Tuesday 19 June 2007

Case Study: Sony VAIO community

Sony VAIO community: Taking advantage of Online Communities for generating Innovative Ideas

[Robert Tietz & Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt]

What is the case study about?
It’s about the potential online communities can bring to pretty much any business. This is shown on an example of Sony Corporation and its line of VAIO computers.

What is the organisation?
Sony Corporation is one of the leading electronic and entertainment companies in the world.

What are the technology issues?
For many, Sony is perceived a fashionista accessory rather than a working tool. It is often over-priced and under-performing and this is most likely the main technological issue for this company. It is now seen as becoming more of a fashion house than a technology innovator.

Who are the principal actors?
Sony brand, Sony support and outside people interested in Sony.

What types of data were collected?
It can be considered both qualitative and quantitative because Webforums (other name for the described online communities) are a great source of both.

From which sources did they come?
In this case, all the data is coming from the Webforum.

How was the data recorded?
It is saved in the database. Any forum software has a database behind the scene and this one is no exception. Since mvnForum is a Java based application, the DB can be any supporting JDBC interface.

What was the situation previously?
CRM and market research.

What innovations have been introduced?
It is not clear what innovations were introduced in the company’s main business but the online community creation can be seen as an innovation in itself.

What were the general outcomes of this innovation?
People interested in Sony VAIO products could come to the site and utilise the public Knowledge and experience. And it this mutually beneficial process they (outside people) could become a source of innovation themselves.

What new technology has been introduced for this innovation?
The VAIO online community was built by nascom.be on mvnForum software and so is a Java based application using JDBC to communicate to databases. What databases are used is not clear and if there are some advanced database techniques used (like data-mining) is not known either.

What went well in this innovation?
· People came;
· People talked;
· People criticised;
· People suggested;
· Customers have become Prosumers.

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