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D-Day for the Enterprise

Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 14, 2007

D-Day When I find myself talking about this market, I find I resort a lot to metaphors. My latest was a grand sweeping epic tale about how those of us who have been on the front lines of enterprise 2.0 evangelism are too few to make a big difference and that what we need are armies of foot soldiers to “take the beach” of the enterprise mainland to start liberating the masses.

Of course, we’re really not talking about bloody coups and revolutions that require heavy artillery, but we could stand to fill out the ranks with more legions of believers. The best way I know how to do that is not with guns, but with enlightenment and education. It’s the old intellectual argument of “books, not guns” to overthrow the fascist regime, I guess. (Speaking of fascist regimes, Tom Davenport is at it again with his denouncement of all things enterprise 2.0.)

In the spirit of allied invasion then, regular ITSinsiders know what a sycophantic fanboy (oops, fangirl) I am of Dion Hinchcliffe and the work he has been publishing on Enterprise 2.0. Even before I joined BSG Alliance; Dion, Kate Allen (Dion’s COO), and I had been having a series of discussions about working together on research and various writing projects. After I joined BSG, I continued my pursuit to work with Dion in a meaningful capacity. I’m happy to report we have finally signed a deal. BSG Alliance announced today we will partner with Hinchcliffe & Co. to teach fundamentals of web 2.0 to the enterprise. This is an excellent alliance for us and will lead to synergistic benefits for all our combined members and clients. I’m particularly pleased it all came together at this juncture.

Although we both have our individual goals of consulting, educating, and raising awareness regarding the benefits of enterprise 2.0 for large organizations, the opportunity exists for all of us to “mash-up” our competencies and address the growing market interest together. Collaboration is the name of the game, and the more who participate in the market in these early stages, the better it is for all of us.

Similarly, I had a wonderful long talk yesterday with Steve Wylie who is starting to think about next year’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston. Steve and I will be collaborating on this conference, similarly to how I help Ismael with the Office 2.0 conference even though, of course, BSG Alliance runs a fairly aggressive and successful conference program. It’s all good. Stay tuned for more news to come in the next few weeks.

Posted in blogs, conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Office 2.0, Social Media, Web 2.0 | Comments Off

Show me the money… not the smiley faces.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 8, 2007

When I was interviewing Nathan Gilliatt a few months ago for a webinar we were doing for our clients on the basics of blogging, he introduced me to the importance of online communities. I felt so strongly that he was correct about online communities’ importance in the social media landscape that I recommended incorporating a session on online communities at Office 2.0 and had Dion Hinchcliffe host the panel. A few weeks ago, I serendipitously stumbled upon a Social Media Club of Austin meeting on Facebook where Dell managers were going to be presenting their blogging and online community experiences. Caroline Dietz, the online community manager for Dell’s IdeaStorm gave a good synopsis of how the community is harvested for new product ideas and improvements for Dell. I had the opportunity to spend a few moments afterwards talking to Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, which I really enjoyed.

The one question I managed to get in during the open forum that I felt was obligatory was related to how measurable an impact has Dell’s social media strategy been on Dell’s business–in material (read:financial) terms. There was a lot of discussion regarding how the social media strategy is changing the culture at Dell, how customer satisfaction is improving, etc. And, I’ve seen some reports on the before and after social media at Dell. But, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask a public company if this social media razzmatazz has really made, well, a serious difference in the company’s affairs. It’s so easy to be seduced by this technology and to see it working for startups and small pilots, but large public companies have weighty issues.

I’ve attended enough investor analyst conferences, and I’m wondering can Dell’s social media strategy help Michael Dell the next time he’s in front of Citigroup’s Richard Gardner and he has to explain why Dell has fallen from the #1 PC maker to the #2 PC maker worldwide? Better– can Dell’s social media strategy play a role in regaining Dell’s market leadership position?

NYTimes IDC chartI’m also wondering why in this recent interview (9/7) with Steve Lohr of the New York Times, why didn’t Michael Dell take the opportunity to highlight how the company is effectively using social media to help Dell “get back to its roots” by directly speaking to the customer base (and listening in return)? Dietz’s answer to my direct question about whether there have been any material results from the efforts was more or less, “no.” But, maybe it’s just too early to tell. Menchaca said Dell started the blog in July of 2006, so perhaps the results are not yet measurable in these terms.

