Several months ago I wrote a post in which I encouraged technology vendors and their customers to be more forthcoming with their Enterprise 2.0 success stories. My take:
When talking to folks about 2.0 technologies, you hear plenty of warm fuzzies and vague platitudes, but not many specific ideas of how to employ such technologies to solve business problems or create new business opportunities. Though companies may never be able to apply traditional ROI models to social technologies, they need to see more evidence of actual value. Vendors need to shake the trees and hope they find some customers willing to talk about their successes. And companies need to be more willing to share, with the idea that transparency will benefit all. (Sheesh. Even I sound warm and fuzzy when talking about 2.0!) I know companies worry about giving up competitive advantage, but the flexible nature of social technologies makes exact duplication of business strategies pretty unlikely.
So imagine how thrilled I was to come across a collection of 50-plus Enterprise 2.0 case studies and examples on Jacob Morgan's Social Media Globetrotter blog. According to his bio, he's the principal of social business consultancy Chess Media Group and the co-author of "Twittfaced: Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media." (Ah, a fellow lover of the clever title.)
Among them is a list of examples from collaboration software provider Socialtext that I cited myself in a post about the difficulty of determining ROI for social technologies. Included in Socialtext's collection are companies discussing blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and other 2.0 technologies. I especially like the "lessons learned" included at the bottom of each short case study.
There's also a ZDNet case study of Zappos.com, a company that IT Business Edge's Susan Hall interviewed for her story on companies using Twitter. She also spoke to Dell and Southwest Airlines. While I wondered in a blog post whether companies can be social and still drive sales , Dell shared some fairly compelling statistics with Susan, including that its DellOutlet Twitter feed has generated $2 million in transactions and sent another $1 million in business to its Web site. The company has since revised its sales figures associated with Twitter to $6.5 million.
In clicking through some of the other links on Jacob Morgan's post, I found a number of interesting examples of how companies have used 2.0 technologies. For example, one company created an open system for anyone in the company to post reports from conferences they'd attended, thus maximizing the value of the money the company spent sending some of its employees to conferences. I plan to spend more time clicking around his list and contacting some of the folks I find for some follow-up blog posts. In the meantime, I encourage folks interested in 2.0 technologies to explore his list on their own.
Those interested in sharing their own company's Enterprise 2.0 success story with me can shoot me an e-mail. I'd love to include as many stories as possible here.