Alumni 2.0: Employer-Employee Realignment

Alumni 2.0 is a key component of transitioning to a new employment paradigm by using online social networks like LinkedIn; this post outlines some of its key concepts […]

Event Brief: Mashing up Mergers & Acquisitions and Web 2.0 at the AM&AA's Summer Conference

Web 2.0 and the Mergers and Acquisitions Industry at the AM&AA reveals how digital social networks are affecting mergers and acquisitions in the mid-market

Reports of “Character Building” Market—Significant Parallels with High Tech Bust—Plus, the Emerging Web 2.0 Vein

Web 2.0 and the Mergers and Acquisitions Industry at the AM&AAThe sub-prime induced correction of the U.S. financial sector has changed the context around M&A during the last year, and mergers and acquisitions experts met last week to share success stories, lessons learned and admonitions at the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisition Advisors Summer Conference July 22-25, 2008 at Chicago’s Wyndham Hotel. I was asked to present a new talk, “Leveraging a Web 2.0 Ecosystem to Grow Your Business,” and I had the opportunity to attend some of the other sessions. I’ll summarize their key points before adding some thoughts on the promise that Web 2.0 and social networks bring to deal marketing due to significantly decreased transaction costs.

AM&AA members hail from all parts of a rich ecosystem of investment bankers, attorneys, private equity, brokers, intermediaries, CPAs and others who specialize in every […]

Creating Strategic and Tactical Value with Enterprise (Social) Networks

Leveraging B2C “Social” Networks for Real Enterprise Advantage—Flashbacks to Web 1.0—People in Bars

2007-wrap-ent2Pan in, circa 1998, and enterprises were beginning to doubt the conventional wisdom that had prevailed during the past three years, namely that “the Internet” was a Silicon Valley fad that would blow over with nary a whimper. It was “for kids,” it didn’t merit adult attention—none of these “businesses” were making money anyway. You can’t be serious, how could a money-losing online bookstore affect GM? It looks silly to read these words today, but that’s only because we know what happened. Here I will suggest that we are on the cusp of a similar shift with Web 2.0 and social networks, I’ll outline an approach you can use to consider your adoption strategy, and I will recommend tactical things you can do right now to leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

Since 2006, my consulting work has encompassed strategic and tactical sides of Web 2.0 and social networks and, in 2008, I launched a tactically-focused service, the Executive’s Guide to LinkedIn, which helps global enterprises to use LinkedIn for process innovation. This has provided the […]

Enterprise 2.0 A Game-Changer for Investment Banks [Market Advisory]

Just Released—CSRA Market Advisory Highlights How I-Banks are Using Web 2.0 to Drive Competitiveness

Enterprise 2.0 A Game-Changer for Investment Banks [Market Advisory]This summer, “Enterprise 2.0” began to get legs as the new moniker for applying Web 2.0 to the enterprise, reflecting that pragmatists are raising their eyes for an exploratory glance. The market advisory shares how global investment banks are using Enterprise 2.0, and it suggests action steps for executives to take this year and next. Here is the executive summary and a few choice concluding points:

Enterprise 2.0 Enables Executives to Digitize and Monetize Collaboration for the First Time

This is so simple that many will miss it and open themselves to disruptive competition…

Banks increasingly use wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0 tools for mission-critical processes, as shown through the examples of Citi, DrKW, Morgan Stanley, ING and JP Morgan.. Enterprise 2.0 is a new term that denotes corporate adoption of Web 2.0 and social software tools. It offers investment banks an unusual opportunity to reduce risk and improve their earnings and profits by increasing returns on process, human and knowledge capital. However, Enterprise 2.0 also confronts banks […]

Cisco CEO Shares Impressive M&A Collaboration Story and Video-Centric Network Vision

Pervasive Consumer Connectivity Vision Upstaged by Enterprise Web 2.0 Collaboration

DH_Cisco_ChambersCisco’s John Chambers is a master technology marketer who quickens your pulse with technology fire and brimstone. However, as the long-time CEO of Cisco, which epitomized the rise of the (Silicon) Valley when it was briefly the most valuable company in the U.S. in 2000, he has seen the company through the tech bust and proven that he has substance and staying power. Although a hypemeister extraordinaire, he may have crystallized the promise of the Enterprise Web 2.0 better than any other speaker at Digital Hollywood Chicago.

Chambers’ demos of whiz-bang consumer entertainment scenarios were intriguing but far less interesting to an enterprise-focused audience than his accounts of how Cisco had drastically increased its already-leading efficiency in mergers and acquisitions by collaborating with Web 2.0 tools like wikis. We anticipate that his consumer-focused vision will be consummated far in the future, but his message about enterprise collaboration is achievable this year—for those who are looking for it.

