Monthly Archives: September 2013

Microsoft SharePoint Return on Investment – Do the numbers add up?


This week we have been asked to identify and discuss a social media return on investment case, examine how ROI was calculated including tangible and intangible benefits, and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.

As I will be recommending the use of Microsoft SharePoint for my INB346 Assignment Two, I thought this would be a good chance to find out more about it.

What is SharePoint?

As identified in the above video, Microsoft SharePoint is a platform that allows you to create sites which helps your organisation to create communities, which gives your organisations staff a place to put their stuff (documents, resources, etc). Once the content is there Microsoft SharePoint allows your staff to: search for content, analyse the data born from the content, and
finally, to create composites of the content you have previously created.

Measuring SharePoint ROI

One of the beauties of Microsoft SharePoint is that it comes pre-equipped with tools for analysing its usage and the data contained within it. As these tools are adaptable, they allow an organisation to develop its own metrics specific to what the organisation considers to be the return on its use of SharePoint.

Pique Solutions: The ROI Benefits of Business-Critical SharePoint

I have chosen to analyse the report generated by Pique solutions in which they attempted to measure Microsoft SharePoint’s return on investment.

One of the assertions in the Executive Summary was that the use of Business-Critical SharePoint solutions drove transformational savings as high as eighty to ninety percent. Furthermore, they broke up the summarised ROI measures into: Business, Process, and IT. Only the Business statistics came with a measured financial ROI being averaged at between $200,000 to $300,000 annually. Process measures were: shorter cycle time (50-80%), and fewer errors (up to 90%). IT Measures were: faster deployment (60%), and fewer IT support hours (95%). Though they could have attached a dollar value to many of these percentage improvement statistics, by choosing not to do so, they have allowed the reader to apply the percentage values to their own organisation and thereby given them the ability to calculate the saving they themselves would be able to make.
One of the most powerful pieces of evidence offered by this report (pg3) was Street Crane who showed a sixfold increase in output with minimal staffing growth when they wrapped SharePoint around their product life-cycle management process. Though one could argue that this growth may have had more to do with external factors and other internal factors, the fact that the growth was only accompanied by a slight increase in staffing clearly demonstrates that improvements to internal administration, as brought about by their implementation of Business-Critical SharePoint, had put them in a position to handle six times the amount of work without a dramatic increase in administrative staffing. The only weakness in this anecdotal evidence is the lack of an exact statistic for “minimal staffing growth” which leads us to have to assume what “minimal” actually is.
Next the report focuses upon Line of Business solutions and provides case studies of individual businesses, each illustrate the benefits they themselves experienced from implementing Microsoft SharePoint. These provide a mixture of tangible and intangible benefits, though the focus is mainly upon the tangible. The first case study from The University of Nottingham, showed such saving as: savings in development costs, faster deployment, productivity increase in information gathering, and (less tangible) a shift from reacting to being pro-active. Further case studies each show returns on investments that are specific to the goals and objectives of their own implementations of Microsoft SharePoint. This goes to show that the best way to calculate return on investment for the implementation of internal social media platforms to draw statistics directly from the goals and objectives that your organisation originally envisaged from the implementation of internal social media. This is not to say, however, that an organisation shouldn’t keep an eye out for unexpected benefits as, no doubt, these will frequently arise and should be measured when identified.


In analysing social media’s return on investment it has become quite clear to me that the reason for the confusion regarding how to measure success is due to the fact that the implementation of social media delivers different results to different organisations. The Pique Solutions report finds a clear way to gather meaningful data by tailoring the results to individual businesses specific goals during implementation. Over time I believe that the benefits of and ways of measuring said benefits will improve over time as this “business by business” achieved benefits scenario plays itself out again and again.

Your input is valued

As always I welcome any input from my readers.


Queensland Health – A social media statistical analysis

Qld Health Log

This week we have been asked to choose an organization, I have chosen Queensland Health, and to perform a social media analysis using social media monitoring tools. Additionally we have been asked to report upon our experience in using the tools and to offer any recommendations / insights we might have to offer to the organization we have analysed.

Who are Queensland Health?

Queensland Health is the government department responsible for operating and administering the public health system of the Australian State of Queensland. Australia is lucky to have a free public health system that takes of the health needs of the around fifty percent of Australians  who do not have health insurance, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means that Queensland Health looks after the health concerns of around eleven million people.

Social media statistical analysis of Queensland Health

The tool I chose to analyse Queensland Health with was Facebooks link to “Likes”:


This tool gives us a break down on the number of likes the Facebook page has received as well as the number of people who are talking about the page, via summary totals and a timeline line graph.

