Home > CRM, Enterprise 2.o, Social CRM, technology > In Order to realize Social CRM, get your Enterprise 2.0 in Order

In Order to realize Social CRM, get your Enterprise 2.0 in Order

We have all pushed; each other, as much the world around us, to try and wrap our head around the changing nature of a customer’s relationship with a company.  We discuss what they want, changing expectations, immediacy, co-creation, loyalty….there are many opinions, not what I would call agreement. The one topic where there is some level of consensus, is that CRM in its current form is simply not equipped to handle the change. With respect, I am personally, not ready to throw in the towel on what we have called Social CRM.

The Best Defense, is a Good Offense

As I suggested a few weeks ago, Enabling Social CRM is a convergence of Enterprise 2.0 and CRM, Prem also made some compelling arguments in his post – SocialCRM v Enterprise 2.0 Fight or Tango – While the arguments made do have validity, we need to go one level deeper. We need to lay of the foundation that supports the premise of my thinking:  Social CRM within an organization can not be fully realized until the core principles of Enterprise 2.0 are realized. Yes, I am hedging a bit because not all businesses are large enough to fully realize ‘true’ Enterprise 2.0. In smaller organizations, I believe it is acceptable to ‘get it done’ however it needs to get done. Many small businesses are in fact MORE social, with respect to their relationships.

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

In the context of Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0 meets the specific technology needs which not only enable a company, but mobilize the workforce and facilitate information sharing (ie no more silos) required to support Social CRM. In my previous post, Social CRM is a Journey, as well as Esteban Kolsky’s the Slow Path to SocialCRM, we both suggest that this is not an overnight occurrence, and companies must take baby steps in order to get there. Many tried to extend the metaphor, and asked what vehicle – I am not sure, but maybe paving the road is the first step?

I will repeat my rallying cry “It is not about technology, but about the best use of technology. It is not about the platform, but about the people who are the platform.” If tools and technology can be used to leverage the knowledge within and across the Enterprise, if the Enterprise is able to adapt and communicate efficiently, then  meeting the needs of the customer will be that much easier; Then SocialCRM can be realized.

I believe that we need to figure this out, from the inside out.  Therefore,  In order to realize Social CRM, get your Enterprise 2.0 in order.

In the weeks to come, I look forward to exploring just how to accomplish this large task? What are your thoughts?

  1. John Moore
    September 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Mitch, well put. It is a journey that we are all on and as much as will agree we will also disagree. We agree on 95% of the above, where we currently disagree is naming of the framework and the solutions within the framework:


    We are all moving this discussion forward, day by day, and I am very excited to be a part of this journey.

    Keep up the great posts.


    • Mitch Lieberman
      September 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm


      Thanks for your insights as well – I have learned a great deal watching the responses to your posts and hard questions. In my system design class I mention often that emotion in email is a ‘no-no’, I wonder if the same holds true in blogs?

      The passion which we all show, simply illustrates that we care to learn. The enjoyment is that in a sense, we are a humble crowd. Opinionated, but humble none-the-less. We are willing to see the value in new and novel perspectives. If we simply agreed all the time, it just would not be the same, now would it.

  2. Esteban Kolsky
    September 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm


    I like this post and the one before because you are spousing the message that I think is necessary right now.

    I will admit that in the past I have killed just about any technology and market within my reach just to move it forward. I will also admit that it was a failure (email for customer service is dead was followed by a mere two years by the second coming of email for customer service, CRM is dead was followed by mere months by the new path to CRM, etc.). I realized in the last few years that the over-hyped message is not the solution to bring people to the table — that we need a more subtle and thoughtful approach.

    I am as guilty as anyone else of over-hyping this but am slowly remembering the lessons learned and saying that the evolution from CRM to SCRM (simple add-on to CRM) is the best way. And I like your approach of getting your E2.0 house in order before trying to get SCRM as one rides on top of the other.

    Very well said, nice set of posts.

    • Mitch Lieberman
      September 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm


      I appreciate the compliment. I see much of my thought process being driven by your work, add the conversations driven by John, Prem, Brian, Wim and others, with my own perspective.

      I look forward to much more, as we peel back the layers.


  3. September 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    It may well be that Social CRM will provide the compelling reason for whole-hearted Enterprise 2.0 adoption. E2.0 trumpets collaboration internally and with partners and suppliers. Lessons learned and experience gained here will be invaluable for the next step forward; adding customers into the equation.

    If the corporate objective is to become customer-centric – for whichever motivation – as taking a Social CRM approach now seems to promise, change will need to take place in how the organisation works together; once you involve your customers, they will soon catch on to whether you are serious about your relationship with them.

    • Mitch Lieberman
      September 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm


      Excellent observation. As Enterprise 2.0 matures, maybe it will also become simpler for companies of all sizes to deploy and use. Thanks for the comments.


  4. mschneidersugar
    September 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm


    Not sure I 100% agree…While it does make sense that the platforms for both Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM are similar – I think the focus and pain points for both are different, and can either be rolled out simultaneously or completely divorced.

    Why? Well, as many have noted above, “customer centricity” is a beast all its own, and for many B2c companies, the simple act of identifying their customers in the social media sea versus the anonymity of years past is a major challenge. But getting greater collaboration (Enterprise 2.0) with employees and partners that you already know – I feel this is a somewhat easier undertaking for some firms.

    Enterprise 2.0 usually looks to automate and optimize the way people collaborate and do business – and while there is definitely adoption and behavioral change involved – I don’t feel it comes close to the cultural shift that some companies are facing in the move to a social engagement model. This, of course, varies from company to company on both the E2.0 side and the SCRM side. Some companies are customer-centric and are simply adding a channel of communication with social additions; while others see “the customer is always right” as a foreign phrase.

    In both cases, E2.0 and SCRM, I find it best to think of these (and I’m sure we all agree here) less as technology projects that should be ticked off of a CIO’s agenda, and more about long-term line of business initiatives.

    But all told, I am not sure you need the one before, or after, the other.

    • Mitch Lieberman
      September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Martin – I think

      (note: For some reason the spam filters decided to block this comment for a little while. They probably did not know who Martin is, or maybe they did…Martin and I work together, so ribbing is permitted, sorry Martin).

      I agree that the focal points of E20 and SCRM are different, that is what I was hoping to drive towards. One attempts to solve an inwardly focused communications problem, the other and externally focused communications problem. My theory is that if the organization itself is efficient, then the external focus will also be more efficient.

      Is it required, point taken maybe not. Is it (E20 before SCRM) a good idea, I still think it is a good idea. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated.


      (For those not familiar, you can catch Martin’s musings @ crmoutsiders.com)

  1. January 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

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