I guess I’m just in the mood for some results. There is a wide and growing wider community of experts in the social media space. Perhaps there is solid data on this that I have not seen. Something we’ve been discussing in the Enterprise Irregulars group is how social media and enterprise 2.0 differ which would account for it having slipped my view, but that topic is a post for another day and probably involves taking a crack once again at the arbiter of all 2.0 legitimacy: wikipedia. Not sure I’m in the mood for fighting with the wikipedians.

The session with the Dell folks was interesting, despite my growing impatience for iron-clad case studies of 2.0 in business success. I learned a lot, actually. John Moore, a leading marketing consultant, blogger, and author of Tribal Knowledge, was in attendance at the SMC meeting. He videotaped parts of the event and posted these copious notes on his blog:

re: Dell’s Social Media Goals
1 | Enter into conversations with customers everyday in every major language
2 | Address any form of customer dissatisfaction head-on knowing that not everything will be solved and some of Dell’s weaknesses will be exposed
4 | Encourage “crowd sourcing” as the next step in listening to customers
5 | Use video to personalize the Dell story
[John Pope, digital media senior manager]


re: Dell’s Beginning Blogging Efforts
Contrary to perception, Dell didn’t start blogging because of Jeff Jarvis. However, Jeff’s rants did help Dell realize there were customer service issues the company needed to address.In April of 2006, Michael Dell charged Dell to proactively find dissatisfied customers in the blogosphere and connect them with someone at Dell who could help them. By July, Dell had launched its blogging efforts.Dell stumbled with the initial launch of their Direct2Dell blog. They listened to feedback on how to improve it, namely adding links in posts linking to other bloggers. Dell adjusted and in some cases apologized for making a mistake.
[Lionel Menchaca, digital media manager]


re: Changing the Tone of the Conversation about Dell
At the low point in 2006, Dell calculated at least 50% of the online conversation about Dell was negative. Today, Dell calculates the negative online conversation percentage number has been reduced to 23%. Dell doesn’t attribute all its blogging efforts to stemming the negative online conversation, but they are confident that blogging has helped.
[Lionel Menchaca]


re: “Wins” in the Blogosphere
90% of the time Dell enters into a conversation, it “wins.” A “win” happens when (a) you enter the conversation and just thank someone for giving their opinion and (b) when you weigh-in on a negative thread with clarification of facts and the negativity subsides.
[John Pope]


re: Dell’s Process for Posting on the Direct2Dell blog
Lionel serves as “editor-in-chief” for the Direct2Dell blog. As the editor-in-chief, Lionel balances three areas when it comes to topics the company chooses to blog about:
(1) content/ideas from Dell’s cadre of bloggers
(2) comments from Direct2Dell readers … if a topic emerges from readers, then Dell knows it needs to blog about that topic
(3) the need to add Dell’s voice to an online conversation that directly or indirectly impacts Dell.
[Lionel Menchaca]


re: Moderating Comments
Dell moderates comments on the Direct2Dell blog. On busy weeks, Dell receives up to 400 comments. Well over 90% of those comments get posted following a quick look-see. Dell uses common sense guidelines when deciding which comments to moderate. Dell’s three common sense rules are:
(1) No profanity
(2) No direct attacks on Direct2Dell readers
(3) Anything addressing legal issues are not posted,
[Lionel Menchaca]


re: IdeaStorm
The Direct2Dell blog changed how the company viewed online customer conversations. In the past, Dell wasn’t comfortable with participating or reacting to the conversations happening online about the company. However, the company now understands the importance of participating and reacting to the online conversation … so much so that … directly soliciting ideas from the online community was the next step in Dell’s social media strategy.In Febuary 2007, Dell launched IdeaStorm — which is, simplistically speaking, an “online suggestion box” inviting people to offer ideas on how Dell can improve its products and services.One unique aspect to IdeaStorm is Dell is now able to close the loop with feedback from customers. When customers post ideas on IdeaStorm, Dell is able to follow-up with posts/comments explaining that the company heard them and explain what Dell is doing in response.Dell views IdeaStorm as a way its product development team can co-create products with customers. Pre-installed Linux on Dell computers was one of the first ideas generated from IdeaStorm that Dell product developers worked with customers to co-create and introduce to the marketplace.There are about 35 other ideas Dell has put into action as a response to listening to feedback from customers on IdeaStorm.
[Caroline Dietz, online community manager for IdeaStorm]

