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Archive for February, 2008

Vertical e2.0: Travel Industry has an e2.0 platform of its own.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 23, 2008

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cubeless communityI interviewed John Samuel, head of Sabre Travel Studios at Sabre Holdings, and Denise Fernandez, the Studios’ head of Marketing this week.  The Travel Studios functions as an incubator within Sabre, experimenting and releasing innovative new products that don’t fit in neatly within other business units. The first product the group is bringing to market is cubeless, derived from an enterprise 2.0 social computing platform they have been using internally about a year at Sabre called, “Sabre Town.”

Custom-built from scratch on open source tools, Apache and Linux, the software is a Rails application, according to Samuel. Sabre is announcing cubeless as the “industry’s first enterprise 2.0 community platform for the travel industry.” The app was built by less than a half dozen developers and launched within a few months, although Samuel notes parts of the application were built prior to putting it all together for the launch.

Hosted behind the company’s firewall, cubeless enables community members to inquire, in a traditional Q&A format, about ordinary travel questions (hotels, restaurants, etc.) as well as a host of other community topics such as Sabre Town’s private group on Rails development or a lifestyle group on Yoga. The platform fulfills all of the SLATES criteria for a standard enterprise 2.0 platform and excels at sharing advice and recommendations.

Sabre is working with American Express Business Travel on the initial launch of cubeless, scheduled for mid-2008. The focus is on business travelers, offering cubeless as a new module from Sabre’s GetThere which is the world’s leading corporate booking solution and a long-time partner of American Express Business Travel. Examples of how it will be used are explained in a statement by Tom Klein, executive vice president for Sabre Holdings, “It can be anything from finding out about services to support [an employee’s] business trip in a location others have been to, to what nearby restaurants are opened all night for a quick bite to verifying that a hotel they want t stay in has dependable, fast wireless Internet access and a gym that is open early in the morning.” Samuel and Fernandez believe users will make heavy use of the software, acknowledging people tend to trust people in their own organization to provide such personal insight into their travel plans. Fernandez says with Sabre Town, the ratio of questions to answers is running nearly 9:1. They’ve found people are eager to share their experiences and help other travelers.

Through GetThere and its affiliates (agencies and corporate travel departments), cubeless will have access to hundreds of thousands of members. GetThere already serves over 3,000 businesses in 40 countries worldwide and more than half of America’s 100 highest spending business travel accounts. More than half of the F200 that have an online booking tool use GetThere including Cisco, Oracle, GE, EDS, and Wal-Mart. Sabre has already proven its prowess with online collaboration and community via its IgoUgo with its 350,000 members sharing travel experiences, advice, photos and tips and stories on a multitude of worldwide destinations.

What’s interesting about cubeless is it has an easy, low-risk threshold for engagement for community members with a healthy incentive: self-interest. Everyone who is introduced to the product will “get it.” The benefits to using the social platform are obvious and immediate. In addition, the software scores high on the “fun” factor that facilitates rapid adoption. Sabre reports that over 10,000 profiles have been submitted since the internal launch of cubeless. And in a single month, more than 900 referrals had been sent to others whose profiles indicated knowledge or expertise they could address.

Launching an enterprise 2.0 community platform to suit a vertical market’s needs is innovative and should inspire others to follow suit.

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FASTForward ’08 on the ground.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 19, 2008

It was the bus ride home from the analyst/blogger dinner that pulled this gargantuan Search Lovefest together for me. I sat next to an American product manager who lives in Oslo (FAST’s headquarters) who said, “Without search, there is no web 2.0.” I thought about that and realized, maybe he’s right. Even in Enterprise 2.0, “S” is the first letter in McAfee’s mnemonic, SLATES. The connection between the pricey marketing extravaganza FAST is putting on here and (what most of us know and write about) Enterprise 2.0 had not been clear to me until that bus ride.

Last night, Andrew McAfee kicked off the festivities and our man Don (Tapscott) did a great job presenting the Wikinomics story. Sandy Kemsley is here and she blogged the informational piece of both keynotes last night. What stood out for me was McAfee’s claim, “I haven’t seen a deal killer yet.” By this he meant, there hasn’t been a single instance of profound Enterprise 2.0 failure in the companies he’s talked to over the year. But he did highlight that although executives are fairly familiar with the phenomenon, the larger question is now, “How do you do this, rather than the why and the what.” McAfee also talked about providing soft incentives for adoption, such as including collaboration in performance reviews and employee evaluations. At first I thought that was interesting, but before I could mull it over too long, I realized that thinking really flies in the face of everything that is 2.0 for the enterprise. It’s imposing structure on something that is supposed to be freeform and emergent. My impression of these tools is that they ARE easy to use, ARE a major leap forward, DO encourage innovation and collaboration, and WILL spread virally thoughout an organization once users get a taste of them.

