are inventing a brand new, virtual model that we don’t even know what is going to do or look like. we don’t even know we are doing it, it is just the evolution of the tools, technologies, and needs that is getting there.

i like what you wrote, it is similar to what I am thinking. i denied the existence of social crm and social media (Still do for lack of a better model or explanation), but am beginning to see the light of where this is going.

I will save the rest for my post. nice way to get us going…

Comment by Esteban Kolsky — — June 3, 2009 @ 3:52 am

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