With 3,023 likes for an organization that serves 2,300,000 people that breaks down to a 0.13 percent approval rating. This could be interpreted as saying that one in every 1,000 of the people who use the service actually approve of the organization enough to like it on Facebook. But this statistic needs to take into account how many Queenslanders actually use Facebook. According to Frank Media Social Media Statistics Australia  as of April 2013 there were 11,489,380 Australians using Facebook. That means that roughly half of all Australians use Facebook and we can therefore presume that roughly half of all Queenslanders use Facebook. So we can therefore say that 1 in every 500 Queenslanders, who actually use Facebook and the services of Queensland Health, actually like Queensland Health enough to like it. A pretty appalling statistic, but far less appalling then when I used the population of Australia as the population of Queensland for my calculations, but that doesn’t take into account the number of Queensland Health clients who use Facebook who haven’t discovered the Queensland Health page yet. You will probably let out a sigh of relief when I tell you that I do not have an actual statistic for that so therefore my lengthy analysis of a single statistic ends.

Next I would like to examine the timeline line graph of likes per week and number of people talking about this page / organization between August 16, 2013 and September 14, 2013. One of the clearest trends is the steady increase in both likes and people talking about Queensland Health over this time frame. This may well simply be due to a steadily increasing number of people discovering the page over time. This does not, however, explain the sharp increase experienced for both statistics between the 27th of August and 3rd of September. In examining events that occurred around the beginning of this sharp rise in activity I found that, from the 28th of August, there were posts on Queensland Health’s Facebook page about an outbreak of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli). Additionally, I remember these reports being broadcast on free to air television and it appears to be the case that concern regarding this outbreak lead to a social media search, and conversations about, this health risk. The spike in popularity continued up until 3rd of September when concerns regarding the outbreak appear to have abated.

My views on the use of existing social media analysis tools

In this post I have used only a single, relatively simple, analysis tool and yet I have very quickly run out of words. Statistics do not exist in isolation and must always be extrapolated upon by comparison with additional relevant statistics. We thereby end up with a reliable, powerful tool that allows us to analyse both successes and failures and to take action upon this critical information.


In offering advice to Queensland Health I would first say that they should take heart that their public awareness campaigns are effective, as the STEC outbreak and resultant interest in their Facebook page illustrates.

To build their social media following I would suggest that they promote social media presence more via traditional media (television, radio, etc). I would also say that they appear to be moving towards a cohesive strategic use of social media, it is especially good to see that they promote their social media sites via their webpage.

Your input is valued

So a slightly longer post this week. Apologies to anyone who found it a bit long winded, but I do love getting into statistics.

Any input would be most welcome.

Eversheds take social media by the horns

This week’s activity is to choose an organization from the Professional Services Sector (e.g. accounting, advertising and marketing, architecture, management consulting, engineering, IT, legal, and scientific research services), identify and discuss how they are using social media within their organization.

As outlined by Sara Redman and Associates article on Social Media for Professional Service Firms , social media and professional services may not, at first glance, seem a good fit. Social media are based on sharing and a paramount element of most professional service firms is confidentiality. Additionally, social media has not, until recent times, attracted a professional image. If anyone can get involved then doesn’t that include people who would not be immediately described as professional? However social media provides those organizations that engage with it with an immediate audience and source of free information. Professional services do not exist in isolation and need to engage with their customers and the public at large. Though there are risks involved in engaging with the general public, the benefits, far outweigh the risks. For further information on social media and professional services see McKinsey Global Institute, 2012 (82 – 92). Also Social Media for Professional Service Firms: Are you serious?.


For this week’s activity I have chosen Eversheds. Eversheds are an international, award winning, law firm with 44 offices in 26 countries. They were sighted by The Lawyer  as the law firm with the greatest social media presence.

Being an international law firm, Eversheds identified their need to reach a global audience and identified that the most cost efficient and effective way of doing this was via digital marketing. First they developed a clear strategy and, during implementation, gathered feedback from their clients to ensure that their social media presence was both effective and valuable content.

They have a blog, LinkedIn discussion groups and a twitter account and ensured that each effectively supported their brand identity. Additionally, they have uploaded numerous videos to YouTube delivering valuable content to their clients, not to mention a valuable source of marketing.

Using social technologies for marketing communication interaction and social commerce

Eversheds Blog  is a prime example of the use of social technologies for marketing communication. Here they provide their clients and potential clients with valuable insights into both the running of their organization and into changes and innovations in the legal world. In this way they are able to both promote their brand and to provide their clients with insights into changes in the legal world that may affect them. Their presence on YouTube also supports their social marketing and media presence by providing another social forum by which they can promote their brand identity and provide their clients with valuable information.

