Digital transformation for telecommunications providers: The road to success with an enterprise social network
How you can benefit from an enterprise social network (ESN) and how to implement it successfully.
Article by Hubertus Schleuter, Dr Bernard Richter and Martin Lehnert
It’s not always easy for companies to note every success factor of digital business transformation. Not all areas concerned are actually taken into consideration. Some are simply forgotten. If new business models are implemented as part of the digital business transformation, this of course initially has an impact on the external effect. On an internal level, supporting IT systems and the related processes are given priority in order to reach financial goals. However, digital transformation is only successful if topics such as communication and internal digitalisation are also not forgotten in the process.
This mainly applies to telecommunications companies. Because of their special organisational structure and their digital products and services, they must operate and communicate particularly efficiently and seamlessly. The solution: an enterprise social network.
Definition of an enterprise social network: What is it, anyway?
An enterprise social network – ESN – is a kind of social networking site, like Facebook. Topics such as ‘collaboration platforms’, ‘knowledge sharing’ and ‘employee advocacy’ are focused on here specifically for company purposes. An ESN thus addresses the needs of new digital working environments.
The situation usually looks like this: Process and technological gaps in existing communication structures
In a telecommunications company, countless structures and systems manage both internal communications and communications to partners and end customers. The specialist article ‘Telecommunications providers are going digital’ has already reported on the specific importance of data analytical knowledge via end customers Efficiency and increase in turnover are often the triggers for digital transformations. Quick changes in the CRM and call centre structures follow suit. However, this means that the distance from internal communication structures grows. Here, inefficient email systems, separated collaboration platforms and information sharing systems are still in use, as well as various video systems. Loss and falsification of information, a lack of cooperation of the departments involved and extreme losses in time are just the most minor consequences. The motivation of the staff involved starts to dwindle. New solutions fail to appear. As well as this, the link to external social networks and digital media is either complicated or rendered impossible.
Benefits: Why does my company need an ESN?
‘Without an enterprise social network, there is no digital transformation within the company,’ says Harald Schirmer, Manager of Digital Transformation and Change at Continental. He is one of the most distinguished advocates of a holistic digital transformation. Precisely here lies the key to success. In an ideal world, an enterprise social network counteracts ‘information hiding’ and information silos. This means that information is made accessible. Existing communication barriers are broken down and a transparent, quick and, most importantly, accessible medium of communication is established. As well as the aforementioned aspects, a company that takes a chance on investing in a digital world of communication early enough also benefits from being a ‘Workplace of the Future’. When it comes to digital transformation projects, you should therefore also always consider the positive effect on your image as an employer.
Hurdles and risks: Why are enterprise social networks not already the established standard in digital transformation projects?
The introduction of an enterprise social network is connected to a clear commitment to cultural change in communication – and in the entire company, at that. In other words: As well as long-term planning, introducing an enterprise social network needs permanent support from top management and continuous backing by sound change-management programmes. Creating clear business cases from this is also not always easy. Various scenarios and effects must be incorporated and then monitored.
It is also clear that a successful introduction of an enterprise social network does not happen on its own. Without change programmes, it doesn’t work. Initially limited to focus groups, the added value of the ESN must be worked out and provided in the groups involved for acceptance.
How to introduce an ESN:
Introducing an ESN:
AXXCON has developed a simple and transparent method to get to grips with the complexity of introducing an enterprise social network. It starts with carefully identifying the ‘why aspects’. Why should an enterprise social network be introduced in the company? Workshops, interviews and expert talks support in defining goals and the implementation strategy. This is followed by further workshops, goal formation, roadmap development, employee journey, the definition of focus groups and ambassador concepts. Based on this, the customer selects the perfect tools and platforms. And, not to be forgotten: observe and measure. Every long-term success is based on monitoring, the pre-defined parameter and, most importantly, usage behaviour.
Is your company about to introduce an enterprise social network? AXXCON provides you with support in implementing digital transformation projects.