HP's Good News: The Technology Company's Asia-Pacific Enterprise News Service Consolidates Information, Providing Better Communication and Saving Money to Boot

By Ekstedt, Peter | Communication World, May-June 2006 | Go to article overview

HP's Good News: The Technology Company's Asia-Pacific Enterprise News Service Consolidates Information, Providing Better Communication and Saving Money to Boot


Ekstedt, Peter, Communication World


In 2003, the enterprise sales force in Hewlett-Packard's Asia-Pacific (AP) region found itself inundated with information. More than 650 HP products had been introduced in the previous year, and with those new products had come new specifications, prices, features and packages. Critical information was not well timed, coordinated or targeted through the technology company's primary existing communication channels--e-newsletters sent via e-mail to sales representatives. Consequently, the sales team was overwhelmed and underserved.

Different business units, product teams and functions were producing more than 35 of these electronic communications, with information often being duplicated at worldwide, regional and country levels. To keep up with all of HP's product offerings, salespeople needed to read as many as two dozen of the e-newsletters, some of which came out weekly, some monthly and still others quarterly. Few salespeople had the time, though, and as a result they were not always able to draw together and present the full power of the HP portfolio to their customers.

A task force spearheaded by the AP internal communication department recognized that the region's 2,400 salespeople could be more successful if they received timely, coordinated information from a single source. The company's marketing and product communication teams, which were producing the e-newsletters, needed a faster, less expensive way to get information to the right audience and to maintain control over their content.

The solution was the AP Enterprise News Service, a customized, web-based, one-to-one marketing program developed primarily for two audiences: the 2,400 sales people in HP's AP region, and the business unit marketing and product communication teams that were generating the e-newsletters.

ObJectives

The primary objectives of the AP Enterprise News Service were:

* Improve field knowledge of the full HP enterprise portfolio.

* Consolidate the e-newsletters intelligently so that the sales force would have one trusted source for enterprise news, product information and sales resources--the consolidation could not just replace multiple e-newsletters with one that was 12 times longer. The solution also had to reduce the cost and effort of producing multiple newsletters.

* Enable salespeople to customize the internal news they receive via e-mail.

* Remove the production bottlenecks inherent in the e-newsletters so that breaking news could be included within a few hours of each edition's publication.

* Introduce weekly editions so there would be minimal delay in news dissemination.

* Ensure that the resulting output complies with HP's visual brand identity.

* Implement metrics that would allow AP'S internal communication team to track subscription preferences, usage and readership.

* Grow revenue for the AP region.

Solution and implementation

The AP Enterprise News Service lets subscribers create personal profiles based on their jobs, geographic areas, customer segments, and HP solutions and products of interest. After signing up, subscribers receive a customized weekly news bulletin. Although the subscription process is easy to complete, a video tutorial is available to anyone who needs guidance.

Submitting news is equally simple. Content owners--typically the product and marketing teams--cut and paste copy into a web page and tick boxes to indicate which job roles, geographic areas, customer segments, and HP solutions and products are discussed in their stories. …

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