re: Lessons Dell is Learning from IdeaStorm
While there have been many successes with IdeaStorm, Dell is still adapting to how this initiative is changing the culture at the company. Being more transparent and sharing company information isn’t a cornerstone of the Dell corporate culture. However, IdeaStorm requires a certain comfort level with being open and forthcoming that Dell employees are adjusting to. Clearly, Dell’s participation in the online social media world is having an impact on its company culture.
[Caroline Dietz]


re: Dell EmployeeStorm
As a result of the success IdeaStorm has had in generating ideas from customers, Dell has launched EmployeeStorm to generate ideas and comments from its 88,000 employees. A by-product has been employees are learning to become more comfortable sharing ideas and adding comments that they are now more willing to participate in IdeaStorm.
[Caroline Dietz]

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Irregulars, Office 2.0, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Enterprise vendors start beating the drum

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 26, 2007

IBM web2.0 goes to work Last week was a banner 2.0 week for enterprise vendors. Gee. Do you think they were reading my blog? The week got off to a good start for me with a snappy little web 2.0 seminar hosted right here in Austin by IBM, “Web 2.0 Goes to Work.” Of course, SAP announced SAP By Design, but my fellow Irregulars did an awesome job conveying the import of that announcement. ibm seminar logoLike I said to Charlie Wood at lunch the other day, “I can’t even spell SAP…” So, I won’t attempt to comment on the SAP announcement. I’m scheduled to attend SAP’s TechEd Conference next week. We’ll see if I can be learnt.

On the IBM gig, I was surprised, frankly, to find that both Rod Smith and David Barnes were both in attendance at this seminar and both presented. Smith wasn’t there for the whole shindig, but he was there to lend executive support to the the day. Smith related some anecdotal accounts of IBM’s experiences discussing 2.0 with key accounts. In general he said it’s easier to sit with lines of business now (as opposed to IT) to brainstorm ideas. With these new approaches, customers are willing to experiment more, even fail if need be, rather than wait for long, protracted 6-month development efforts that incorporate all the bells and whistles required to support the enterprise environment such as security, privacy, and compliance. Smith said, “That takes time, and [LOBs are] willing to take certain risks.” What I loved about Smith’s early discussions with IBM customers was the interest level about what was possible in the enterprise. He expressed the sentiment that customers want information to be “mashable, remixable…” that they started looking at their data as modular assets– using it in ways they hadn’t planned for. One example yielded an unexpected result when a mashup uncovered shipping information that helped a global distribution company combat piracy on the high seas.

After Smith and Barnes were done keynoting and introducing, for some reason, they made us all wear white lab coats (question mark?) and we self-sectioned off into three breakout sessions focused on each of the three main areas: collaboration, mashups, and IT integration with web 2.0 (my interpretation). I attended the first and the last, as I was having a private demo of QEDWiki in a few days. The collaboration session drew a mix of IBMers, customers, and partners. Questions ranged from, “How do I get people in my company to collaborate with these new tools?” to “How can we get access to data buried deep inside those web2.0-soulless mainframes?” Okay, well that was me asking that question. I had the good fortune to be sitting next to a veteran IBMer who said it IS possible to layer on interfaces to get access to all data in the enterprise so folks can collaborate on just about anything. The question then became– how willing would IT be to let the whole company have open and free access to that data? And round and round we went…

