Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Networked David V/s the Standalone Goliath

The Dhaval Valia v/s Vodafone episode has a lot to teach us about the power of Social Media. Off course most of the credit has to go to Dhaval for the level-headed way he fought the war. He also maintained a record of all his correspondence with Vodafone.

There is learning in this for Vodafone also - it is not sufficient to monitor tweets and follow tweeps mentioning them ( I had also tweeted about them and was followed instantly). The people entrusted with this task have to be sensible enough to handle the issues raised. And for a service oriented company in a highly competitive market, it was sheer stupidity to sue a vocal consumer, more so when his claims of poor infrastructure can easily be verified.

This incident also proved that the virtual and real world are enmeshed - the story was picked up by Mumbai Mirror and NDTV. Let's hope other corporates monitoring social media use media for positive interaction with customers and use the feedback and comments to improve their products and services.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why do we compromise on Security?

Every day the newspapers are full of stories about robberies and thefts of valuables. The sad part is that most of these can be prevented by investing a small amount in security devices. Yet, we never give priority to such expenses. Even if a high risk group  like Jewellery stores spend on Security, it is just a token investment. Most of the Jewellers have installed CCTV cameras by now. But are these systems installed by the friendly neighbourhood computerwalla effective? Just glance through all the reported robberies from Jewellery stores in the recent past - the theft is discovered in the morning when the shop is opened. The CCTV system is just a mute spectator and is used for post-mortem of the event. Tragedy is, for a small amount more - as little as a couple of thousand rupees, these passive recording systems can be converted into active monitoring tools which can generate e-mail alerts in case of intrusion or sound an alarm or even switch on the lights. To be fair to the Jewellers, it is possible that they are not even aware of such capabilities.

It is up to the vendor to educate potential clients about the features and additional capabilities of the systems and leave it to to the clients' discretion about what level of security they require.Most vendors due discuss these with the clients, but some small time vendors are more interested in offering the lowest quote and bagging the order rather than spend time with the client and explore the best possible solution.

There is a need for an awareness campaign, but who will execute this? Who will bear the cost of educating high risk segments? What would be  the mechanism of information dissemination? Answers and comments welcome.