Four Tips for Getting Good ROI from Web 2.0 Projects

Telecom company Embarq has seen early success making Web 2.0 technologies part of its innovation strategy. Here are four lessons they've learned on how to make social networking or collaboration software work.

Executive Buy-In Is a Must

While social technologies in the consumer space thrive because end-users adopt them through "viral channels," enterprise social software needs some top-down encouragement in order to drive adoption. This doesn't mean you need to mandate that people use the technology, but if the boss mentions that the technology may help bolster a project, the chances for success improve, Stafford says.

First, make it easy for administrators to get rolling with the software themselves.

"If you were placed in charge of a new product team, and you want to get your group going in one place to share documents and share profiles, this has to be something you set up within a few minutes," Stafford adds.

With Jive, Stafford says it takes Embarq staffers "a very short time, probably minutes" to set up a site using wikis or discussion forums. At that point, the administrator can send invitations to key stakeholders, giving them log-ins and passwords, and ideally explain the purpose of the site in that initial message.

Stafford encourages users to set up profiles on Jive. Jive's profiles aren't like Facebook pages. They merely list some business critical information, such as expertise, and mentions of past projects. This allows others using the portal to connect with key colleagues on product development issues.

Measuring Your Web 2.0 Success: Time is Money

It's often difficult to assign hard ROI numbers to social software projects, since it doesn't replace any existing infrastructure but compliments or improves it. As a result, Stafford says you should measure how much faster the platform allows you to accomplish tasks and collaborate on key projects.

When Embarq needed to test whether or not to adopt some software that ran promotional offers via mobile phones, it set up a discussion forum on Jive with the software vendor and some potential Embarq customers who might be interested.

Very quickly, Embarg received feedback of a common customer problem: the software drained phones' batteries.

"The vendor read this, came back with a patch, and it improved the performance," he says. "For us, we saw the feedback cycle in a couple of days that normally would have been weeks. That really crystallized the value for us."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social networkingroiWeb 2.0

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?