On the IT software integration session, my BSG colleagues were particularly engaged. IBM has packaged its offerings under the bundle, “Info 2.0.” It’s basically an integrated suite of technologies that enable the creation of mashable content. At present, I believe it includes what they’re currently calling DAMIA which transforms content into syndication feeds, the Mashup Hub where you discover, catalog, tag feeds for remixing and then syndicate content and then finally, QEDWiki which I’ve blogged about before and will later. They also have something called Ms. Rita (lovely Rita, “meter maid” in a too short uniform skirt that will never fly with corporate branding IMHO; sheesh, boys!) which is a configurable “utilization management service” to meter, monitor, and monetize web 2.0 an SOA components, applications or environments. Miss Rita (or, whatever) will probably not be available in the first release of the Info 2.0 announcement, not sure why. One fairly cool IBM application in beta right now is Many Eyes. Check it out for a free trial. If you want to see some of these tools in action check out some of these demos, podcasts, and videos.

Blogger transparency dictates that I confess I’m not qualified to comment on the technical intricacies of IBM’s foray into web 2.0, but I give Big Blue huge points for promoting web 2.0 in the enterprise. Like SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, IBM has something the startups do not: a massive installed base. Even if only IBM puts some massive marketing muscle behind evangelizing, I kind of don’t care if their solutions and approach are a yawner. My sense is, they are serious about this sector for interesting economic motives that may possibly not be obvious to us right now. For instance, did it ever occur to anyone that “the cloud” is not really a cloud at all? Is IBM viewing the 2.0 transformation as an opportunity to reap big benefits from big iron? Just food for thought. Here are two pieces to ponder– one from the WSJ, one from CIO insight.

A few days after the seminar, I had the chance to revisit with Dan Gisolfi to see what he’s been up to lately with QEDWiki. Dan has teamed up with John Musser of Programmable Web. I will have more on that later this week, maybe tomorrow, as well as a report from an interesting meeting I attended with the local Social Media Club here in Austin.

Posted in AJAX, conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Irregulars, mashups, Office 2.0, SAP, SOA, Social Media, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Enterprise 2.0 at the Crossroads

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 13, 2007

So, I moved half-way across the country and have just returned from the second highly successful Office 2.0 conference. I started to live-blog the sessions, but soon gave up. There were a number of folks live-blogging, and I was really interested in the sessions, so I just wanted to listen. Sorry.

Let’s Celebrate the Entrepreneur, Shall We?

I feel the urge to pontificate on where I think we are with Enterprise 2.0. But first, let me say a few words on behalf of the heroes of the Office 2.0 conference. The true heroes of that event are the entrepreneurs, the startup CEOs and founders/developers who are taking the career risks and living on sheer faith. I believe it was John Creason, Chief Technology Officer, Smartsheet.com who you can watch here (Office 2.0 Set-up) who summed up the conference’s RON (Return on Networking) best:

“If I look at the Office 2.0 conference and what it’s meant to our company… A year ago, on this stage, I felt like we were giving our birth announcement for our company. We were young; I think we had less than 100 customers– most of those were friends and family… What happens here is a exchange of ideas. I was at the cocktail party Wednesday night. I walked out of the cocktail party with enough good ideas from talking to smart people here that if I would have went home [then], I would have been happy… Last year, Rafe Needleman beat us up on some ideas about our model– our pricing, our distribution– and in the last year, we’ve gone from under one hundred customers to 15,000 teams using our product, close to a Series A with Madrona, and we have paying customers in 15 countries. So, the ideas, the network, what happens here, is important…”

While I was scouting about recruiting folks to speak for the conference, I attempted to get some 1.0 (and 0.0) tech icons to talk about the Future of Computing. I talked about Ismael Ghalimi’s vision for Office 2.0. Because Ismael has planned the Office 2.0 conference from soup to nuts in 6-8 weeks each year– which is remarkable in its own right– it was tough recruiting anyone at the last minute. For the record, it’s worth noting that I truly believe Ismael is one of this generation’s leading visionaries. He has been faithful to his No Installed Apps pledge and has been running completely “in the cloud” for the past 18 months. I know there are others who have made the all-online transformation, like Dennis Howlett, but Ismael runs a fairly intense open source BPM company, Intalio, with customers and employees all over the world. More importantly, he is pushing the community to extend the limits of the “officeless office” including mobile platforms and helping to establish standards such as the OpenSAM framework. At the end of the day, it’s leadership that makes the difference for movements and “paradigm shifts” to succeed in technology. As I solicited recruits for speakers, I found myself comparing Ismael to a young Steve Jobs. He has a lot of heart, energy, smarts, a passionate network of friends and supporters, and runs somewhat counter-culture to the mainstream. Interesting comparison.

