What Is Virtual Optimization?

by Jay Deragon on 12/30/2008

services_img2Virtual optimization is a term which refers to leveraging social technologies and resources for the purposes of lowering business expense while optimizing performance. The emergence of evolving social technologies goes way beyond the current usage aimed at public relations and marketing.

Facilitating any and all business transactions requires communications. Whether with customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees or entire markets the fundamental process that influences all outcomes is communications. While the need for effective communications has not changed the methods have and the social web offers rich and robust methods waiting to be tapped. Today’s social tools offer not only improved marketing and public relations methods but even more to facilitating operating processes seamlessly. Just consider what the how customers can better be served via wikis’ micro-blogging, service blogs, custom social networks, video’s etc etc. Use of these tools can reduce operating cost and improve relations across the entire spectrum of relationships.

Internally employees can leverage creativity and knowledge by using social tools to share experiences or brainstorm to solve new problems. Employees can also participate in the development of new products or services, consider what Best Buy has done. Sales and marketing resources can get equipped with tools that create greater reach and richness aimed at creating and sustaining relationships and do so without flying to any one location. The virtual world is a canvas for people to draw on, create, engage and collaborate at speeds never before experienced.

What Can Be Optimized?

Every business, regardless of size, is faced with the challenge of producing more with less resources and time. Virtual optimization focuses on:

1. Faster deployment of innovative tools to solve common problems

2. Shorter processing times whether for customer, employee or supplier request

3. Improved business performance by lower cost and improving productivity

4. Outsourcing task oriented resources and processes at lower cost

These are just a few of the wishes and demands of business. Time-to-market is decisive; in some industries, six months too late on the market can already be decisive in losing the race for market leadership. The key to success lies in virtual techniques. These are an extremely cost-effective way to increase productivity in all phases of the business life cycle. Virtual Technology and related services for
the optimization of business performance will be the modern methods of progressive organizations.

Besides facilitating existing resources business can also tap into virtual resources at lower cost. John Jantsch writes in the Amex Open Forum: One of the ways small businesses are dealing with shifting economic fortunes is finding ways to keep expenses flexible. If you are trying to carve out a new market niche, create a new product line or simply remake your business into something entirely new, fixed costs such as a lease or full time staff can make charting a new course a bit trickier.

Though virtual outsourced labor and flexible office arrangements have been around for a while, these two industries as a whole are experiencing an entirely new round of interest.

Using a virtual assistant to create marketing materials, update websites and even handle customer service calls is a very smart way to keep fixed expenses down. While this arrangement still involves training and monitoring, costs for services can be attributed almost on an as-needed basis.

In many cases, organizations find they can tap into pools of assistants with very high levels of expertise in very specialized areas – something that may be difficult to find or afford in a full-time position. One virtual resource highlighted in this article was Davinici Virtual.

Will Business Optimize?

To optimize something usually it requires redesign to make things more efficient. Given the economic downturn most businesses will be forced to look at ways to optimize just to stay in business. This means to examine alternative ways to produce more with less for the purposes of optimizing performance.

The social web provides many valuable attributes that businesses can use to optimize performance. Business adoption of the social web tools is gaining traction within numerous industries. There even seems to be a rush to understand the medium and how to use it to gain strategic advantages which fuel economic gains, whether expense reduction or revenue growth. There is even a movement to outsourcing the task required to maximize use of the social web.

The social web provides all the tools that enable business optimization. With the President Elect highlighting the use of social media and the demand for more efficiency 2009 will likely see a significant surge in businesses using social technologies.

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