Enterprise 2.0 & Professional Services’ Sectors

There are vastly amount of organisations that successfully adopt the social technologies with their businesses while others face challenges in managing/utilising them (e.g. lack of knowledge in the social technologies’ usage, limitation in organisational resources). Among the industrial sub-sectors that mentioned in the McKinsey Global Institute’s 2012 report, Professional Services are one of the sectors that mostly gains the high revenue’s rate from implementing Enterprise 2.0 through the use of the available social technologies. For this post, I decide to choose ‘HP’ as an organisation from the following sector and discuss it in details about how its business gets enhanced from the use of its social media tools.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the world largest multinational IT corporations that provides broad types of its IT services and products to serve all levels of consumers ranging from small to large enterprises. Apart from its official website, HP also has its social media channels to mainly engage its loyal customers as well as expanding its audiences’ base. These can be categorized into two main groups, including internal channels (HP blogs) and external channels ( Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube).

Illust. by Sarun Y.

Illust. by Sarun Y.

For the internal channels, HP has aimed to use its own corporation’s blogs (367 Addison Ave, Data Central Blog, Enterprise Business and The Next Bench) along with its support forums for making interactions between its staffs and its customers. These include communicating and assisting its customers with their IT issues, centralizing its repetitive generated data into one place (e.g. the annual reports, announcements, activities and events) and establishing its own knowledge sharing centre within the scope of the technologies. In addition, using blogs and forums does not only help HP to improve its customer services in the online side, but it also creates a community inside of a community. This is where some of the customers intend to use their technical knowledge and experiences to help each other solving their issues along with the HP staffs’ support.

Illust. by Sarun Y.

Illust. by Sarun Y.

Apart from the organisational blogs, HP prefers to use other of its social technologies (e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter) to focus more on marketing and sales. With LinkedIn, HP has more opportunities to approach high levels of customers and experts from various work fields (e.g. analysts, company owners and directors). They are those who give recommendations and reviews to the particular HP products. From this, it builds some sorts of the guarantees to the organisation as well as gaining customers’ insights and strengthening the customers’ relations.
Moreover, HP has effectively used Twitter in terms of promoting its products. Offering special products’ deals and updating new released products are main examples that the organisation  use Twitter to spread its messages to broader communities for its business purposes.

To link what I have mentioned above with the value levers from the McKinsey Global Institute’s report, I think that the case of HP really fits well to the levers in both function areas of ‘Marketing and Sales’ and ‘Customer Service’. Not only HP uses the social technologies to increase the productivity on the sales’ side (e.g. gaining consumers’ insights, saving time for advertising the products/services), but it also considers to improve the connections with its customers to reach the global standards. With its various online communication channels, this resolves the traditional way of contacting the company (e.g. sending/exchanging emails, ) in which the customers can directly engage and ask for help through either the blogs/forums or other of its social media sites such Facebook and Twitter.

Although almost all of the organisations in the Professional Services’ sector take advantages from adopting the social technologies, but they should concern about any related issues and consequences from all actions that caused by the personal use of the technologies. To avoid any reputation’s damage and keep the secured environment, the responsibility belongs to all users (especially organisational members) to keep their eyes on all sorts of threaten activities as ensuring the business flow of the organisations and the long term of the partners/consumers’ relationships.

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About Sarun Y.

A Thai student who continues his master degree in IT at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane). Love drawing and think it as another effective way to convey the message to his audiences.

12 comments

  1. Another interesting blog Sarun, I also agree that the responsibility belongs to the users however i do believe that it needs to be monitored and moderated by the organization as issues arise daily.

    • As the organisation decides to adopt the social technologies itself, I agree with you that the organisation is mainly and automatically self-assigned to be responsible for monitoring and fixing its daily issues to keep its secured environment. To point out from the above case of HP, it was also good to see on how loyal customers get involved in this monitoring activities (e.g. helping staffs in answering other users’ questions in the HP forums). This really helps the organisation with the case of having limited human resource in the social media monitoring position as well as improving the organisational communities. Thank you for your comment, John 🙂

  2. Thanks for a nice read.. I never really know HP has a lot of blogs. And a question then pops up in my mind. Why does HP actually need many different blogs hey? Is there any specific strategy you found behind that?

    • Thank you for your feedback and questions, Fanny :). From my findings about HP, I found that all of it blogs were created with different purposes. Some of them aimed to centralize the organsiation’s information (e.g. annual reports, organisational related issues, news, announcements, events) while other were considered for knowledge-sharing with particular focus topic areas (e.g. Businesses, Technologies). From this, I could see that HP might be able to gain particular inputs/responses from its audiences in which they would be later used for improving the organisation’s products/services as serving all needs of its customers.

      • Wow, a good analysis and very insightful Sarun! Thanks for that. I can actually relate now why they have different blogs and I think that’s a pretty good strategy HP has used there 🙂

        But I still personally think if they can actually combine and integrate all those need into one blog will be better, just to reduce the hassle of maintaining different blogs

        Thanks for sharing this good information…

  3. Pingback: Online Writing | Arnold's Blog

  4. This is the first time I see the full name of HP, my bad lol. Anyway, your topic is really good as HP has great potential and capability on future growth, especially when it is partnered with Intel at the moment. Applying social media technologies do help in highly collaborative environment.

    • Hi Shingo,
      I think that I really have to put the organisation full name as reducing any misunderstanding from the use of its abbreviation with other terms. I agree with you that adopting the social technologies within the context of Enterprise 2.0 helps the organisation in maximizing its performance, especially communication and collaboration. By speaking of other related social technologies’ usage for clients’ engagement/assistance, I would also recommend you to check out another blog post from John (http://bit.ly/19dEKtf). He just brought up some Web2.0 tools which you might find them interesting.
      Thank you for your comment, Shingo 🙂

  5. Sarun, another great read, its good to see that you have tied this week’s post with the theory we have learnt throughout the semester. Just out of interest which part of their social media strategy do you like the most?

    • Hi Wong,
      By basing on your question, I think that I like how HP used its social media strategy for making interaction both internally and externally. Through my findings, having a community inside a community (http://bit.ly/XiycI7) from the use of social technologies such blogs and forums is really what I consider it as an important key for strengthening the communities. This also demonstrates that both workers and clients are significantly required-elements in shaping the organisation’s community together.
      Thank you for your feedback, Wong 🙂

  6. Hi Sarun
    Always enjoy visiting you blog it’s so cool! I especially like how you pointed to the fact that HP uses external users and experts to evaluate their products. To me that is really clever both in terms of providing HP with external feedback but it also allows me as a consumer to see the “real truth” about a product. Receiving recommendations and reviews from external users is in my eyes also another value lever in terms of “deriving customer insights” wouldn’t you say so? Well, I definitely think you pointed to a good case proving how HP benefits from the web2.0 tools 🙂

    • Hi Lise,
      Yes, I agree with you about having another value lever (Deriving customer insights) for the HP’s case in relating to where the organisation allows external users/experts providing reviews as a part of the products’ evaluation. Based on your comment, this reminds me to link back to our discussion from your blog post about defining the limitation of the information sharing (http://bit.ly/1gyvEKy). I believe that there are ‘risks’ and ‘trusts’ involved for this, and that mainly depends on how the organisations decide to release their information either internal or external.
      Thank you for your visit and feedback, Lise 🙂

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