I just love entrepreneurs– the successful ones, the struggling ones, even the obnoxious ones (should we name names?) I was reminded here in Austin of the power of entrepreneurs when I signed up for my new Chase account here in Texas. When I told the Chase branch manager I worked for BSG Alliance, he told me BSG Alliance was a key account for Chase and I was entitled to a host of privileged banking services. Now, at the risk of sounding like a (gulp) Republican (does it happen that fast in Texas?), it occurred to me how badly we need to encourage entrepreneurs in our tech economy. I remember Steve Papermaster (BSG Alliance CEO) when he was just a young guy, a struggling entrepreneur. Some twenty years later, he’s created hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs. That’s awesome.

Maybe for the next Office 2.0 conference I will give away tee shirts that say, “Have you hugged an entrepreneur today?”

Enterprise 2.0 Rubber will meet the Road this year

Dr. Phil Over the past six months, I’ve had more exposure to large customers. I’ve come to the simplistic conclusion that just because you “can” DIY doesn’t necessarily mean you should in the enterprise. About this time last year, I was writing about user angst and dissatisfaction with the IT department and how this pent up demand will propel maverick departments to choose alternate methods to collaborate “under the radar” of IT. I believe that will continue. But what will be the result? Isolated uses of wikis, blogs, RSS aggregators that will be disenfranchised from enterprise applications. The reality is– you need IT on board with enterprise 2.0 adoption to really maximize the depth and breadth of these tools for the enterprise. For large enterprises, that is.

As I learn more about large organizations, I feel like each CIO I meet transmogrifies into Dr. Phil and says, “Get real, dude. We run a serious company here. We’re not going to put our assets at risk by exposing them to anything beyond our complete control.” It’s not that they’re control freaks; they’re liable for where, when, how, and why the information in the enterprise is handled. Period. That’s their job. You would think IT’s only stakeholders are users (err, people who work), but they’re also accountable to lawyers, the government, the board of directors, investors, stockholders, who did I miss? You see my point. So, I’m getting real. Not liking it, but I’m getting real. And, is it their fault that enterprise applications are so godawful impenetrable? So, I’m lightening up on IT. Hoping to see more idealistic enterprise 2.0 principles coming from Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle (MISO). SAP seems to be leading the pack here. Just about every blogger I know (okay, an exaggeration) lists SAP as a client, so they’re getting lots of 2.0 advice.

I’ve begun to see some good posts lately in the e2.0 “getting real” vein, such as this one, “Enterprise 2.0 Show me the ROI.” Perhaps it’s my bias, but I was happy to see Bill Ives’ post this week on Serena Software. In the grab-bag of Enterprise 2.0 tricks for the enterprise that have the most promise, my money is on mash-ups. We were having a conversation about this at the Office 2.0 cocktail party. (By the way, please VOTE for my panel hosted by David Berlind at SXSW on mash-ups). Mash-ups are technical enough to be interesting to IT folks, and simple enough in the way they solve business problems so that business users will clamor for them.

Then, what is at the intersection of Office 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0? No doubt we will see liberal infiltration of social networking in the enterprise via blogs, Facebook and Facebook-esque platforms (for instance, we use a private instance of Ning at BSG, which we love) to communicate and connect, as well as online communities and ad-hoc wikis for collaborating. Knowledge workers (ordinary web-savvy folk) will also graft on their own instances of Google apps for the enterprise, as well as experiment with dozens of online apps such as all of those represented at the Office 2.0 conference. I’m certain individuals and small groups will see productivity gains and experience the synergies 2.0 fusion brings to newcomers. But, until IT embraces and synchronizes its own Enterprise 2.0 strategy for the global-intergalactic-infrastructure-labyrinth, chances are we won’t see the technicolor dream unfold… it will take a village (IT, enterprise vendors, knowledge workers, 2.0 startups, evangelists) to raise this child.

