Information Technology Strategy: Class 13 – book review/presentation

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Last night we had the final review of the book The World is Flat. This book by Thomas Friedman outlines how globalization is allowing for new and flexible business models. This book can be a blueprint of sorts for online businesses and the overriding message is to operate with as much expertise as you can afford yet remaining as lite as possible. The net impact of all of this is that your business is more of an organism than it is an assembly line. (A fact many businesses overlook and then fail as a consequence.) Let the people who excel at HR handle it for my business. My business isn’t in the infrastructure business, so why would I bring that in house?I get better quality work out of my peers when I let them stay home, so guess what I’m gonna do? This is also true of the culture of the business with individuals creating content about the business and sharing with others. I would love to see an infographic detailing the organic nature of the business from a business model perspective and a human capital vantage.

We then had our first presentation by the TeleTech group. One of my students wants TeleTech to use social media to build a knowledge management system/community and help with talent acquisition. If you’re unfamiliar with the business, they handle customer service for large computer manufacturers and cable providers. Like any customer service organization (except for Zappos) they have approximately 80% turnover every 9 months. By the time that employee becomes truly valuable, they leave. The plan was to use Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Lithium, as their cornerstone, to build their social CRM strategy. Lithium is an interesting business model and is a perfect fit given the groups goals. It was a great concept and was nothing short of reinventing TeleTech’s business model.

In my opinion, TeleTech runs the risk of thinking they’re in the call center business and not the customer service business. Customers, now more than ever are asking for help, using all the vehicles the splinternet affords. Chat, Twitter, in-app help, Get Satisfaction, etc. If you’re a business, you need to be where the users are and today, they’re everywhere. For me the real opportunity from what the group devised is if/when TeleTech opened up their community to their clients and eventually their clients customers. This interplay between all concerned parties would be optimal.

Both presentations were great and next class we’ll be reviewing Noodles’ social media strategy and a business model for a small mountain retreat.

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I’m an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I’m currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I’m passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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