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Posts Tagged ‘Business Management’

Social Media for the Enterprise – Strategies for Maximum ROI

Social Media dynamism, science and working is unique and can be adopted to Enterprises that have their own community, they can on-board existing traditional engagement channels into Social media and offer an unique customer experience. There are always huge benefits in closing out a successful Social Media channel for enterprises. Simply the Science of Social Media can allow a definitive and a sea of change for enterprises who will want to pursue new ways of global outreach and engagement of customer communities.

There are frameworks, methodologies, practices and process systems created to add tremendous value to enterprises seeking to deploy Social media strategies, With the application of Social Media strategies and by incorporating the best practices honed; enterprises can now pursue providing strong value to their engagement models by providing the need driven, value based solutions over Social media. Enterprises have a list of priorities that they should achieve by deploying Social Media platforms; these priorities are scenarios in which they get the maximum return over investment. These scenarios are the traditional engagement methods that are packaged and deployed over social media platforms; with a global community and outreach like never before. Have listed below few of the direct, maximum yield Social Media pursuits that I could research and list.

Investment and Maximum ROI Scenarios.

Enterprise Collaboration Enablement
Enterprise Support Enablement
Social Media Monitoring & Engagement
Social Media Sales Enablement
Web Collaboration & Intelligence

For detailed insight, visit my other Blog

Jesu Valiant – 2011

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Strategic Acquisitions – How? and What?

All organizations try to achieve the maximum growth in the shortest possible time. The trajectory that they want to take depends on what strategies they adopt to manage the varied challenges that they will face. There are many strategies that can be deployed in the wake of time-lines based growth targets. Its almost a undeniable fact that we have growth targets breathing down on CEO’s and the Board in all organizations and the route that they decide to take spells either the knell or the trumpet.

To swell any organizations revenue the strategy and the impending road-map is key; growth can be achieved by multiple ways. Defining a strategy and the under lying mesh of a plan is a hard job and usually the CSO – the strategist does that; he has to further that his conviction to persuade the brass of the organization. Lets take a look at the varied  examples of growth strategies that have been successfully used on most occasions to improve the swell of revenues.

Growth through Acquisition, examples and top reasons:

Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel

With Nortel filing for bankruptcy and the entire global telecom community completely aware of the ‘cash cows’ of a customer base with Nortel. Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel ensured it roped in the top enterprises where it can up-sell / cross sell and also the key Large Systems piece that had many fans in the enterprise world. With Nortel’s strong presence in NA, Avaya could get a rapid entry there with its newer range of products targeting the UC opportunities with Aura and other range of newer products.

Salesforce acquisition of Radian6

With all the CRM systems loosing out to minnows of smaller organizations thanks to the capability of Social Media analytics that these start ups have created. With Lithium’s intended acquisition of Scoutlabs and the market thirst for Social media analytics, Salesforce jumped into the bandwagon and identified and completed the acquisition of one of the market leaders in Social media analytics “Radian6”.  Salesforce overnight added capability to penetrate a big chunk of the market and also provide new capabilities to its huge and delighted customer base.

Tata Motors acquisition of Jaguar & Land Rover

Tata Motors acquisition of the British icons Jaguar and Land Rover was seen as an achievement; here Tata Motors without wasting much time and realizing the economic slowdown in European and American markets completed the acquisition rather swiftly. It provided Tata Motors opportunity to spread its business across different geographies and across different customer segments. Tata Motors did not hesitate to incur a huge capital expenditure in planning to invest US$ 1 billion in JLR in addition to the US$ 2.3 billion it had spent on the acquisition. Well Tata Motors now had global reach, varied market segments penetration, infrastructure, labs and technology.

JP Morgan acquisition of Bear Stearns

JPMorgan Chase acquired Bear Stearns for $10 per share, a price far below the 52-week high of $133.20 per share. JPMorgan Chase made the last-minute buyout was aimed at averting a Bear Stearns bankruptcy and a spreading crisis of confidence in the global financial system. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. government swiftly approved the all-stock deal. As all could see JPMorgan benefited most in Bear Stearns’ prime brokerage business, which completes trades for big investors such as hedge funds. Bear Stearns collapse was spectacular just before the acquisition falling to 1% in 16 days.

Whats in a Acquisition?