Ismael asked me to plan the next Enterprise 2.0 track for next year again. I tentatively said yes. If I do accept the challenge, I will continue to look for case studies of hard core evidence of Enterprise 2.0 working in large organizations. Whether it came in through the back door– bottom up (like Scott Gavin and Simon Revell who formed a rebel working 2.0 collaborative committee that is now the delight of Pfizer) or top down (like Adam Carson at Morgan Stanley after getting the nod from Chairman and CEO John Mack to pursue the strategy), the stories are excellent and everyone takes away something they can relate to.

I will continue to blog about developments in Enterprise 2.0; I’m still a stalwart believer. I’ve never known greater freedom and creativity as a knowledge worker 2.0 (see Stephen Collins’ fab presentation), but I know there is a tough mission ahead of us. The reality should be sinking in for all of us right about now.

 

 

Posted in conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Office 2.0, Personal Commentary, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Game Day: Office 2.0 in San Francisco

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 6, 2007

Here we are!

Ismael just informed me over 600 people have signed up for this year’s conference. I’m sitting here in the second row, close to the stage. My colleage, Tom Steinthal, and I got here early in the main show room to ensure we’d have a power source. There is a terrific wireless network this year, and the bandwidth on two floors is promising to deliver all the wifi all bloggers, speakers, and demo presenters need

If you were unable to get here this year, my friends at Veodia (remember Veodia from the McAfee/Davenport debate?) are live-streaming all the sessions. Information on that can be found here.

We’re getting some instruction on how to use our iPhones to navigate the conference. Very cool. About to start the first panel…

Update: The opening panel featured:

Om Malik (Moderator), Founder, GigaOmniMedia
Steven Aldrich, VP Strategy & Innovation, Small Business, Intuit
Denis Browne, Senior Vice President of Imagineering, Business User Organization, SAP Labs
Danny Kolke, Chief Executive Officer, Etelos
Richard McAniff, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Office, Microsoft
Jonathan Rochelle, Product Manager, Google Spreadsheets, Google

Opening panel Office 2.0

I was particularly impressed with Danny Kolke of Etelos.

Update:  Adam Carson kicked off the Enterprise 2.0 Track.  He’s doing a thorough job explaining the difference between web 2.0 and the realistic front line issues facing user adoption in the enterprise.   With his specific focus on the investment banking sector in the Financial Services market, he’s doing an excellent job kicking off the key issues he confronted during his 9-month journey as a one-man internal evangelist.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, Office 2.0, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0 | Comments Off

Googlicious

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 1, 2007

Well, although the Enterprise Irregular bloggers have been giving Google a hard time lately, particularly Josh who thinks Google is the next evil empire, I am just not feelin’ the, um, hate? Maybe it’s because I’m gearing up for the upcoming Office 2.0 conference, which is slated to sell out this weekend at 550 attendees– all interested in Google-esque business models and practices.

In the spirit of joie de online vivre, I leave you with this:

See you at Office 2.0! :-)

Posted in conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Irregulars, Office 2.0, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Office 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 Track Zeros in on Adoption Issues

Posted by Susan Scrupski on August 12, 2007

office 2.0 logo

In true 2.0 form, the conference organizers for the Enterprise 2.0 track team have been collaborating around the world, assembling an A-list of early adopters on Enterprise 2.0, evangelists, and visionary entrepreneurs. Using Skype, IM, wikis, and the occasional email, we have been able to bring together a terrific team of speakers from three continents.

Ismael will be posting the agenda sometime in the next 24 hours, and some of the invited speakers are not yet confirmed, but I wanted to start getting the word out about what we have going on on our side of the house (there is a mobility track running concurrently with the Enterprise 2.0 track).

