QuickLogic is a supplier of semiconductor solutions to handheld consumer device manufacturers. Like most global companies who have workforce located in different parts of the world, they have been facing the challenges of keeping communications consistent and thorough within the company. With a globally dispersed workforce, it recently became clear that the farther you moved from headquarters, the less connected people felt with the company; they were less likely to understand the company messaging or what direction the company was headed in. QuickLogic’s HR Director calls it the “tyranny of distance,’ and it became the inflection point that made them decide that they needed to do something, because conference calls and company-wide meetings that are archived somewhere on the internet were simply not working.
QuickLogic wanted to change the way they communicated as a company instead of traditional way of “one to many broadcasting”, they want to make everyone participate and very more involved and engaged so it’s “many to many conversation” and they needed to find the right tool to make that possible. They also wanted a tool that could address several other issues such as not having a centralized location for knowledge sharing and file storing, making sure marketing materials and other documents would be available via mobile access. QuickLogic decided they needed an enterprise social network, and they chose BroadVision’s Clearvale Enterprise.
QuickLogic used Clearvale to create an enterprise social network for internal communication and collaboration. Called QuickHub, the network can be accessed and used by every employee in the company, over the cloud and via any computer, smartphone or tablet. Files can be uploaded and commented on, and discussions can be created, viewed and added to by all employees.
Now employees feel more connected to each other and the organization as a whole, and they also feel as though they are making a valuable contribution to the company. Using Clearvale has also improved the way the company functions. QuickLogic noticed that many of the same types of issues were being raised by customers in different parts of the world. Using discussion forums, employees in the field can put issues into forums so people in other offices who have not had these problems before can read about these issues and be prepared to respond immediately. In the past, this process was done via email, which due to dealing with multiple times zones could sometimes take as long as 24 hours.
QuickLogic started the QuickHub project in March 2011 and it began with a small one-month pilot program to sales and marketing departments. But they saw immediate benefits and soon rolled it out to the entire company. “There was a definite increase in communication and familiarity throughout the company,” said the project lead marketing manager Paul Karazuba. “We have found the benefits to be immeasurable; our ability to communicate is so much better than it used to be.”
Because of the ease of use and the obvious benefit from implementing the tool, they also see strong support from the executive team. The executive team has also been taken advantage of QuickLogic’s Clearvale network.
“When we have steering committee meetings, all of the notes go on our network. We’re noticing that all of our executives are using Clearvale to read the meeting notes,” said Karazuba. “Rather than making a phone call or sending an email and waiting for a response, they’ll actually just jump right into that community, pull out the meeting notes, read what is happening and use that info to create their status updates. All of this saves time.”
QuickLogic has had so much success with this internal network that they are already developing plans to expand into other areas, including:
All these different types of networks whether it’s internal, external, private, public or semi-public can be set up in a timely fashion with very little IT involvement. Also, because of the unique capability of Clearvale social ecosystem which allows a company to set up as many networks as they want for different purposes but all live under one big roof, makes it easy to manage and scale as the company grows.
Here is a list of resources/content to provide more info about this entry:
1) An interview with Adriana Piazza, the brand marketing and web strategist of Webank on MyMarketing.net: http:/
2) A media coverage in Italian:
We’re very excited to have author and social media expert Brian Solis as our guest at the next SecondFloor speaker series event. Taking place Thursday, January 27th at 5:30 PM on the second floor of BroadVision headquarters in Redwood City, the event will be an excellent opportunity to learn about how companies can use social media effectively, both internally and externally. For more information and to RSVP (space is limited) please visit: http:/
Leading up to the event, we talked to Solis about social media adoption, collaboration and brand management online.
How can companies with no social media experience identify a good or bad social media plan?
Even companies with social media experience can have trouble identifying a good social media plan. With social media, it’s like the starter’s pistol went off and everyone started running, and not a lot of us stayed behind to question: “Why am I in this race to begin with? Who is going to run it and why?” The important aspect of social media is the ability to define your desired outcomes before you even design a program.
Distinguishing a good and bad social media plan is all about design, purpose and outcome. Businesses tend not to consider these three things when developing social media programs. Much of social media is free or inexpensive, but there is also time and resources that need to be considered. A company can create a Facebook page for free, but what happens when someone asks a question on that page’s wall?