Acquisition is an inorganic growth tool, many times this is the most sought after growth tool. There are many cases of pure failures in acquisitions thanks to the fine art that is required to compose a strategic integration. Acquisition tests the ability of most leaders who have little, or no expertise in shaping a joint market strategy and driving existing share holders commitments. Approaches abound and any failures in the estimated revenues are directly due to the lack of proper research and analysis over priorities and integration dynamics.  In certain events acquisitions could have been avoided and strategic alliances could have been the key.

How to make an Acquisition work?

Before even the ideas over a target company are framed, even before the very first exchange of numbers happen, there has to be a business analysis done from the market perspective invoking the best of methodologies. The earliest of activity starts with getting the priorities of the organization correct; priorities cover non-negotiable stance of the acquirer. This list of priorities are essential to even start mapping the possible targets that would help in fulfilling the non-negotiable stance.

Secondly the acquirer organization needs to ‘listen and monitor’ the market having its scanner on the alert not to miss any available opportunity, there can be missed opportunities that emerge that would otherwise been a launchpad for growth. It would be wise of the board members or CEO’s to avoid compulsions which would emerge from almost everywhere.

Jesu Valiant

Developing Social Capital – An Approach

March 15, 2011 1 comment

Its all about building a soul into the spirit of the community, Social networks have been in existence for centuries; yes… its certainly true. Human communities settled and formed communities on river banks for thousands of years and were united as a social group with goals structured around food & hunting, shelter, security, mutual support, farming, etc., these communities grew big and formed distinct civilizations. In today’s world we try doing the same over a virtual platform, things can be so basic and simple provided right insight and approach is formulated.

The key in building social communities lies in the understanding the basic constituents. Every community and social grouping has fundamental units of functions [SFU] – Social fundamental unit,  addressing and enabling these units to function is key to the success of building community and social groups. Like in the real time communities there are some fundamentals that needs to be imbibed while forming communities.

1. Community Bonds among Individual elements.
Bonding within a community is very important, to create the bonding there needs to be goals defined and all in the community inadvertently pursue these set of goals. Its like floating a forum for users of one product series who want to achieve better product adoption and usage across as a group commune together. Some publish articles, some post questions, some answer, some pool in external references, etc., This is the key , build tools and work-flows around these goals to ensure that there is always an opportunity to debate, share, compliment, report, reference, etc., These help building relationships and bonding within a group. There is always Cohesion and Inclusion and no Confrontation or retributions.

2. Community Bonds between Groups of Elements.
Having these all out functional groups there is the next level of collaboration in the form of inter group bonding; in a community business support environment users will need each other strengths to collaborate for a solution. An example is a product buyer comes with an issue on the product compatibility with another brand over certain feature sets; he posts a question over the forum, over FB wall and possibly tweet too. Here there is an opportunity for this reported cause to get viral and many to see it for the good and for bad. There needs to be a response and this can be addressed by the Individual elements or Other Groups of Elements. There can be a technical support team that can respond; if an user reports an issue with much complexity like an interoperability then is not in the control of the support team, they can very well invoke the design & engineering team to advice and action. This is community supporting community, build bonds between groups of elements; this is also called as community support.

3. Platform as a Component.
With the complexities of real life engagements moving into a social application based interaction and responses, there needs to be a strong platform and governance model that helps in bridging the gaps between monitoring, responding, evaluating, enabling, analyzing etc., from a product manufacturer perspective. It also needs to take care of applying work-flows that will support knowledge sharing, collaboration, ideation and support, best practice mapping, etc., There are many a systems at play in the market there are a few that have listed below. These platforms offer the facility and functionalities to support most if not all of the above.

Social capital means the intensity, virality, capability of a Social community. The more the cohesive strength and collaborative spirit the higher the capital. Better Social capital translates to the following benefits for a Product & Technology Manufacturer.

1. Reduces transaction costs
2. Provides vivid and direct avenues for revenues
3. Provides a competitive edge
4. Social Capital with the best practices provides market differentiation
5. Social Capital with the right systems enable conducive collaboration environment
6. Helps build openness and transparency
7. Community Involvement Builds Social Capital
8. Promotes Accountability
9. Product and Logo Loyalty
10. Community Satisfaction & Delight
11. Direct channel with customers

Jesu Valiant – 2011

Shared Services – Boon or Bane?

March 12, 2011 Leave a comment

With the financial year 2010 – 2011 drawing to a close, corporations who have not scaled their performances are looking to vertically integrate internal services to create a pool of shared services to run an internal horizontal and this is done with the perception of reducing costs thus. The major areas of such an alignment is very true if organization does not have a industry spread and rather sticks to one direct LOB [Ex: Legal Firms, Pharma etc.,]., it simply means ensuring that resembling functions are grouped together and thus an opportunity for cost savings, services consolidation, unified governance etc., are achieved.

