Fabrizio Martire interviews Carlos Diaz - Bluekiwi

SME 2.0
    1.    In Europe 99% of businesses are SMEs and 81.1% in Italy (according to Istat (2007): 46.5% of enterprises are micro, 22.1% are small and 12.4% average). In regard to content creation and participation, the online community complies with the principle of 90-9-1. Focusing on these two data: how can a SME have the culture and the strength to produce enough content to keep alive the interest in a 2.0 system? Does innovation start from the bottom for SME, too?

This is a very good question, the strength and the efficiency of a network not only relies on the quantity of members, in fact its power depends most of time on the level of engagement of its members. That's particularly true in a profesional context, the 90-9-1 principle is most of time true in a public area (Wikipedia), in an organization the ratio is much higher because the purpose is extremely diferent. An enterprise social network should be first about business. If you tranfer business into your internal social network then you will see people participation growing fast first because the way they work is more social and less boring, second because they understand that it really helps them to do their work better. Let me give you an example, in blueKiwi, we have a client that is using our Social Business Solution within its Sales Department. The total number of people is very small, about 50, and the business purpose of this sales network is very clear, sharing Loss & Wins information. Before blueKiwi sales rep used to send an email to their manager and share with him why and how they won or loss an opportunity. Most of time this manager doesn't have enough time to use those information with the rest of the team... Now they publish a public note into blueKiwi and all members can engage the conversation in just one click. Doing so, every time someone publishes a Win, 90% of the rest of the team congrats him, when it's a Loss, a lot of them share their own sales experience or provide good advices. In few months, this Sales Social Network has become a vibrant internal community despite its small number of members. It captures and spreads out internally the institutional know-how of the company.

At last, Social Business is not only about internal networks, more and more SMEs are using Social Software to build live, active and long-lasting communities with their ecosystem of partners, suppliers or clients. Doing so, number of members could increase fast You can be a company of just 100 employees but if you engage your external network, you can reach 1,000 of people. How do you manage this ecosystem when you are small? Community model is definitvely the best way to quickly engage with this network and do co-business.  

    2.    Do you think that the market is offering any services designed for SMEs?

In blueKiwi, we designed 1-day workshops adapted to SMEs too but It's true that most of time SMEs try to learn by themselves and don't set up a specific service plan around their 2.0 strategy. I don't know if it's really critical, in fact it depends on your objectives, if you just want to discover and learn more about Social Business, the best thing to do is to try. SaaS offerings are then very adapted to do so. If you have quantified and high business expectations, than it's better to imagine a dedicated strategy plan. In term of product training, most of tools are very easy to use and don't require a specific user training. You can also find a lot of events and online communities to share with others about your experience.

    1.    "Enterprise 2.0: It's All About People" is a quote that you often find in books and blogs. Is every kind of organization destined to become Enterprise 2.0? From primary to advanced areas, until you get to the secret services (CIA - intellipedia)?

You know Enterprise 2.0 is like Web 2.0... we will never get back to Web 1.0, it will be the same with Enterprise 2.0. The way we do business is changing radically and for ever. You will have two kind of companies, the one who adapt to this new situation and the others. Our world becomes more and more global, connected and Real-Time, being an Enterprise 2.0 is just about adapting the way we do business to this new context. Understand that your internal and external network is your most valuable asset to increase your business. At last, Y Generation are now part of our organizations and they don't know how to work without 2.0. Their best contacts are not on their personal address book but on the cloud on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. When they need an information or when they want to connect with someone they no longer ask your system, they ask their own cloud-network. This is the true Social Business.  

2.    Do you have an Enterprise 2.0 case on a primary sector that you would like to share? Something similar to the Greymont - Lime & Stone Products case, or fish market in Tokyo (site - blog)?

I ask Alessandro here in copy to send you our Case Study with Dassault Systemes (it will be presented at the Forum, ndr)

3.    What’s the greatest failure that you ever experienced in an Enterprise 2.0 project? Lesson learned?

I would say that the greatest failure is not to go. Launching a 2.0 project within an organization could be not easy but no matter the problems you face, doing so you will learn a lot and adapt to the new way of doing business. Engage and interact with your employees, partners, customers or even the crowd through Social Media has become mission-critical. I see too many managers considering Social Business as a fad or letting the management of Social Media to unexperienced people. Social Busines should be considered as a priority, it's the bes way today to improve your corporate performance FAST!


 Interview made by Fabrizio Martire - VirtualEco