Chambers described an emerging future of networks and communication that revolved around pervasive video, […]

AT&T CEO Unveils Telecoms Vision at Convergence Conference

Redefining the Industry to Remain Relevant—The Significance of AT&T’s Big Bet on Mobile

DH_AT&T_stephensonAt Digital Hollywood Chicago, AT&T was busy redefining itself as a 21st century communications provider, and we believe that will increasingly mean focusing on content to provide profits. An AT&T veteran but new in 2007 as CEO, Randall Stephenson keynoted the conference by sharing his vision for AT&T and the future of the industry.

Telecoms provide the network infrastructure of distributed computing and global communications, but infrastructure is a tough business with thin margins and high capital requirements. All telecoms are trying to move up the value chain to escape commoditization pressure and relentless price competition. For example, Sprint is betting heavily on WiMAX to redefine itself as the enabler of digital relationships.

In the context of telecoms redefinition, AT&T’s alliance with Apple could be very strategic for each company, as AT&T can use Apple’s design excellence to increase subscribers and push advanced network services while Apple needs a telecom partner to drive its relevance in the growing third screen market with the iPhone. According to Stephenson, the […]

Reading between the Lines: Apple's New Business Strategy

Reading between the Lines: Apple’s New Business Strategy reveals why Apple could emerge as a three-screen player par excellence.

Reading between the Lines: Apple's New Business StrategyApple’s name change in early 2007 was heralded as the company’s redefinition as a consumer products company. The conventional wisdom held that the lion’s share of the run-up of Apple’s stock price had been due to the excitement of the iPod and the successful rekindling interest in the company’s Macintosh computers. Moreover, Apple’s stock had limited headroom because consumer electronics heavies were getting into the market for music players, and this would leech profits. The iPhone looked great, but it was overpriced in a hyper-competitive market; it wouldn’t penetrate much beyond a few gadget freaks.

This prevailing view works great for Apple because it keeps people focused on the wrong things—literally. Apple’s business strategy is far more profound. It goes far beyond the SIC, hardware or even software. It is an experience strategy based on content and communications.


Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy at Executives' Club Breakfast

Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy clearly shows the innovation imperative: A Play in Two Acts, Starring the Consumer.

Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy: Irene B. RosenfeldIrene B. Rosenfeld, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Foods, outlined her vision for relaunching Kraft at the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Chicago CEO Breakfast on May 30, 2007 at the Mid-America Club. She was enthusiastic about the company’s second lease on life: having spun off of Altria this spring, the company is newly independent, and she was eager to share her plan to drive growth by addressing the “eye of the consumer.”

Kraft Foods is the second largest food company in the world and the largest in North America. It has seven brands that produce revenue of over $1 billion and fifty that bring in over $100 million each. Central to her strategy is leveraging Kraft’s formidable brand portfolio and other economies of scale. Rosenfeld “came home to Kraft” about a year ago, having had highly visible leadership roles at the company in the past and the top job at Frito-Lay immediately prior.


Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise

Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise reports on IBM’s CEO as he articulated a prescient vision for the enterprise—adapting to the Knowledge Economy.

Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated EnterpriseSamuel J. Palmisano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM Corporation, outlined a new version of the enterprise at a lunch honoring him with the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Thirteenth Annual International Executive of the Year Award April 12, 2007 at the Chicago Hilton. Entitled “Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise,” his speech emphasized key points from his Summer 2006 article of the same name in Foreign Affairs. He was especially interesting to hear due to his experience with leading one of the world’s foremost global enterprises as well as his insight from serving global enterprises in every industry.

Yesterday’s model for the global enterprise, the multinational corporation (MNC), looks increasingly outdated due to widespread adoption of standards-based technology, increasingly standardized work processes and a liberalizing regulatory environment. Today, knowledge-based resources are available globally, and the enterprise’s means to create value is choosing how and where to tap the resources to […]

Joined at the Hip - Sprint Nextel's Destiny and the Demand for a

Sprint Nextel’s Destiny and the Demand for a New Wireless Future reports on how Sprint Nextel is betting its future on a new wired society.

Sprint Nextel's Destiny and the Demand for a New Wireless Future: Gary D. ForseeGary D. Forsee, Chairman and CEO, Sprint Nextel Corporation, set the stage for the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Technology Conference by outlining Sprint’s wireless strategy and a new vision for global community at the March enterprise CEO luncheon at the Chicago Hilton.

Sprint’s long history reflects the transformation of the U.S. telecoms market. The company has had a key role in remaking the U.S. telecoms industry during its privatization. It competed as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and once earned most of its revenue from long distance services, which are now essentially free. After its 2005 merger with Nextel, virtually all its revenue comes from wireless services.

Moreover, Mr. Forsee promised that Chicago would be one of two pilot cities for Sprint’s WiMAX initiative later this year. Chicagoans will be among the first in the U.S. to try 4G network services.

Sprint’s Wireless Future

Sprint Nextel has seen the future, and it […]