The reality that emerges is a stark contrast to the ‘dream’ of shared services that a CIO, CEO, CTO or the board has. In the current dynamic business environments this is bound to become a curious case of debacles, a ready candidature for worst practices. The entire activity of service team integration to achieve horizontal spread with the varied competencies are complex, expensive, and hard to reverse. Any internal mergers and fusions of services sets the top brass drooling over imaginary prospects today; in fact this in todays business dynamism completely a ‘penny wise – pound foolish’ strategy. This ‘like services’ integration motto proves that the proposer exists in a prehistoric world, where this idea will suit a mass production environment and during times of industrial revolution.

Business dynamism of today involves node level skill based revenues, operational environments, industry process and workflows, domain centricity, COE & Practice Blocs, etc., and in today’s scenario its always “Economies of flow are superior to economies of scale”. Economies of Scale applies to a mass production and industrialized service design. There is however play for Shared services models in a closed industry bloc and lets take an accounting firm; the HR will only focus on recruiting MBA’s and CA’s, if they open a Financial consulting BU the same HR role is diversified to seek analysts and statisticians. If it moves into a systems perspective then introduction of new ‘sniffing’ skills addressing this bloc is needed. This is addressed by adding new skill in the form of resources. Now if this micro transaction is a macro in its millions of dollars worth of PA transactions then the need is directed  in having a dedicated resource augmenting HR rather a shared services bloc.

Economies of flow are superior to economies of scale

Economies of Scale: More the Quantity of output; lesser the average cost. Successful environment for SSO.

Economies of Flow: More the Value, More the revenue and More Agility. Risky Environment for SSO.

In a complex technology environment supporting a dynamic business unit dealing with complexities like multi tenancy client and product eco system, industry specific workflows and addressing diverse industry stack, technology spread across varied functional requirements, distributed niche services,etc., there are a host of mushrooming communities of practice that exists each focused on their direct pattern of work. Here a shared resource for ‘anything’ becomes a nightmare with huge sacrifices that need to made over business agility, business TAT, quality of niche services.

However this does not rule out any scope for shared services as there are indeed a few areas where a SSO [Shares Service Organization] model will yield results and optimize business across a given Sharing services can go either way. Performing analysis over the services organization, introduce best practices, eliminate waste and failures, perform analysis and identify work that can be shared and pursue optimization.

Jesu Valiant – 2011

Strategic Knowledge Engineering

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The nature of work has evolved towards service and knowledge related contexts; in this scenario we need intense focus over the processes and frameworks that would define on how we harness and leverage information that is generated over all processes for driving more value. Organizations seeking to extend themselves into this critical area of analytics needs to focus on shaping the process and the people; the vital components. Organizations should be aware of the characteristics of its relative business knowledge and its sources, features and usability. It needs to shape methods that can collate data from extensive source area, link disparate data sources for a collective sense. There needs to be a governing process that evaluates, merges, researches, develops,  the data and comes out with options for business optimization.

Splitting the stages into functional units tied down to specific goals.

1. Knowledge Sourcing
2. Knowledge Abstraction
3. Knowledge Framing
4. Knowledge Warehousing
5. Knowledge Engineering

Knowledge Sourcing can be described as the identifying and acquiring historic and real-time data that are available from varied sources in the annals of any given business process. Data usually is available in the databases, files, logs, documents and they hold information transactions. The data is accumulated over time and the stores swell with size; all the while presenting an opportunity to present intelligent or informative analysis that could drive a stack of benefits. Other than the normal reporting structures built to mark the progress over Production, Quality and all in between; specific insight is never sought. The inference – insight that can be extracted remains an opportunity and for long. This data stacks and repositories are analyzed and identified as channels / sources; this source is the feeder for the analytics and the outcomes, process of source identification and data acquisition needs to be clinical.

Knowledge Abstraction helps in framing the insights and is completely skill dependent; this human skill is at an expert level on the domain of choice [SME  – Subject Matter Expertise] and the process relies heavily on the understanding and knowledge of the people resources. The data set is categorized based on the business case or the problem statement, data and information framework built here are weighed and categorized in order to support the reasoning and outcomes. The frame is built over an objective where the entire pursuit of intelligence is architected. All information here is bridged, connectors, the domino effect and factoring are all part of this abstraction process. Abstraction has two distinct process loops; one

Knowledge Framing ensures that abstracted data is further developed and refined through higher process routines to achieve anchoring over statistical data. The anchoring is vital as this builds the entire exercise over reasoning, analytics and recommendations on numerical realities. There effort here is predominantly built over mining [drilling down] data blocks to identify patterns, strings, values  to build neural relation that will help garner deep insight into all the facets.

