Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility

How Mobile Phones Are Driving Business and Social Impact

If you look around and think everyone has a mobile phone, you’re right. There are almost as many mobile subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people in the world (7.1 billion), according to the International Telecommunication Union.

Even in developing countries, the mobile penetration rate (the number of mobile phone numbers within a specific population) is 89 percent. Between 2011 to 2016, the number of mobile phones in Africa is expected to double from 500 million to 1 billion–nearly the entire population. But how are we all using our mobile phones?

What we’re learning is that a mobile phone can transform someone’s life, especially for underserved populations and/or those living in remote locations. They enable financial inclusion for the 1.8 billion people with access to a phone but not a bank. They provide farmers with information on market prices and weather reports, and they link micro and small entrepreneurs to markets and potential buyers. And, they provide mothers with important information to keep themselves and their children healthy. All this relevant and actionable information is getting to people who aren’t able to access this type of information via the Internet or in person.

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

But we’re also learning that organizations — large, for-profit corporations and small, nonprofit social enterprises alike — are using mobile technology to operate better and smarter. Organizations are using mobile phones to gather real-time data that help them make informed business decisions and that yield social impact.

Let me introduce you to two organizations that have developed innovative technology tools that are driving this double bottom line business and social impact.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Enterprise 2.0 — A Social Enterprise on Cloud Becomes Emergent Reality

In 2006, Professor Andrew McAfee coined the term ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and he described it as “the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers”. Due to the advent of social media in the corporate world, enterprises have started to become borderless. Delighting customers by knowing who they are and what they like is a key driver for many organizations to evolve into a social enterprise.

Fortunately, it is possible to deliver exceptional customer experience by leveraging social media and I practically witnessed it during Dreamforce, 2011. After attending more than a dozen breakout sessions and demos, I had a chance to review the underlying architecture, software, services, and mobile applications which can empower businesses to become more Social, Mobile and Local. The bottom line is that technology readiness is no longer an issue. An enterprise can now connect and collaborate with their partners as well as customers in a whole new way!

During the keynote presentations, numerous examples where shared showcasing how companies are using social CRM to delight their customers. I will share some of these examples later in this post. However, to deliver a personalized social experience companies will have to bridge the gap between data and people, which is possible by building a social profile for customers. Let’s look into a high level architecture used for delivering the above experience. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,