Derive Customer Insights and Customer Service

Both their blog and twitter account allow them to both derive customer insights and
deliver customer service. Their blog, in particular, allows them to receive feedback
and input from the clients, or the public at large, to help them improve their
service offerings. Their twitter account keeps their customers up to date with recent
innovations and changes within their organization and, as mentioned in the
included video, has also helped to improve their relationship with clients.

A cohesive strategy brings success

What is clear about Eversheds engagement with social media is the cohesive way in which they tie their different social media platforms together and utilize them in keeping with the different platforms strengths and weaknesses. Their Twitter account keeps their public up to date with recent changes and provides links to YouTube videos and posts on their Blog. Their blog and YouTube videos provide in depth, persistent information. Their LinkedIn presence is very professional in its look and feel and, no doubt, attracts high quality applicants for positions within the organization. Additionally, Eversheds LinkedIn presence increases their professional network and profile. It is quite clear that it is Eversheds well thought out and successfully implemented strategy that has led to their social media success.

Your input is valued

As always I welcome any input you may have into my post and I look forward to reading the posts of my INB346 classmates.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse – Is it social enough?

This week I have been asked to write a blog entry that explores a non-profit organization from the Social Sector from the perspective of Enterprise 2.0 Value Levers. The social sector value levers as defined by the McKinsey Report  are: Crowdsourcing resources and solutions, Mobilizing Resources, Fundraising, Creating and expanding volunteer network, Retaining support, Education, and Engaging supporters. Additionally there are the Enterprise Wide levers: Improving collaboration and communication, and rapid organizing.


Re-introducing Stepping Stone Clubhouse

I introduced Stepping Stone Clubhouse in a previous blog entry  in which I briefly touched upon the ways in which the organization is already engaging with Enterprise 2.0 principles. This time I will drill down into areas where the organization could better harness the might of social media to improve upon the ways in which it is running itself and to better capitalize upon the opportunities presented by Enterprise 2.0.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse  is a not for profit, non-institutional setting in which people with a mental illness receive support and opportunities to re-engage with the broader community. It provides advocacy, rehabilitation, housing, and employment opportunities to its membership. It exists within the broader community of the ICCD , an International organization that provides: Expansion, Accreditation, Training, Research, Advocacy and Public Awareness to mental health clubhouses around the world.

Being a service based clubhouse (not a drop in centre) at the very core of Stepping Stone Clubhouse, and all other ICCD clubhouses, resides the principal of community. Stepping Stone Clubhouse therefore has more to gain from the principals of Enterprise 2.0 then just about any other type of organisation.

As covered in my previous blog entry on Stepping Stone Clubhouse  the organization already engages in the wider community of clubhouse, with many other government and non-government organizations, and within its owner community of members. Further researching the organization, however, I have found that its approach to Social Media lacks in direction and drive and I do not believe the organization is successfully getting all it can from the realm of Enterprise 2.0. Though they have a Facebook page  it does not invite involvement and is more of a newsletter keeping interested members of the public up to date with what is going on in the organization.

Crowdsourcing resources and solutions

One of the core services Stepping Stone Clubhouse offers to its members is opportunities (health services, housing, employment, and education) available from the broader community. Though it does utilise a quite large web of contacts to find opportunities for its members, it does not utilise a social media world of opportunities to its full potential.

Stepping Stone could help its members find employment by promoting them on its Facebook page, and or on its own website. By advertising an individual’s skills and talents, and their availability it could utilise a far broader network of contacts. By crowd sourcing in this way the clubhouse would also be advertising its activities and would be able to better promote its membership to the world at large. This could be extended to the housing program advertising members who are looking for accommodation and would probably also help its members find housing from unconventional sources.

Additionally Stepping Stone Clubhouse could do more to crowd source solutions to problems that the clubhouse faces. Though the organisation crowd sources from its membership in face to face meetings and also utilise its network of external contacts it has not yet extended this principal to opening itself up to a greater membership. Crowd sourcing in this manner would bring in solutions from a much broader base of people and would also promote the organisation in an ongoing way to its readership.

Closing Thoughts

I have only been able to briefly touch upon some of the multitude of benefits that an organisation such as Stepping Stone Clubhouse could draw from a more active involvement in the world of social media.

Your input is valued

Please feel free to respond with any ideas you may have about how Stepping Stone Clubhouse could gain greater benefits from Enterprise 2.0 value levers.

Blogs I have read so far

See Adams latest blog entry for insights into how the Cancer Council can better capitalise upon the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 Social Media.

See Connors latest blog entry for insights into how Surf Life Saving Australia can benefit from Enterprise 2.0 value levers