Knowledge Warehousing comes in as the vital next step where the structured information and knowledge is stored into prescribed data structures that acts as the foundation for all the processed data. These individual ‘marts’ contain data stacks that are structured  over certain perspectives. Here the data stacks are linked, merged, to evolve and position the data for all analytics and intelligence extracts. This warehousing of the structured knowledge is done using enterprise warehousing applications, there is also a process layer to help drive Data reporting based on rule engines and business case.

Knowledge Engineering Analytics is the function where we have all the analytics process and frameworks deployed to extract intelligence out of the data warehouse. There is a lot of factor building, dependency tracking, correlations exercises that are done over analytics suites that help understanding all the different perspectives from an analytics standpoint. Causes, factors, symptoms, diagnosis, recommendations, solutioning are all the indispensable next steps that add a tremendous value to business and business operations.

Jesu Valiant

Service & Analytics recommendations:
To initiate a SKE – Strategic Knowledge Engineering for any of your data stacks, there is a comprehensive solution stack shaped over a decade of analytics at the CSS Knowledge Engineering & Research Labs.

Email: enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Principles for Successful Innovation

Successful business innovations that drive growth are guided by the following  principles:

1. An Explosive Vision to create new products, frameworks, business models or processes that make a difference to the dullness of existing business and create new markets, new excitement, infuse high impact visual verbatim for comprehension across the layers in the annals of the organization and to the market. Born in the minds of creative thought owners who always seek out for breaking the routines and take to their own space in an multi layered and hyper dimensional environment. Creativity and Innovations are not wrought by accumulating reservoirs of certifications, digits on the payslip, its all about getting the foundations right. Being a game changer means having a strong personal belief in creativity and innovation coupled with originality of thought.

2. Culture and organizational rigor that stimulate creativity and learning to execute on the vision. Organizations on identifying the innovation engines should learn not “Flog the Hen” to lay a clutch of golden eggs and breed a farm, create a collection of hyper reproductive hens again laying golden eggs. This is planet earth and everything evolves and takes time; failures abound if we do not empower the thought leader to take lead; organizations should provision an environment for shaping the innovative vision. Participation from the organizations leadership is absolutely essential in realizing any innovation, a pilate hand wash over framing concept support – joint development of roadmap to monetization – resource provisioning will set to stifle innovation, vision & concept.

3. Reward and recognition system to take measured risks and experiment. With the birth and growth of corporate power houses like Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM who thrive on internal innovations rather than adopting a ‘copy – paste’ approach of most 1st level and 2nd level enterprises we witness today. We have people achieving Mach 2 on the way up corporate ladders; with less experience and less expertise, Innovations are stifled and starved by not provisioning appropriate attention and investment, there is a dearth of comprehension skills because there is lack of maturity and understanding. Any organization in the quest for better returns on investment, need to invest; returns on investment means that there is a reaction to an action not any volcano from under the feet. Idea originators and innovators need to be supported and recognized; recognition itself at the organizational level is viewed as a reward; recognition is the key.

4. Focus on clear and present customer needs, the market facts, and the intangible. Any Innovation are so if they are built considering in totality the market needs, operating environment, competition, capability, landscape, technology affiliations, industry standards, business practicalities, organization goals, expertise, etc., among the many. Market needs solutions for the varied complexities that emerge over time; innovation needs to have the strategic depth and width to stay evolving,’close gaping’ all needs, perform savior spinoffs on cost – complexity, quicken results,  create platform for further benefit domino.

5. Growth-oriented and Strategic leadership that is decisive, inclusive, focused, takes risks, and have market expertise. Strategic leaders are always looking ahead and analyzing the present in terms of preparation for what may be ahead for the business. Strategic leaders are adaptable and growth-oriented. Although the strategic style of leadership always keeps the best interests of the business in mind, it’s also appreciative of employees’ unique talents and efforts. Strategic leaders use leadership techniques that empower and motivate rather than bully employees. Another goal of strategic leadership is to create an environment in which employees anticipate the company’s needs in relation to their own job. Employees in a workplace environment led by a strategic leader are encouraged to follow their own initiative.

Jesu Valiant

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