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Archive for September, 2007

Enterprise Homebrewed Mashups

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 30, 2007

As I mentioned early this week, a few of us at BSG saw a demo of IBM’s QEDWiki last week with its latest added developments: OpenSearch and Programmable Web. Since my interest in mashups far surpasses my ability to comprehend them, I’m doing the honorable thing and pointing you immediately to David Berlind’s blog where he not only explains Dan and John’s new cooperative arrangement, but has taken the time to put up a viewable video of how it all works.

The upshot of the announcement is that IBM is working with the development community promoting OpenSearch, which should make mashup-making easier for everyone in the mashup ecosystem. Although the mashup phenomenon is mostly still relegated to mashup enthusiasts and developers, I still see tremendous potential in this arena for the enterprise. I give Dan, especially, a lot of credit for reaching out to the community to start galvanizing the move toward some standardization.

An interesting newcomer, well maybe repositioned old-timer, in this market is Serena Software. I haven’t spoken to Serena yet, but intend to. I first saw Bill Ives’ post a few weeks ago with Serena’s new go-to-market pitch for the enterprise mashup arena. According to my Enterprise Irregular compatriots, Serena has been a fairly substantial software company that got taken private by Silver Lake in early 2006. They have, “…a few (update, see comments) hundred million per year in traditional license revenues and a core business that isn’t going away any time soon,” according to Jason Wood. And as it turns out, Bonvanie did a stint doing developer relations for SFDC’s AppExchange and appears to be re-creating the same environment for mashups at Serena. I’ll know more after I speak to them.

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Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, mashups | 2 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 on Enterprise vendors start beating the drum

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 on Game Day: Office 2.0 in San Francisco

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 »