Week Ten – Innovation 2.0: LEGO Mindstorm

Posted September 27, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

The Innovation from users: LEGO Mindstorm

Everyday people are talking about innovation and web 2.0. Perhaps these words are linked in some ways. But what does it mean? Well, it basically means to share in an open way all the best ideas and practices to everyone rather than limiting these strategies to our R&D.

But the big question is: how is it possible now? In fact, the development of collaborative tools, the spread of social networks and the usability of web as a platform have been making this possible.

Innovation comes from the community

In that sense, Lego is probably the best known because it was one of the first companies to allow their customers to suggest new products that then could achieve through its initiative “Lego Mindstorms”.

Do you know who wrote this book? Lego did not. Undoubtedly, it has been written by its creators: the users. 

In fact, there are several reasons why the company Lego promotes a model of open innovation. Lego believes that innovation must be closer to user’s expectative.

In simple words, they argue that the feedback of the users contributes to design the new line of products.

They have focused their attention on the users as innovative agents and owners of the knowledge. At the end, the company has reduced the innovation costs.

At this stage, I´d like to go farther… why users would be interested to share their own knowledge and innovative ideas with Lego?

  • They feel as part of Lego. They take very seriously their ideas because they know they have influence in the Lego line of products.
  • They want to achieve the main goal: Challenging the creativity and innovation.
  • Spreading the Community of creative thinkers.
  • Have fun, that´s it.

To do that, Lego has brought some resources to promote creativity:

  • A user licensed.
  • Magazines with Lego projects
  • Exclusive Kits for community members.
  • Customization program for the design of robots
  • Sponsoring numerous events such as Brickfest

However, the company has identified that there are also some risks:

  • Losing trade secrets
  • Risks of the future market of Lego accessories
  • Loss of control of the product
  • Risk for the Lego employees

References:

  • Klassner, F.;   Anderson, S.D.; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Villanova Univ., PA, USA . LEGO MindStorms: not just for K-12 anymore. Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE. Volume: 10 Issue: 2.
  • Jonathan B. Knudsen. The Unofficial Guide to LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots.
  • Lego Mindstorm Official Site: http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/Default.aspx

Week Nine – 1800-Flowers : Leading Social Networks

Posted September 17, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

The company is considered the world’s largest flowers and gift shop. The business has 14 brands which are selling a wide range of products and services from food to gift baskets. Jim McCann found the company in 1976 and a few years after he augmented a chain of 14 stores in New York City metropolitan area. As a good visionary, McCann acquired the telephone number 1-800-356-9377 (1-800-FLOWERS) to receive orders by phone. From 1995, the business has been running online and its domain has become the most recognized brand in gift retailing.

The company had several brands running independent, with own businesses process and separate IT infrastructure. Often customers had to spend too much time searching several 1-800-FLOWERS sites to find a product. These retailers needed to develop a unique online interface for purchasing all the products and share the know-how with the other businesses in a social environment. The organization needed to change its e-commerce systems in a unified web application.

The solution was to implement a web 2.0 platform capable to improve the communications between business to business and business (B2B) to customers (B2C) and to sharing information across business units, improving the communications between marketing to customers in a friendly and connected environment.

To get better synergies between these business units and improve the agility in their processes the company replaced multiple systems with a unified IT platform. The company implemented a solution based on IBM’s WebSphere Commerce platform. One of the main reasons to choose this platform was the capacity to interact with other users using its online business tools. IBM’s WebSphere Commerce platform provides agility and more flexibility on processing and facilitating to launch new web commerce brands. In addition, the shared platform improves the cross-selling and information sharing across the organization, which helps 1-800-FLOWERS.COM to achieve higher profit from its business units.

References

Week Eight – Collaboration 2.0 : Wikis

Posted September 11, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

Nowadays, many of us are using wiki tools in our common life. Not only for academic purposes, but also to share information about our own interests. Wiki is a Social network, collaborations tool, blog and also photos and files shared; everything from one simple platform. However, the definition of wiki could be easy or difficult to understand.

Wiki is defined as a kind of system designed online to be easy to use, quick to install, and share. According to Newman (2008), a wiki is a group of web pages integrated to each other that can be set it up, edited, and viewed in an easy way.

Although, wiki is a limited application, there are some characteristics which add value to these web solutions. The main Wiki Characteristics are:

  • Editing wiki pages. – As knows, one of the main characteristics of wikis is the possibility to editing content by users. Moreover, this complex tool has an easy language to edit content called wikitext. The syntaxis and instructions can be very different because it will depend on the implementation and functionalities of these wikis. The key of editing content is added value and the participation of users to collaborate to get better versions. The next video shows how to edit content in a wiki, for this example I will use Mediawiki which is the wiki software used for Wikipedia.

  • Navigation. – Often wikis are designed with many links which are joining the entire website. In terms of factibility, wiki allow users to create index or content tables to navigate in an adequate framework. Wikis generally have different ways to put in order all the categories to ensure the viability and maintenance. In enterprise environments, IBM implemented a wiki page called AIX to help users to know some products. Users were allowed to post and share knowledge in a collaborative environment.

