If you have not yet read Dennis Howlett’s latest post, Oracle kills free support blog and Twitter account, give it a read. Oracle has taken the shameful stance of striking down one of their support engineer’s blogs, a blog that has provided Oracle clients with free tips and a place to air concerns they may have with Oracle.
Was Oracle really wrong though? As Dennis notes, Oracle makes a lot of money from its 22% maintenance fees. While I do not agree with the fees, the market ultimately decides price. If customers are paying these fees, than it is the employee, not the company, that is truly at fault.
At this point you are probably asking yourself… “John, have you lost your mind?”… No. I do think it’s a shameful example of the top-down management style we are seeking to leave behind us all. I feel the decision was short-sighted and demonstrates the challenges that many large companies are facing. Social media is often arriving in the Enterprise at lower points in the organization. Executives still need to be convinced and the industry’s vendors, pundits, analysts, and so-called experts are not yet providing the needed information. What is needed?
- A focused effort to give vendor agnostic case studies.
- A set of best practices, best practices that all must acknowledge will be constantly evolving. As a friend of mine recently noted we are at the early stages in this new social world.
- A clearer picture of the ROI (return on investment), and CONI (cost of not implementing), for social efforts. Executives must understand that you will not always save money by going social, especially in the short-term. However, the cost of not implementing is often very high. Oracle, give me a call and I can show you why.
- A recognition that social media efforts are not the last step in the evolution of business, social media efforts, if not carefully implemented, could ultimately lead to less transparency than exists today.
What do you think?