I already blogged about the dynamic duo Gavin/Revell Show which will open the conference track on Day One. This presentation will set the agenda for much of what will be discussed at the remainder of the two days of the conference, as these guys were early into the Enterprise 2.0 game. As Ismael is interested in focusing this year specifically on customer issues, the Pfizer case study will cover the gamut of early adoption issues. I don’t know exactly what these guys will present, but if my hunch is correct, you may want to bring ear plugs to soften the sound effects of their presentation. :-)

We also looked hard at what is happening in the social media space in the enterprise. We are still trying to put this together, but our intention is to have Facebook, Ning, Plaxo, and LinkedIn together on a panel moderated by Shel Israel. Shel has agreed, and we’re slowly signing up the vendors… I’m particularly excited about this one. Please start formulating your questions for this panel. Remember, you’ll be able to send your questions directly to the panel via your iPhone…

Like Andy McAfee says, “It’s not (just) the technology.” Culture, culture, culture is the new barometer for success with Enterprise 2.0. But cultural changes can be painful especially within a large enterprise. Some argue they are too disruptive to be effective and that hierarchical systems work for a reason. We put together an expert panel on Culture in the Enterprise to discuss these larger issues. Similarly, we will have a Customer Panel who will share real war stories from the trenches. From investment banks to pharmaceuticals to manufacturers, hear first hand from evangelists and practitioners what’s working and what’s not.

Day Two begins with a presentation by Adam Carson who has been on a mission to bring Enterprise 2.0 to Morgan Stanley. Adam’s story took some interesting twists and turns this year. Everyone will find something they can relate to in Adam’s presentation. Then, coming from half-way around the world will be Stephen Collins who has done some of the best slideshare presentations I’ve seen on Enterprise 2.0 this year. Steve will present “Knowledge Worker 2.0.” Who is the KW2.0? It’s you.

This year’s new collaboration tool is mindmapping. We included a session on the power of visual collaboration. This panel will explain this powerful new collaborative tool and how to employ it within the enterprise. Finally, still pending confirmation, we hope to have Dion Hinchcliffe give us a wrap-up of the state-of-the-market in Enterprise 2.0 and then lead a panel on company-sponsored user communities such as SAP’s Software Developer Network (SDN). Other user communities we are recruiting include Sony, Webex, and Atlassian. If you have a large user community and would like to be on this panel, please let us know.

These sessions may change as we near the conference date, but this is what we have planned thus far. Keep checking the Office 2.0 site for Ismael’s posting of the conference track agenda.

Posted in blogs, conferences, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0, RSS, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0, Wikis | Comments Off

Plaxo? Well, well, well. An old friend suddenly turns heads.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on August 6, 2007

So, I’ve been using Plaxo for a long time now. Probably years? I dunno. When did they launch? I seem to remember always having my contacts online with Plaxo in recent years. It’s always been handly to have an online database of my contacts. Plus, I really like the user-generated, self-maintenance of my personal contact database. Makes life really easy for people who never getting around to digital housekeeping. I guess LinkedIn is the same idea, but Plaxo has always been a nice convenience for me, but something I would have filed in the “personal productivity” category of life’s niceties. Kind of like a Swiffer or my Polaris.

But, all that is changing. Little Plaxo may be the engine that just could give Facebook a run for its market dominance. I know I’m not the only one who thinks so. I saw this piece on Wired today, “Slap in the Facebook: It’s Time for Social Networks to Open up.” It was also picked up by Tom Regan, an NPR blogger, here. And I’ve already blogged about the impression Plaxo made out at mashup camp with its 3.0 release demo.

What I really like so far about the Plaxo platform is the sensible approach to the nonsensible “friending” silliness of Facebook. For instance, our HR leadership at BSG Alliance has a hard time embracing Facebook as a serious social networking platform when new employees and customers are faced with choices such as these (see screen shot):

Facebook hookupsAnd try as hard as I might to convince others that Facebook really is for business, “REALLY GUYS!”, screen shots emailed around the company like this don’t help my case much. So, I have to concede that, yes, Facebook still has a way to go before we can allow it into the realm of real corporate power, quiet dignity, and serious prestige that comes with the territory of selling to the F500.

So, Plaxo, which did not start its business plan in a college dorm room majoring in party photos, approached the social networking exercise the way business people actually are networking. Basically in three large buckets: Business, Friends (real friends), and Family. Perfect.

