18 February 2005

My 15 minutes of fame

Please indulge me in posting this office-related article for my 15 minutes' claim to fame. Thanks!

RP firm to deploy blogging for intranet
Posted 07:11pm (Mla time) Feb 17, 2005
By Joey Alarilla
INQ7.net Infotech

PHILIPPINE systems integrator Trends and Technologies Inc. will soon expand its adoption of blogging as a business tool when it launches an internal blog network that will facilitate internal communications and enhance the intranet services available to employees.

"The final adjustments to the system are being made, and it will come out very soon. This blog is integrated into each employee’s private space on the intranet where they can also post photos and make their schedules public," Nick Ballesteros, marketing manager of Trends and Technologies, told INQ7.net via e-mail.

"We have dubbed the portal ‘Trendster,’ as it works much like Friendster. We are likewise optimistic about Trendster enhancing communications across peers and departments. For example, our business development managers plan to use their internal blog to post updates and news about their services for the consumption of the sales group. And aside from the business side of Trendster, we are confident that camaraderie between departments will also be enhanced through personal interactions. A lot of exciting things are happening here in our office, all because of blogging," Ballesteros shared.

Trends and Technologies offers a wide range of network integration services, including contact center; voice and data communications; videoconferencing; power; and network security and management solutions. It offers solutions from leading information and communications technology vendors such as Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, and Network Associates.

The decision to implement an internal blog network attests to how determined Trends and Technologies is to embrace the medium as a business tool, following the launch of its corporate blog at http://blogit.trends.com.ph/ on January 28.

Asked to recount how Trends and Technologies developed its corporate blog, Ballesteros replied: "We had a pre-business planning meeting with our boss last December. He encouraged us to be creative in our projects and activities, and bring fun back into the marketing department. Then, in one of our brainstorming meetings, my colleague (Pauline Tana) suggested having a blog for TTI. That was a great idea!

"So last January, I included this plan in my presentation to [the] ManCom, and a lot of questions and good feedback resulted from that introduction to blogging. Our software group is familiar with blogging too, so it was not that difficult to start our weblog. They set up the layout and the graphical user interface for posting articles."

Ballesteros is the administrator of blogIT but shares the responsibility for managing and publishing the content of the corporate blog with the members of the marketing team, business development managers, and other contributors in the organization. Since blogging is still a new concept to many members of the company, he said that they’re conducting ongoing blogIT orientations.

Asked how their corporate blog has enhanced their operations, Ballesteros replied: "There are lots of activities and plans being implemented at any given time here in our office, so it was rather difficult to squeeze them in[to] our newsletter project, with its pre-arranged content and deadline of publication. Blogging solved that problem. We can publish timely information, a larger group can actively participate in the generation of content, and best of all, it’s fun!"

He added that Trends and Technologies is "very enthusiastic about blogIT as a channel for more open and closer communications with our site guests and customers."

Ballesteros is also encouraging other Philippine companies to embrace blogging, though cautioning them against possible pitfalls.

"We are excited because we are among the first organizations here in the Philippines to embrace blogging as a business tool, and I do encourage other businesses to set up their own blogs, be it for internal use, or for their customers, or both! However, this new ‘source of freedom’ has another side of the coin, so to speak. There have been news articles of bloggers [ending up on the hot seat] because of articles that can be detrimental to their business (such as that of the Microsoft employee posting a photo of Mac deliveries in their office). Which also makes me very cautious about posting business-related matters in my personal blog.

"So before starting a business blog, make sure that the rules and guidelines have been made and communicated properly to everyone, including employees keeping personal blogs. It may look restrictive (and even obvious, such as the prohibition of profanity), but it will be for the best of everyone in the long run.

"Also, the business blog should be honest about its goals and objectives. Visiting bloggers are smarter than others credit them to be, as can be attested by a certain car manufacturer that tried to promote its cars in the guise of a supposed teen-age blogger (He is referring to Mazda’s ill-fated attempt--Ed.). Their ploy was revealed when this alleged blogger started posting ads that were normally beyond public access. Increasing speculations closed down that blog," Ballesteros said.

In the end, like any other tool, blogging can be good or bad for business, depending on how a company uses it. Yet as more individuals and companies start embracing blogging, the question for Philippine firms might soon be: Will you wait for competitors to begin their blog before you launch yours?

E-mail the author at joeyalarilla@gmail.com
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