Monday, 14 June 2010

Enterprise 2.0 conference: EMC’s business case


   I’m at the Enterprise 2.0 black belt workshop at the Enterprise 2.0 conference today.

We started with a session from Jamie Pappas, E2.0 and social media strategist at EMC who took us through a process to develop a business case and get E2.0 sold in an organisation.

Jamie’s advice included:

* Define the goals – remember different groups care about different things (marketing, IT etc). Think about how these tie back to business processes and people – this will provide an answer to the dreaded ROI question as well (yes!, one of the points I’ve made frequently on this and my other blog is that measurement isn’t hard – once you’re clear about your objectives).

* Sponsorship helps (although this doesn’t need to be from an Executive). EMC’s sponsor was Chuck Hollis, VP, CTO of Global Marketing and a well known who helped explain E2.0 to the company’s executives. They didn’t go to their CEO until they had use cases of things that would appeal to him, ie:

  • Positive financial results
  • Happy employees
  • Getting work done as effectively and as efficiently as possible.


* Choose the tool – 80% of the ideal may be enough. EMC chose Jive because it’s

  • Easy to use
  • Ready to go out of the box
  • Not a huge learning – important in their culture.


* Don’t underestimate the importance of education.  Not everyone is as interested in exploring these tools as the people in this room.  At EMC, people were upset while using wiki when people started editing their inputs!  Some suggestions:

  • Online and in person
  • Lunch n learn sessions, podcasts
  • Written and video tutorials
  • Train the trainer.


EMC also include in their existing training programmes eg EMCU new hire and sales training programmes etc.  They include how to do it, but also EMC’s philosophy etc (why to do it).


* Anticipate objections.  EMC still gets objections 3 years later (it’s not for business / won’t work / we don’ t have time / you don’t expect pay employees to socialise! etc)


* Think about how to launch.  EMC went for the soft, WOM, viral approach – a pilot with a couple of hundred people.  Jamie says she told people not to tell everyone about E2.0 so of course they did – and as a result they had a few thousand users within just a couple of months.

3 years later, 65% of the company are visiting the site.


* Seed with great content.  People will make decisions within 3-5 seconds about whether it is worth going back to a community.  If there’s nothing going on then they won’t return.  Ensure there’s something interesting there from the outset.


The technology infrastructure is less important – EMC’s community takes up just 60GB - less than the average laptop.


Slides available at 

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