Avon Calling: Cloud Computing Social Networks

I keep an eye on cloud computing (that’s where all your business systems run on the internet, not your company servers) cos it’s, y’know, interesting. But I love it when Enterprise based social networks – or shall we call them staff communities ? – come into play:

Ding! Dong! Avon Calling!

A big step at Avon 

Avon is embarking on a massive, multiyear overhaul of the way it manages its nearly 6 million sales representatives around the world. In the past, “sales leaders”, who help manage reps but are not employees of the company, mainly checked in with the salespeople through face-to-face meetings and phone conversations. But next month, Avon will begin to equip 150,000 sales leaders with a cloud-based computing system accessible via smartphones and PCs.

The technology will keep them much more up-to-date on the sales of each rep, and it will alert them when reps haven’t placed orders recently or when they have payments overdue to the company. The idea is to increase the sales and efficiency of Avon’s distribution system.

Avon’s strategy shows how the relationship between individuals and their computers is undergoing a radical change. Up till now, people have used a variety of computing devices in their professional lives, including desktops, laptops, handhelds, and smartphones. Each device was essentially an island of capabilities—applications, communications, and content.

Cloud computing means that information is not stranded on individual machines; it is combined into one digital “cloud” available at the touch of a finger from many different devices.

“We’re shifting to more of a people–and information-centric world,” said Paul Maritz, CEO of software maker VMware VMW.

Particularly noteworthy is that they use a form of virtual workforce that is particularly suited to the ‘net… 

But… Ewww…  don’t take it too far though 

Serena Software has switched almost entirely to cloud services, even using Facebook as its main source of internal communications. 

Given that Facebook has the suckiest inbox (try putting stuff into folders to find later) and group software, this is hilarious. For example managing active forums is a nightmare. Luckily most are inactive. 

I got caned for saying this at the Social Network and Online Collaboration conference in December: test social media/network tools internally first, if you can’t make it work with people who have a stake in making it work, then it won’t work with uncaring customers. 

After IBM tests new consumer-like cloud computing capabilities internally, it launches them as services for customers. 

… see? At least IBM agrees with me! 


Quotes from Steve Hamm’s article in Businessweek How Cloud Computing Will Change BusinessOpens in a new tab.. Odd that Businessweek don’t make the most of standard social media strategies including making their videos embeddable (with logos slapped all over ’em). That’s leaving marketing dollars on the table…

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

11 thoughts on “Avon Calling: Cloud Computing Social Networks

  1. Avon Calling: Cloud Computing Social Networks | Laurel Papworth … http://bit.ly/XrAL9

  2. Avon Calling: Cloud Computing Social Networks | Laurel Papworth …: Avon use cloud computing to create a social.. http://bit.ly/GCeOL

  3. Always like to see information on Cloud Computing! Looks like Australians are starting to wake up to it too with Telstra announcing a $500m spend this week on cloud computing services.

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