The explosion of wikis, web conferencing, blogs and other social networking tools have just begun to demonstrate the power of "community" via the Web, but beyond a profile on MySpace, what does this Internet revolution mean for your business?
There are a many ways to implement Web 2.0 technologies within your business. However, to ensure that you receive a positive return on your investment, it is important to select the tools that will align with your overall business objectives, seamlessly integrate with existing applications and be easy and fun for employees to use.
At WebEx we have seen companies do remarkable things with Web 2.0 technology. Unlike many companies in which every employee is allocated an office or cubical, today more than half of Sun Microsystems' employees do not have permanent offices. This enabled a more nimble, mobile workforce however it also presented a challenge - how would employees bridge distances and geographies to maintain productivity?
With the help of Web 2.0 technology and on demand collaboration tools Sun was able to create an open work environment, bridging geographies while enabling employees to work conveniently from anywhere, any time. Use of the tools significantly reduced operating costs, increased productivity, and even opened new business opportunities for the company.
Subaru is another great example. It was the first car manufacturer to create a customer service recovery program to increase customer loyalty. That's a great concept, but a difficult one to introduce to it's over 600 dealers. However, by implementing Web 2.0 technologies into its training program a single trainer was about to reach every dealer within just six month at a cost of just US$.075 per person. And beyond the monetary cost savings, by using an on demand solution the company was able to reduce the travel time for trainers and provide a way for employees to revisit the key program information whenever they need it.
Beyond the hype, Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way we work by enabling people to do more - more collaboration, more innovation and increased productivity - with less money, time and confusion. The key is to identify the right tools for your company and make sure your employees are willing and excited to use them.
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