In a recent blog post, you discussed Dell’s baptism by fire and how Dell Hell forced them to “listen, engage and adapt”, and ultimately create a very successful social media plan. Do you think it is necessary for a company to have to go through some sort of baptism by fire before it can adopt an effective social media plan?
Baptism by fire certainly is a way that some companies learn. I call it the “ah ha” versus the “uh oh”. There are companies that get it. Starbucks gets it; they’ve been very proactive from the beginning. Dell gets it, but they had to go through the “uh oh” first. People say that Dell is a tired example, but I’ll tell you why I love Dell as a social media case study: they learned the hard way and CEO Michael Dell cares. When you have those two things together, you’re essentially working the ends to the middle. Dell ended up realizing that Dell Hell can’t happen again, so they put in protocols to deal with flare ups before they burn too hot or too bright. What you see today is their social media command center, which feeds every aspect of Dell, from technical support to development to customer service to sales, and even human resources and finance. Each one of those departments has adopted a social extension, which is huge. Dell realized they needed to collaborate internally before it could collaborate externally, and it must be both proactive and reactive.
So if a company is having difficulty being social internally, if departments within a company are not being transparent with one another, should that company hold off on adopting a social media plan?
I don’t think they should hold off, but they do need to think about what they want to accomplish first. They should have the infrastructure in place and be ready to deal with a crisis. Every big company has some sort of crisis communications or crisis contingency plan in place, and this isn’t unlike that. So companies need to have a contingency plan in place in case they do need to collaborate with one another. What would that look like? Who are the point people? These are things that should be defined up front.
Everything a business does should have a plan around it, but many don’t when it comes to social media. Social media came to the organization from the outside in, and from the bottom up. It came from you and me, and everyone who uses Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There’s no IT department to set everything up, so amateurs are trying to get their arms around it and put some processes in place. There’s a lot of chaos and social anarchy going on, so we need to think through scenarios, even if it’s just for marketing, just in case.
What kind of climate are you encountering when working with executives who are interested in learning about social media? Do they embrace it or are they nervous?
It’s all over the board. I work with a lot of executives and try to help them design their organization around social media. I also work on the management side, and one thing I’ve learned is it’s different every time.
I don’t know of any businesses that are saying, “Social media is our future,” and I don’t know that any business should. Social media should be a focus, not the focal point. It’s not about making the business social; it’s about making it more adaptive.
The lessons that social media teaches us has benefits for the entire organization. Good service oriented businesses have existed forever. Nordstrom came before Zappos, and before Nordstrom there was probably the local shoe store. There are always some elements that remain consistent; culture, communication, compassion, service. Social media amplified these things.
The thing that consultants and internal champions need to realize is the executive might not be as into social media as they are, and that’s ok. Your job is not to talk about the need for Facebook or Twitter. Your job is to figure out the need for your business to be on Facebook or Twitter, and the impact it will have on the bottom line. Connecting those dots changes the game, and that happens when you stop reading Mashable and start looking at click paths and running analytic reports, and other things that are unique to your business and don’t exist in blog posts or books.
Does an established brand, like Nordstrom, run the risk of diluting their own brand if they adopt social media plans?
To some extent; even though Apple doesn’t have a social media presence, they are paying close attention. At a minimum, intelligence is critical.
If a company wants to move beyond intelligence and actually be engaging on a social network, it has to do two things. The first is to define what value it can put into and get out of the network. The second is it has to develop a plan that that brings the brand to life in a way that embellishes rather than dilutes is.
One thing that needs to be discussed, and I’m surprised that this doesn’t come up more: what is the persona of the company? If you’re going to have a presence on the web, your persona is something that needs to be defined. Companies often use a style guide; what the logo looks like, how it should be presented and under what circumstances. If it’s so important to have that guide for a brand’s logo, why not have it for a company’s social media presence? If Judy and Bob start Tweeting and interacting on behalf of a company, they're diluting that company’s brand with the personal identity of Judy and Bob. When you do that, you lose the luster and mystique of the brand. The brand style guide has to include social media elements.
