Emerging trends and best practices for Social and Mobile business

Emerging trends and best practices for Social and Mobile Business

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions

The Year 2011 saw a dramatic leap in Cloud, Social and Mobile technologies and emergence of some key trends. In today’s ever changing technology centric world, we are witnessing consumerization of IT and more participation of consumers in the business.  Easy to use, highly mobile, and social are the mantras of the new generation of IT. Let us examine some key emerging trends as below.

1. Cloud Computing: More than 50 percent of business leaders Sand Hill interviewed, implemented game-changing cloud solutions in the last twelve months. The survey uncovered the fact that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are already realizing benefits from cloud solutions. Nearly 70 percent of the surveyed software executives indicated that SMEs are the source of their current revenues. Moreover, 85 percent said that smaller companies with revenues less than $500 million account for the highest revenue today. The reasons why cloud adoption currently is faster and deeper among SMEs are many. The two most prominent characteristics driving them to the cloud are:

• SMEs are less tied down by historical investments in infrastructure, massive data files, and organizational obstacles to adoption

• SMEs’ lack of access to a large reservoir of capital and resources

2. Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets

In the past decade, we witnessed a smart revolution in the mobility. The number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change our culture and way of doing business. New applications, widgets and other digital gadgets are taking technology into a whole new direction. They are driving innovation and are actively transforming our business from “Systems of Record” to “Systems of Engagement”.

3. Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business

Mobility with smart devices on fingertip has accelerated the use of social networks and to communicate and collaborate. McKinsey and Company has reported that the revenue growth of social businesses is 24% higher than less social firms and data from Frost and Sullivan backs that up across various KPIs.

This new paradigm shift has defined the new level of customer engagements.

The Six Layers of Customer Engagement

a)      The Web: When companies moved to the web, they asked customers to be self-sufficient with regard to product information, customer service and ordering.

b)      Social Media: The social web opened up possibilities of public, two-way conversation.

c)      Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter: These are the internet for many people, and they handle all of their communication, with friends and companies, through the world’s largest social network.

d)     Mobile: With a phone in every pocket, customers are now looking for information that they can consume on their mobile devices.

e)      Augmented Reality: Digital information can now be placed on top of the real world.

f)       The Game Layer: This builds on the mobile layer and lets businesses turn the world and their businesses into a game.

4. Consumerization of IT

Consumerization of IT  is associated with ease-of-use, attractive interfaces, intuitive functionality and low prices. In the corporate IT world, this move to “consumerized” IT has been described as the penetration of employee-purchased mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. This phenomenon is already growing and penetrating large organizations rapidly.

5. Big data

Businesses are already facing greater challenges with large amount of data more than ever before, yet have surprisingly little access to it.The term “big data” was coined to describe new technologies and techniques that can handle an order of magnitude or two more data than enterprises are today.Big data offers the promise of better ROI on valuable enterprise datasets while being able to tackle entirely new business problems that were previously impossible to solve with existing techniques.

Cloud Social and Mobile computing are taking the mainstream in this paradigm shift and organizations would seek best practices to adopt and implement sooner than later.

People, Process and Technology and Cultural Shift
              As with any business, People, process within organization and the technology play very important role and Social business will not be an exception to it. More importantly the change in people behavior and culture will also be significant to its adoption. The most successful companies are embedding social component into their business applications such as CRM, Financials and Talent Management. Oracle Fusion applications has embedded capabilities of social collaboration with workflow integration. Real time Collaboration within workgroup would help in productivity and this is already in practice at Oracle for long time.

Social Local and Mobile (SoLoMo)

Three hot areas of social business are social, location based and mobility. Nielsen and NM Incite have created infographics with interesting figures in each area. Parents turn out to be big on social media. Nearly half of visitors to local deals sites recommend those sites. Smartphone users spend two-thirds of their time using their phones on apps, rather than talking.

Inclusive System Flexibility (Bring Your Own Devices-BYOD)

With popular usage pattern of Smart devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and tablets, Blackberry and Android devices among employees, Organization need to provide flexibility to integrate with their corporate systems to enhance productivity. Oracle has already provided apps interface and enabled access to the corporate network and apps with VPN access to manage and maintain security.

Top Down –Left Right and Center- Social is the human behavior and it has to be across the board within organization. With the emergence of these trends, everyone within organization should have Twitter, Linkedin and Social media accounts and establish its network of trust and credibility. It is a major cultural shift that needs to be enforced at the top management and executed sincerely at all levels.


How critical is User Engagement Platform for Social Business?

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions,Oracle

Believe it or not, Internet has changed our lives irrespective of age, flattened the Earth (Tom Friedman),bringing the  large population from India and China in the inclusive global growth and bridged the digital divide by offering as simple a platform to publish the content to a platform for commerce to connect people and devices.

We are witnessing some paradigm shifts and major changes in computing landscape almost at the same time. E Business platforms are rapidly moving towards mobility, cloud and social. Communication and collaboration channels interchangeably used via Web, mobile and social and the consumers world is driving innovation with mushroom growth of unstructured data in the form of text, videos, chat and conversation giving birth to Big data ( Hadoop).

Social Business Transformation

While smart phones and tablets have a wider reach and larger penetrations, social media has already challenged email. Irrespective of age and locations, the world is using social networks and other social media-based services such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Foursquare, and Yelp to stay connected, communicate, and collaborate. Oracle Fusion CRM (Next Generation suite of applications have already integrated the social platform for user collaboration and communication.

What is the next big thing in Social Business software?

A recent report from Comscore revealed 70 percent of shoppers begin their buying process browsing on the Internet not only for at products and services information but also engage, collaborate and seek feedbacks. They look for ratings, feedback and recommendations before making decisions.

Almost 50 percent of shoppers who begin their search on Internet make a purchase in the physical store, while 40% transact online. Pew Research found that 87% of college grads and 88% of those earning $75,000 or more each year head online to research products or services


“Organizations are seeking ways to boost customer loyalty and improve business performance by maximizing engagement with internal and external constituents. The latest evolution of Oracle WebCenter represents the convergence point for all products under the Oracle Enterprise 2.0 portfolio making it easier for customers to achieve that goal. By bringing our entire portfolio of portal, web experience management, content, and social technologies into a single, integrated platform, Oracle WebCenter provides the power to transform organizations,” said Andy MacMillan, vice president, Product Management, Oracle.

User Engagement Platform

Converges Portal, Content, Web Experience Management and Social Computing Products

User engagement platform that offers simple user interaction interface that provide great web experience in terms of navigation, search, conversation via chat, VOIP, feedback, recommendations emerges as one of the most desired software solution to enable Social business. While, social computing and social media are still evolving in the enterprise space, major vendors like Oracle, IBM have already started evangelizing and building software stack to address the social computing business needs.