Thursday, September 21, 2006

Business Continuity in an Always On Society?

Poor Dell. Fantastic business model, great execution. They sell millions of computers and by the law of averages, something had to go wrong. The now infamous exploding laptops. But in the world of the internet, where everyone is connected, and where more and more people have mobile phones and flickr accounts, you are now more likely than ever to "see that failure" on the internet. A Dell laptop exploded on the Yahoo! campus, you can be sure it will circulate in tech land. Will this affect the Dell brand? You bet it will. What could Dell do? Dell now has to not only provide great support, but be seen to provide great support. They need to create a story about their "legendary support". I am not saying what particular storyline would work, but I am reminded of the business cases around FedEx where the delivery guy goes far beyond the call of duty to deliver the parcel. This became the basis of the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks. Given that computers are moving towards commodity, Dell will be all about the service, and the managed services. They need to build a story that supports this future position. Now some take away?
  • Do you have a way of "monitoring" what is being said about you in the world of the internet?
  • If your company suffered a severe product or service failure, do you have a plan that enables you to react pro-actively, and manage your brand?
  • Do you have an "influence strategy" and a "company storyline" that can be expounded?
Finally, I am reminded that all the best laid plans go astray. Take the Ryder Cup. If your golf tournament was flooded out by rain, could you contact all your VIP's and VIP handlers to let them know that they should delay departure by two hours?

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