For todays delve into the world of Enterprise 2.0, we are going to be looking at the risks and benefits of Enterprise 2.0 implementation. Whilst I could talk for days about the many benefits (enhancing: productivity and efficiency; knowledge, reputation and staff engagement) and potential risks (security; loss of control; reputation; reliability; productivity; and resources) of Enterprise 2.0 implementation, Wouldn’t it be more fun to see the REAL LIFE impact on a REAL company, and what they had to go through to achieve their successes in the digital business age?
Epitaph Records is a good example of Enterprise 2.0 Implementation gone right. Founded in Los Angles in the early 90’s by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, Epitaph Records was started with the aim of being an artist-friendly label. Despite their successes with gold and multi-platinum bands on their label such as Rancid, NOFX and The Offspring, Epitaph managed to stay independent and true to their roots. But as the internet became more and more popular in the new millennium and bands were able to access low cost “do it yourself” recording and distribution options, Epitaph’s traditional role of the record company was threatened. They needed a way to embrace the new technologies, and stay ahead of the game. This is when Epitaph turned to Enterprise 2.0. They implemented an Enterprise 2.0 program called SocialText.
Epitaph Records was founded by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, with the aim of starting an artist-friendly label from a musician’s point of view. Perhaps most well known for being the little indie from L.A. that spawned the 90s punk explosion, Epitaph stayed independent even while breaking gold and multi-platinum acts such as The Offspring, Rancid, NOFX, and Bad Religion. However, as low cost, “do it yourself” recording and distribution options started to become available to artists, the traditional role of the record company started to be threatened. But artists need more than just recording and distribution. Epitaph specializes in meeting all the needs of recording artists, from facilitating their creative vision for album packaging, to delivering customized state-of-the-art marketing campaigns, to cataloging and archiving the album once it’s finished. That requires collecting huge amounts of data and acting on an infinite number of details and decisions.
The problems Epitaph faced were;
- Keeping costs down
- Managing the end-to-end marketing process
- Organizing multiple projects with a small staff whilst keeping the business running
- Ensuring creative ideas and important details not stored for easy retrieval and that they do not get lost
- Enable communications Giving people in different divisions access to the information they needed
To manage all this and to revolutionize their business, Epitaph turned to Socialtext. Socialtext is an all inclusive Enterprise 2.0 platform, which allows business to manage every aspect of their business online. “As the Enterprise 2.0 leader, Socialtext applies Web 2.0 technologies such as enterprise microblogging, enterprise social networking and wikis to the critical challenges facing businesses. Socialtext’s enterprise collaboration platform allows employees to share expertise, speed workflows and get their jobs done faster (Socialtext, 2010)”.
Benefits that Epitaph experienced directly from the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 within their business were;
- Employees are less stressed
- Employees able to perform their jobs more effectively
- Employees have instantaneous access to all the information they need
- Clients (Recording artists) report higher satisfaction thanks to more personal service, custom project management, and timely, in-depth reporting
- Company (Epitaph) saves time and money with quick development of new business processes
- Continuous improvement of existing processes
Epitaph found that they experienced many benefits from the implementation of Enterprise 2.0. Epitaph Records CEO Brett Gurewitz said “To justify why record companies exist in this digital age, we have to provide value across the entire marketing process, including publicity, promotion, and project management. Socialtext helps us organize and share the vast amounts of information this requires.” All these benefits though, do not come risk free.
The change from Enterprise 1.0 to Enterprise 2.0 included the potential risks of security breaches, loss of control, damages to reputation, lack of reliability and loss of productivity. Epitaph was very careful in their roll out of the new product, and they managed to avoid most of these risks, resulting in great successes for the business.
Here is a video with some more information and a more detailed look at the SocialText Enterprise 2.0 Program.