On a more personal level, what do you enjoy about helping companies become more social?I really enjoy helping companies develop a new sense of purpose. By the time I’m done working with a company, it’s less about social media and more about helping them reinvent an aspect of their business and helping them become relevant again. That’s my personal mission as well. I don’t see myself as much as a social media strategist as I do a business strategist. A lot of what I focus on is change-management and organizational transformation, which for me is personally fulfilling and exciting.
Ramping up to SecondFloor’s second speaker event, The Building Blocks of New Enterprise, we spoke with LEGO Community Leader and the event’s guest speaker, Tormod Askildsen:
What book are you reading?
I am reading books all the time, mostly crime and fiction I must admit :-). I feel that my daily dialogue with great professionals inside and outside the company give so much stimuli that I don't need "professional" literature. Right now I'm enjoying a great book passed on to me from my wife; "Julie". It's a fiction story about two sisters who can trace their family history back to the Hemingway drama.
The previous book was "LEGO - a Love Story" written by an American journalist. It’s a wonderful book about the LEGO AFOL (Adult fan of LEGO) community!
Are there any blogs / sites you feel like you need to read every day?
What are you watching (TV, movie, video podcast, etc.)?
I love Topgear and some local Danish series - and sports! Especially winter sports.
The LEGO community has been very engaging with its fans. Other than LEGO, what are you a fan of?
Well - I have an old Volvo, had it for 30 years. A friend of mine put it up on his blog a couple of years ago :-).
See Tormod’s car here.
Space is limited and we’d love to see you there. For more info and to RSVP, please visit Clearvale SecondFloor.
Ultimately a platform's value lies either in being able to identify new business opportunities or reducing the friction when realising opportunities.
Clearvale is a great platform for both, in our estimation ahead of the curve in how to manage business ecosystems in a practical way.
We have our own practical perspective on that too. IDC recently estimated that many companies are spending around $28,000 per employee to find information whereas they could be delivering appropriate content to them. Appropriate content has to be trustworthy, contextualised and channelled. It is also what engaged people in networks and, when it meets the right criteria, it helps them make better decisions.
As we adopt social technologies into the enterprise we need to remember that the original impetus behind "social" was content, particularly blogs and the democratization of content. Unless you can develop content to attract people to a network then the network can become an obligation.
Content for its own sake is not a whole lot of good of course. The outstanding opportunity of the E2.0 platform is to develop appropriate content, content that will lead people to make better decisions. The problem is that most content is now unstructured and unstructured content even inside the enterprise is growing at 650% a year.
As the enterprise evolves into a more social domain the amount of unstructured content available multiplies - typically outstripping your existing search, acquisition and analysis processes. You have the opportunity to know more but can't get at it. Yet this unstructured data could be just what your new networks need. In fact I'd argue it is essential to the success of any community.
But this is an exciting moment. we no longer need to talk about information overload. We need to talk about information structuring because to date the missing ingredient has been ways to give structure - to classify and categorise information in dynamic ways. Recent research has shown that people who have access to good structured information make decisions that can be more productive for the enterprise. ESN's are a dynamic environment where good content will lead to good knowledge flow and better decisions.
Get it? Ok I tried...
So hot on the heels of our very successful CSF Charlene Li event, and in partnership with our new friends at Eastwick Communications, is our upcoming session with LEGO, scheduled for Wednesday, September 29. You probably saw the event info here and our press release from earlier last week detailing the event, but here are some highlights:
There are a lot of reasons why this event is going to be relevant. First, we're continuing our CSF speaker series with something bigger and better for everyone involved -- especially you, our audience. Second, LEGO and Tormod are well-recognized for their innovation when it comes to online communities.
And of course, LEGO is awesome. The venue is awesome, the event is going to be awesome, and we want to fill it with awesome people. We really appreciate everyone's support in helping us make these programs successful...so you're all invited to come join us for an engaging presentation and discussion at the museum.
There isn't all that much time left -- the event is just a few weeks away! Our goal is to take what we did with the Charlene event and magnify that immensely. So we really encourage everyone who can make it to sign up today.
To do so, please visit our new CSF site, and invite others to do the same!
Did I mention there will be MONSTER CHESS????