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IT: Creating Your Social Enterprise
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altCloud computing is here, it's now, and it's delivering enormous business benefits to many companies across the globe every day. Recent developments in social media and mobile technology are converging with cloud computing to create new opportunities for growth and business transformation. As a result, enterprise adopters of cloud technologies are now moving beyond the sizable speed, cost, and risk reduction benefits.
 
In a world where customers and employees have become social and mobile, leading companies are taking ever bolder steps. They are rethinking customer intimacy and employee collaboration to define their path to a truly "social enterprise", one that redefines interactions and relationships not just in the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) space, but also in the Business-to-Business (B2B) domain.
 
Against this background, organisations are investing in cloud computing to deliver measurable business benefits. To become cloud enabled, more and more businesses across all sectors are choosing to team with salesforce.com and consulting firms such as Accenture.
Salesforce.com offers a suite of platform and application services, delivered on its real-time, multi-tenant architecture. Companies are using these capabilities to transform how they collaborate and communicate, both internally and externally, in an ever more social, mobile, connected, and cloud-enabled world.
 
Accenture brings the vision, skills and know-how to plan and navigate this transformation, including industry leading change management skills, deep industry knowledge, and practical technology implementation experience from one of the world's largest and successful salesforce.com practices. Accenture also helps companies extract real business value from social media, something that many have struggled with to date.
 

Toward the social enterprise 

Salesforce.com and Accenture recognise organisations that are taking advantage of the convergence of social, mobile, and cloud technologies to help develop the "social enterprise." These organisations are fundamentally changing how they collaborate internally and interact with customers. To revolutionise customer relationships and drive growth using salesforce.com, organisations can take three key steps to become a social enterprise:
 

1. Develop a customer social profile 

The explosive growth in social networks provides organisations with an amazing opportunity to gain new insights into their customers. Many organisations already track basic contact information on customers and prospects. But now, they can really understand who their customers are and what they like. By creating a customer social profile that incorporates additional information extracted from applications like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, a more complete picture of customers can be developed and a better prediction can be created of what they want and expect. This leads directly to competitive advantage in the marketplace.
 
Three of the crucial levers that companies can pull to win market share are product innovation, distribution, and customer intimacy. In the past, competing on customer intimacy has been costly and difficult, with few big winners. The social communication revolution has changed this. Customers no longer go to corporate websites or dial call-centers: they speak to each other. So businesses are racing to join and re-engage their customers in these conversations. Social enterprises will win by redefining their customer interactions, creating social and mobile experiences that transform brand engagement.
 

2. Create employee social networks 

Today's organisations are looking to improve the way their people work together and collaborate, creating a more rewarding workplace, while empowering employees to provide a higher quality and more responsive service to customers. Social enterprises do this by using trusted, secure social networking technologies to connect employees directly to each other and to the best experts and information across their business, anywhere in the world.
 
 

3. Build customer and product social networks  

To help reap the fullest possible benefits from the first two steps, social enterprises reshape not only the way they interact internally and externally, but also the products and services they offer. The result is a business whose interactions and products are tuned in to its employees and customers. This social enterprise vision is compelling. It delivers on the bottom line, powered by salesforce.com and its continuous innovation, which helps drive and optimise all the components into a cohesive and transformational business capability.
 

Leveraging social media with Accenture 

Accenture helps organisations harness the full power of the social enterprise. The key is getting social media working in your business, by applying insights. Leveraging key learnings from early adopters, Accenture has identified five principles that drive social media success:
 

1. Pick a strategy before it picks you—develop a robust social media strategy that aligns to the overall business strategy and is supported by appropriate metrics.

 

2. You're not on stage anymore; Welcome into the crowd—transform marketing and sales, building collaborative customer-company and company-company relationships.

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3. It's not just a new channel; it is a catalyst of big change—use social media to service and respond to customers in previously undreamt-number of ways.

 

4. The time for experimenting is up; mobilise the masses—capitalise on social media's pervasive impact on functions beyond the front office, including R&D, HR and IT.

 

5. New rules for tools—create an integrated social media technology platform that enables you to identify and aggregate in one place all interactions with customers as well as the online chatter of those customers about the company.

 
A cloud-enabled business reaps immediate and permanent business benefits ranging from lower costs to higher speed, agility, and scalability, all enabled by flexible access to applications and processing power on a pay-per-use basis. Together, these advantages add up to quicker and more cost-effective ways to meet emerging business requirements, such as ever increasing workforce mobility and smarter, speedier decision-making. They also enable the business to reach its full potential for growth, including faster, cheaper, and lower-risk expansion into new geographies, product areas and supply chain relationships.
 
The vision for the social enterprise is one of the key hallmarks of a cloud-enabled business, one that is better connected to customers and citizens, better at attracting and retaining employees. How do you make the vision real? 
 
Like any journey, this one begins with the creation of a blueprint showing the destination. It then focuses on effective orchestration and governance across cloud services, both to unleash the speed and flexibility that the social enterprise creates, and simultaneously to enforce controls and manage risk. It's equally important to factor in the "people change" effort, which is typically more demanding than the technology issues.
 

altDesigning a strategic blueprint and roadmap 

With salesforce.com, businesses embark on the journey to become social enterprises. To complete the transformation successfully, leadership needs a clear vision, grounded in business strategy, of what the social enterprise will look like, the goals it will achieve, and how it will deliver against them.
 
For decades, Accenture has been helping organisations in all industries plan and execute technology strategies that support their strategic business objectives. Early adopters of the cloud have gained significant and sustainable competitive advantage, and Accenture has a proven approach for helping organisations use salesforce.com to its fullest.
 
While all companies should be thinking about their longer-term transformation into a social enterprise, many will need to focus on tactical implementations as they start their journey. Some organisations have implemented salesforce.com to solve specific needs, while many others have adopted it as their core strategic platform. Both approaches are valid for different companies at different stages of the journey. In each case, the key is to understand clearly how salesforce.com solutions will fit into the business and drive its efficiency and growth.
 
altA social enterprise strategy needs to clearly establish the key elements of the business case for migrating to a social enterprise. These include the value of improved operational processes and collaboration; the value of growth, including new services and geographic expansion; the impacts on the organisation's operating model; and the roadmap for implementation.
 
The process starts with assisting the client in crystallising its own unique strategy and vision, enabling the creation of a blueprint for the new target operating model and IT architecture. This in turn is used to develop a clear and executable implementation roadmap. Accenture and salesforce.com help to kick-start the journey by working with the client's leadership to pinpoint their unique vision for the social enterprise, and then refine the vision through a series of interviews and workshops. The resulting user stories and solutions are quickly prototyped to show the company what the power of the social enterprise model can deliver. This feeds into the roadmap from its current state to the social enterprise it aspires to become.
 
In helping the client develop the right cloud strategy and roadmap, Accenture follows a proven approach that mirrors the action plan recommended in its Social Media Management Handbook: Get going: Listen - Engage - Optimise. These three steps align closely with the social enterprise vision, and support the journey to a cloud-enabled business.
 

About Accenture
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Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. 
Accenture has conducted business in Greater China for more than 20 years. Today, it has more than 7,100 people working in Greater China, throughout offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. With a proven track record, Accenture is focused on leveraging local best practices and successes, and is dedicated to delivering premium client value and results. Accenture helps clients define strategy, streamline business processes, integrate systems, promote innovation and enhance overall competitive advantage to ultimately attain high performance. 
For more information about Accenture, please visit its corporate homepage www.accenture.com and its Greater China homepage www.accenture.cn.
 
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