Taking a page out of David Weinberger’s, “Everything is Miscellaneous” perhaps, we all can probably sort everyone we know into those three categories if we had to and add some to both or all three depending on how relationships change in our lives over time. Plaxo starts with the whole “mess” (in Weinberger’s terms), and we customize the sort from what we have already– if you’re already a Plaxo user, that is. I guess it’s even easier if you’re not a Plaxo user, you can start fresh.

The only major issue I had with assigning categories to my existing contacts is there are so darn many of them after these years. I emailed Joseph Smarr (the Plaxo Architect from the video on my blog) and asked him if there was any way to group categorize contacts. He said, “We’re working on it…”

Plaxo ConnectionsLook how easy they make it to connect to your “friends.” In this case, I’m sending an invite to Craig Cmehil who is already in my Plaxo network. Once I connect to Craig as a Business contact, I can isolate his feeds (blog posts, videos, twitter posts, delicious posts, and whatever else Craig is doing online that he cares to share with me and others) to my business network. Now, we are getting closer to a practical social networking tool for the Enterprise. Although, admittedly, it will be difficult to break the Facebook addiction.

plaxopulse

Try the new Pulse on Plaxo. I’m curious what the reaction is going to be.

Posted in AJAX, blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Office 2.0, RSS, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0 | 8 Comments »

Meet Charlie – Live at the St. Regis. Tickets going fast…

Posted by Susan Scrupski on August 6, 2007

Meet Charlie

There is no better Enterprise 2.0 Case Study than the story of Charlie and his viral travel throughout the Enterprise 2.0 worldwide community (tens of thousands have viewed the show on slideshare and many more have forwarded it to friends and colleagues). Well, maybe the story of Pfizer and two passionate believers who felt they could maybe use collaborate enterprise 2.0 tools to change an enterprise in culture, in process, and in practice.

Who knew?

Scott Gavin and Simon Revell will be speaking at the Office 2.0 conference to tell their story. The funny parts, the sad parts, the silly parts, and the fantastic parts. It’s history in the making. The conference agenda is filling out nicely, but this one was worth blogging about straight away…

Here they are in real life:

GavinRevellThompson

From left to right: Scott Gavin, Bill Thompson (BBC journalist), Simon Revell.

Posted in blogs, conferences, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, Office 2.0, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0, Wikis | 3 Comments »

Exiting Stage Southwest– Weird Austin. Home, home on the Strange. AND mashups.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on August 6, 2007

As Marc Andreessen says, the new B2B is “back to blogging.” My posts are really thinning out because I’m in the throes of moving to Austin. If you’re following me on Twitter and Facebook, you all know this already. I’m going to to try and jam a few posts in today that have been in the backlog queue.

First, my sincere apologies to Vyew and Freshbooks! Two fantastic interviews I have done in the past few (jeez it may be over a month now) that I have not had time to write up. I promise I will get to these ultimately! It may have to wait until after Office 2.0 at this point.

Second, I am in fact, finally relocating to AUSTIN. Wow. Whatta town. Every time I go to Austin I learn something different that I like about it. If all goes well, I should be there by the end of the month, probably sooner. Speaking of relocation… Remember my relocation fantasy? While I was at Mashup Camp, I had the great pleasure to meet IBM’s Dan Gisolfi in person who took me through the personalized QEDWiki mashup he made to satisfy my wanton mashup desire… (OH THE SPAM I will be attracting because of this post. C’est la guerre, n’est-ce pas?). Dan was able to mashup the GreatSchools.net web site with available real estate and customize a viewable “situational app” just for my personalized benefit. Well, not just me, but for anyone who is interested in relocating. Awesome.

You can view the demo of that QEDWiki mashup at this link. Please give it a looksee.

What struck me about this mashup was although I was thrilled personally, it occurred to me we were invariably disrupting a 1.0 business model in the process. Sites that depend on advertising and eyeballs stand to lose with mashups. The challenge with mashups will be how to rationalize the web services sharing in ways that benefit the content providers. This is still new to me, but the ramifications were obvious even for a neophyte.

Posted in AJAX, blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Next Net, Office 2.0, social networking, Wikis | Comments Off

 
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