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Crowdsourcing and CRM

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Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call. This may be a paid or unpaid exercise, but surely fun filled and mind boggling. That’s lot of English, so let me summarize the points:

  • Tasks outsourced
  • To a large community
  • Through an open call
  • Free or Paid
  • Fun!

This is an excellent model to enable individuals and groups to innovate, create, produce, report, predict, collaborate, fund and to engage constituents.

The term “Crowdsourcing” has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies, to achieve business goals. Nowadays we see crowdsourcing being applied in every field: Software, Engineering, Service, Media and more.

For Instance, Facebook one of the biggest social Networks in the world, wanted to translate their website into multiple languages. But they didn’t want to hire translators or outsource the work to individual companies, due to the possible rigidity and set mind frame of the Translators. They came up with the idea of Crowdsourcing, where they threw an open invitation to their users.

Means, users of Facebook English, translated the given set of words, and submitted their entries. The system then invited its users to vote on best translations. This helped facebook generate translations that are commonly used and also technically sound.

Here are the 8 steps in Crowdsourcing, explained by this wonderful diagram:

(Image Courtesy: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crowdsourcing_process2.jpg)

Metrics:
A sizable 44% of executives say their companies have used Crowdsourcing to engage stakeholders around CSR programs.

  • An overwhelming majority (95%) of executives who have used Crowdsourcing found it valuable.
  • The top reasons executives find Crowdsourcing valuable are that it surfaces new perspectives and diverse opinions (36%), and builds engagements and relationships with key audiences (25%).
  • Interestingly, among those who have not yet used Crowdsourcing, 43 percent anticipate that Crowdsourcing could be valuable to their future CSR efforts.

Source: http://www.webershandwick.com/resources/ws/flash/SI_FastFactsCrowdSourcing.pdf

Oracle, market leaders in CRM and other enterprise software, has integrated this Crowdsourcing into its CRM releases (Siebel Enterprise, CRM On Demand).

The announcement can be read in this URL: http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/productivity_apps/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229301076&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All

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