Going from B2B to B2C to P2P — Helping the enterprise engage in social media

According to IBM … “It’s no longer a BtoB or BtoC relationship. It’s PtoP”

via IBM – Social business overview.

Once considered a lagger when it comes to providing enterprise ready tools and services, IBM is now one of several leading consulting services firms who are looking to rapidly get in front of the Social Media curve. As with their push in the Business Process Management (BPM) space over the past two years, they are quickly providing offerings; combination of services, software, tools and assets, designed to help an organization operationalize their use of social media.

IBM joins companies like Infosys who have been providing comprehensive solutions for engaging with consumers, influence their purchase decisions and provide post-purchase assistance online. While the marketing organizations with many companies are looking for ways to harness the power of social media to improve their brand online, product and sales teams are looking for more effective ways to deepen engagement with customers to both foster innovation as well as monetize the interaction. To do this effectively the platform must have the ability to spans multiple channels and provides a seamless experience across web browsers, mobile devices and tablets.

Customer will soon realize however that an application or SaaS solution that provides a series of API’s to Twitter, Facebook and the growing number of social networks is not sufficient. To effectively implement a comprehensive social media strategy, an company must also address the organization impacts these tools will have on existing business processes and operating procedures. Communication to customers which was once limited to only a small group within the organization is now in the hands of a larger number of employees. Business must come to grips with the reality that hundreds of employees will have the ability to engage with customers through these platforms. Education programs and clear editorial guidelines will need to be established to ensure “the right” message is maintained across the organization. Additionally, social media like most online transactions happen 24 hours a day,7 days a week. The traditional, “we’ll get back to you in 48 hours” is a recipe for failure for a business looking to conduct a larger portion of their business via online channels.

It will be interesting to see how IBM and others address this challenge over the next 2 years.


Sending an SMS via eMail

This trick has been out there a while but I only recently rediscovered that you can actually send an SMS message to an AT&T cell phone using @txt.att.net as the email address.

So if your friend’s phone number is (917) 555-1212 and they are on the AT&T network, address the email to “9175551212@txt.att.net”. Then simply type the message in the subject field. Since phone companies used to limit the message limit to 160 characters (20 longer then a Twitter message), it is best to keep your messages brief and to the point. Also the entire email (body content including signature) is sent in the text message, you may want to delete any body content before hitting the send key.

Example:mach zehnder modulator

TO: 9175551212@txt.att.net
SUBJECT: Hey .. Have a Great Day!

Then hit the SEND key .. it’s that simple.

For a full listing of cell phone SMS addresses, check out SMS411’s site.

Happy texting!


Overheard on Twitter

I am an avid Twitter user and follower. Over the past few months I have found micro-blogging to be a great way to stay connected with friends, colleagues, clients and distant acquaintances.

My biggest challenge with Twitter is learning how to stay focused at the task at hand. If you are on a Mac and you have Twitterific and Growl It is all too easy to become continuously distracted by the continuous feed from all the individuals and services you are following.

One post that really hit me where I live was posted on Sept 4th, 2008 by Emily Chang

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Too close to home .. really!

Don’t know about Twitter? Learn more about Twitter here!.