Posts Tagged ‘Open Text’

Enterprise Software Blogging in Full Swing

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

For longer than I care to admit, I have been marketing a variety of software products to enterprise IT professionals and managers, from cloud-based start-ups to SAP.  What appeals to about this space is the technical nature of the products and the challenges of differentiating a client’s products from their competitors.  It’s also gratifying to hear about the customer successes and how a client’s technology is making a very real difference.

Over the years, the marketing approach we’ve used has involved more or less the same set of tools.  To launch a new product release, for instance, you first get everyone together and figure out a press release and some messaging, tie into a trade show, update the web site, put together a slide deck for sales and follow up with telemarketing.

And while all that still holds true, what’s changed is the growing influence of blogging. Over the last couple of years, blogging about enterprise software has expanded by leaps and bounds. The list of bloggers on the SAP Community Network or over at Oracle is truly extensive and growing steadily. Moreover, there are dozens upon dozens of consultants and managers all with a story to tell and blogging regularly.

It only makes sense that enterprise software would be a fertile ground for blogs. This stuff is complex and changes constantly. And no piece of enterprise software ever dies.  It simply isn’t possible for a general IT publication to even do a passable of job of delivering on information needs across all the little niches and cubbyholes. Enterprise software bloggers play a critical role in keeping specialized audiences informed and educated.

You might think the IT managers are all business and no fun, but having tied one on at a few SAPPHIREs, I can safely say that this can be a lively community.  It follows that Facebook is a popular gathering place for various IT communities. For instance, the SAPPHIRENOW 2010 (not sure about that name) Facebook page has nearly 2,000 fans, sharing critical information such as this photo of Shaun White with an SAP airport sign:

Shaun White SAP Sign

With blogging and social media on the upswing in the enterprise IT space, it follows that as marketers and IT professionals, we need to be there too. No longer is it enough to just do the press release, the trade show circuit and webinars. You need to be blogging (or podcasting and videocasting), you need to be on Facebook.  You need to be active and participating in the forums. You need to build communities of your own.

The rise of social media changes what we do in marketing and PR. Instead of focusing on finely tuned brochures and trade show booths, we spend time encouraging content owners and technical experts to keep blogging and looking for ways to syndicate content across blogs and various social media channels.  An example of how this works is a blog post by Deb Lavoy of Open Text (a McKenzie Worldwide client) that ended up on the AIIM Facebook page. AIIM is a large enterprise content management professional association.

If you’re an enterprise marketer, it would be great to hear how you see blogging and social media changing your approach. What’s working? What’s not? What are some of the best ways to take full advantage of this channel? I plan on delving deeper into this subject in future posts. Let’s talk.

Open Text’s Journey to Social Media Awareness

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

A couple of years ago, we started talking to our client Open Text about doing some “radical” things in social media, like start up a company blog.  A number of other enterprise software companies were starting blogs and gaining some traction so it seemed like a good starting point.

As we pushed ahead, we ran into some obstacles – ones that were pretty common at the time. The company policy forbidding personal blogs was a biggie. There were many doubters who questioned if social media was even worth the effort and time.

Still we forged ahead and in time succeeded in launching ECM Briefs, a corporate blog (but more of a news stream) that lived within the Open Text news pages.  We also started a program of regular “news” podcasts.  While lacking in personal observations, these efforts steadily moved Open Text to a self-publishing model.  The podcasts in particular were a huge hit since they provided a way to hear customers, partners and executives in their own voice.

Fast forward to today.  Based on the early successes, Open Text has fully embraced social media as a way to build buzz and influence audiences

Open Text Conversations

Open Text Conversations

directly.  Employees from around the company on a global basis have set up their own blogs and are developing personal followings.  Their posts are aggregated on a site called Open Text Conversations.

Going to the next step, the company has established its own YouTube channel and teams from around the company have set up audience-specific Twitter feeds, in addition to a large number of personal Twitter accounts. The company also has a presence of Facebook and LinkedIn.  The annual user meeting last month prompted a flood of tweets and retweets using the Content World #otcw hashtag, and many employees and customers documented the event on their blogs.

During a recent meeting with the PR team, one of the folks on the call noticed that a large percentage of our time was devoted to social media topics. We all agreed that was a good thing. While traditional media is still very important to Open Text – we crank out a steady flow of press releases – the new channels have taken on a life of their own and clearly point the way to future.

There are two take aways from the Open Text journey to becoming social media aware: any social media program is better than none, and a little social media always leads to more.  Is your company on the fence about social media? If so, start with baby steps and you’ll be amazed where they lead.

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