The Kindle is the Amazon eBook reader, it’s not the only eBook reader around, so the product, or perhaps I should say technology, is neither unique, nor even new. I could justifiably express my amazement at the clarity of the screen, nobody who has seen my Kindle has not been absolutely amazed by this feature. The ergonomics are great too, makes a real book seem heavy and clumsy, but what makes it so important is it’s a living breathing example of ‘intimacy’ or CRM 2.0, and an Enterprise 2.0 business model.
Let me start of by explaining what I understand ‘intimacy’ and CRM 2.0 to be, then its relationship to technology and finally why Amazon Kindle is such a great example of this and the concept of an Enterprise 2.0 business model innovation. Oh and by the way I just love my Kindle and the way it works for me too.

‘Intimacy’ is one of those new terms that you hear around, and I am never sure how well it is understood, so let me try to explain it my way. If you have a contractor doing a job for you, could be some building work at your house, or Capgemini doing an IT project at work, and there needs to be an extension to the project you would almost certainly give it to the existing contractor. (This does assume that they are doing a reasonable job and living up to your expectations etc). The reason for this is ‘intimacy’. Quite simply everyone is intimate with all the mass of small details involved so it makes no sense to try to bring in a new contractor with all the time and difficulties it would involve to get them started and up the learning curve.
The whole CRM 2.0 angle is explored by various experts in detail, but again I will give my simple take on it. Intimacy tends to imply that people are involved and if we can improve the ways that people can collaborate together to make complex things work better with Web 2.0 technology, then we will all learn more, become more intimate and better able to get the details right. Now this is not strictly accurate, or a complete as an explanation, so for a full scale picture of CRM 2.O, and its role in helping an enterprise to manage its relationships with customers better then you really should go to an influential source.
For now you get the picture, and I will add one last comment by pointing out that the objectivity of Purchasing Departments is to remove the subjectivity of ‘Intimacy’. Some thing that is going to have to get addressed as we go forward with the actual act of the first purchase, on which they tend to be measured, becoming less and less a percentage of full cost of running the ongoing ‘services’ that will persist for several years to come.
My Kindle is always connected to Amazon, (well if in the US anyway, outside the US then my PC has to act as an intermediary). When I want to choose a book I can browse Amazon using all the customary tools that they provide to help me zone in on various selections that should be of interest given by past purchases. Amazon is intimately familiar with my reading choices, and its help is welcome to guide me through the thousands of books that would not be of interest towards the selection that is. Once I know which book I want then I do what they call a ‘one click’ purchase. Just one press of a button and the book is on my reader ready for me. If I want a news paper, or a magazine, or some music, its all there for one click that will charge it to my pre set up subscription account which debits it from my credit card.
Now that’s real CRM 2.0 to me! I am happily providing the information to the supplier in return for personalised service! Actually it’s more than that; it’s an Enterprise 2.0 style business model too. The whole process and ‘go to market’ has been changed by using technology. The impact of the new generation of Technology on a business, or a market, like this is profound, take a look at my colleague Pierre Hessler talking about this topic and the need for understanding the vision of how technology can, and will, impact your business, thorough what we at Capgemini call a ‘TechnoVision 2012’ process.
Its not just that Amazon can sell me more, though correctly I think it’s more a case I would choose to buy more if I can find and get what I want so easily, it’s also the fact that I am no longer around to be a potential customer to their competitors either. Will I bother to stop the car and get a newspaper? Go to a bookshop, on or off line, and mess around when it’s so quick? If I see a book I like at an airport shop will I buy it and carry it, or walk outside, and ‘Kindle’ it?
Nice one Amazon! Whether we call it ‘intimacy’ or ‘CRM 2.0’ it’s a real ‘win-win’ for both of us!
Note – Kindle is currently designed for use in the USA and many of its features are built round this market, but for those of you elsewhere it must be coming into your market soon!!