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/WikiPtype/HOME

  • Linking pages. – Wikis have the characteristic to create new content. In terms of design, these applications allow the creation of new web pages and content using text editors or language code. Besides the creation of the new pages, wikis use to link new pages by default. Furthermore, one typical characteristic of wikis is the creation and linked of blank web sites. This behavior is related with the purpose of wikis to invite new collaboration and spread of the connections. For example, some wikis have been used to group the opinion of any product or to group fans and receive their feedback about any product.

http://www.csifanwiki.com/

 

References

Week Seven – Adopting a Blogging Culture: Domino´s Pizza

Posted September 4, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

Competing in these days has become one of the main issues. In a global market where the opportunities for digital marketing in times of economic crisis is the only effective way to increase the business opportunities much faster and the interest in this type of applications in different areas of Social Media, have contributed to many companies started to understand that social technologies and web 2.0 applications increase the marketing audience.

For that reason, I would like to introduce a particular case of study, how Dominos Pizza understood the importance of Digital Marketing.

The bad situation in late March last year has gone. This issue caused a blow to the brand, when two employees of North Carolina (Dominos Pizza local store) were recorded making pizzas in disgusting activities before to be distributed at home, and uploaded the video to YouTube. In less than a day, the video was getting 1 million views and response of the company, just over 70,000 because of late and wrong action.

As  result of this joke, these guys were dismised and both face leagl charges of up 20 years in prison. After this unfortunate episode, Domino’s Pizza learned his lesson. In the worst way possible, yes. But they learned. Doing a brief search about the impact of that video, they realized other problem relate to their flavor of their pizzas. In fact, the majority opinion was that the pizza tasted like the same carton that contained them.

Well, the solution was: The Pizza Turnaround. A giant online focus group where the opinions of consumers about their new formula of pizza, cheese and salsa. Even in real time, all the tweets that are written with the hash # newpizza are collected.

So far, the reviews are mostly positive which demonstrates the power and benefit that means for brands to monitor what is said about their products and / or services. And if this happens in real time. The better.

Week Five – Legal Risks on Social Media Policy

Posted August 20, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

One of the main aspects to consider on implementing web 2.0 at workplace is the privacy of personal information. ITG (Research company) argues that social applications should display a confidentiality policy which clearly states the reason for sharing personal information. The policy should also advise users against copyright infringement (legal risks)

Malcolm Burrows has posted a classification of legal risks for companies who have been implementing enterprise 2.0 solutions. The following list introduce some of these risks:

  • Loss of confidential information.
  • Trademark infringement and loss of brand reputation.
  • Copyright infringement.
  • Discrimination.
  • Misleading and deceptive conduct.
  • Passing off.
  • Organisational reputation risk.
  • Breach of continuous disclosure obligations for public companies.
  • Defamation.
  • Privacy.
  • Vicarious liability.
  • Negligent misstatement.
  • Occupation and industry specific risks as they are embodied in organisation specific legislation.

In June 2005, Jeff Jarvis purchased a laptop and an extended warranty for the next 4 years. After few months the customer had many problems related with the hardware and the bad services of support. Jarvis posted in DELL´s blog a complaint titled “DELL Sucks” where he added some suggestions to Michael Dell, the owner of the company, to read and participate more frequently with their customers in a friendly environment.

Google spread the keyword “sucks” through the internet and two days after of the blog post, thousands of frustrated customers made the same complaints as Jarvis about the company. The New York Times and the magazine Business Week called this event as “Dell Hell”, because it had a catastrophic impact on their sales. Dell was one of the huge companies who experienced the impact of these new socially world connected. After this experience Dell learnt the lesson about social networks.

Week Four – Developing Social Media Strategy

Posted August 14, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

Kraft Foods Australia is a subsidiary of Kraft Foods, the second largest branded Food and Beverage Company in the world. Established in 1926, Kraft Australia is headquartered in Melbourne and has sales revenue of over A$ 650 million. The product most sold in Australia is Vegemite and it is often focused on marketing studies because of the importance of selling.

Kraft knew that many consumers haven´t been monitored and their feedback was relevant for the company. However, this segment was generating content in different social networks websites. Kraft Australia needed to change its business strategy to identify the opinions of consumers about Vegemite which is its main product.

The implemented a new to monitor consumer’s opinions about vegemite and improving the communication channel between consumers and the business. This new marketing strategy improved the loyalty in customers for Vegemite.

Week Three – Organizational Strategies (Case of Studies)

Posted August 6, 2010 by Victor Garcia
Categories: Enterprise 2.0

 As we all know, web 2.0 has spread quickly between users because it has been easy to bring these technologies into the workplace. Each segment of a company has the same opportunity to access to the technological tools. In fact, the structure does not change, but the way to solving problems and the technology to deliver them is different because is focused to everyone.

For example, Norg Media has found a new strategy to do business. This Australian company promotes the creation of local content-news by normal people. To become a citizen journalist is necessary to complete a form to register as users.  Any user can edit and post news as a Cit J (citizen journalist). There are many options to do such as adding comments, sharing own stories, post photos, submitting links to interesting news, uploading YouTube clips and ranking or voting for the news.

Brisbane local News - by Norg

 Clune (Norg’s CEO), believed that some stories could be edit by users. In addition, Clune believed that the site should evolve around the community.

This was the first initiative for Norg to start as a web 2.0 website. The author wanted to create a social website capable to allow users register new comments, create stories and share data such as photos, comments, ranking between social networks.

Nowadays, Norg.com has won a wide range of interesting awards in terms of creativity, journalist and best new media project in Europe and Australia.

 References

Brisbane Norg: http://brisbane.norg.com.au/

The impact of Social Networks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&feature=related

O’Reilly – Social Networks Strategies: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596529963

New Social Networks Strategies for Small Business: http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206902611