User revolution at FAST08Regarding FAST, I’m still a little uncertain what specific knowledge of Enterprise 2.0 the 1200 folks who are here have, but it’s a wonderful introduction for them. FAST has really put together a world-class customer/partner event. It’s similar to what I would expect from a Microsoft or an SAP. The photo to the left is of a sort of performance art routine that kicked-off the theme of the conference: The User Revolution.

I find myself wondering about users in departmental silos. Is it simply a matter of awareness that they’re not gravitating on their own toward Enterprise 2.0 tools? Judging from all we’ve heard about the next generation influx of GenXers, Yers, and Millenials who will be flooding the market, it seems to me, it is only a matter of time.

The FAST bloggers are doing a terrific job of reporting on the leading speakers that spoke today including John Hagel, David Weinberger, and Mr. Enterprise 2.0- downer himself, Tom Davenport. Check out the FAST blog for all the copious reporting. I will say on Davenport’s behalf, he stands on pretty firm ground when he talks about Business Analytics. He succeeds where the Enterprise 2.0 community has failed (with any convincing success) and that is to produce business and game-changing case studies of measurable business improvement. Maybe the case studies are out there, but they have not yet emerged. I’m on the hunt for them.

Posted in conferences, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Who is the Leading Voice on Enterprise 2.0?

Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 13, 2008

Jevon MacDonald and I have been chatting about thought leadership on Enterprise 2.0. The “un-market” is nearly 2 years old and several new voices have emerged. Niall Cook, who is now the Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology at Hill & Knowlton and an early member of the community with the social bookmarking company he founded, Cogenz, has put together an impressive list of leading voices. Niall is also waiting any day now for the proof/review copies of his upcoming Enterprise 2.0 book which should be in print by June. I’m very much looking forward to reading Niall’s work.

I’m re-posting Niall’s “Enterprise 2.0 Oscars” in its entirety for your review:

The Enterprise 2.0 Oscars

Jevon MacDonald asks who the Enterprise 2.0 leaders are on the FASTForward blog:

Who are the up and coming stars and who are the blowhards? Who are the hidden gems and who do you think has it all wrong? Who is out there doing the hard work and not getting any credit?

I’ve already made one rather flippant comment, but on a more serious note here’s a list of all those I came across during the course of researching and writing my book who I consider to be the leaders, and why.

The Enterprise 2.0 Oscar Nominations (without the writers’ strike) are…

The Clairvoyance Award (for seeing what’s next)

The Deja Vu Award (for seeing it all years ago)

The Plain English Award (for explaining Enterprise 2.0)

The Innovators Award (for leading by example)

  • René Bonvanie for using Facebook as Serena Software’s intranet
  • Keely Flint for BUPA’s use of social bookmarking for knowledge management
  • Ludovic Fourrage for Microsoft’s internal YouTube-esque service
  • Rich Manalang for building Oracle’s IdeaFactory in 24 hours
  • Euan Semple for the BBC’s talk.gateway
  • Nathan Wallace for replacing Janssen-Cilag’s intranet with a wiki

The Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Award (for making business leaders consider Enterprise 2.0 seriously)

  • Marthin de Beer, Cisco Systems
  • Dennis Moore, SAP
  • Thomas Vander Wal, InfoCloud Solutions

The Voice of Reason Award (for bringing everyone back down to earth)

The Direct to Consumer Award (for bypassing the IT department)

  • Ross Mayfield for identifying the ‘enterprise target with consumer approach’
  • Peter Sondergaard for highlighting the trend in consumerisation of IT
  • Ben Worthen for exposing the ’shadow’ IT department

The Just Do It Award (for practical approaches to getting started)

And the winners are…?

If you have new voices to add to this list, please comment on Niall’s or Jevon‘s blogs, so we can keep the suggestions somewhat orderly. 🙂

 

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 4 Comments »

Heading into Conference “Open Season” for Enterprise 2.0

Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 10, 2008

Most of us get a lot out of blogging, micro-blogging, and various other collaboration platforms we engage in, but there really is no good substitute yet for getting together “in carbon” as they say. There are excellent opportunities coming up to do this over the next few months in the Enterprise 2.0 space.

The first conference worth mentioning is FAST’s second annual conference. The conference is next week in Orlando. Over 1000 attendees will swarm the Shingle Creek Resort to hear the latest on how Enterprise 2.0 is making its way into the enterprise. The conference is next week, so if you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late. I hear from Francois Gossieaux that in addition to the sessions and keynotes, which would be enough reason to go, there are numerous satellite activities scheduled around the clock, including cocktail parties and various events. I will definitely be there. Most of the FAST Forward bloggers will be there, as well. The FAST blog has really contributed significantly to the discussion on Enterprise 2.0. It was prescient on FAST’s part to establish a thought leadership platform so early on. Now, soon to be a part of the Microsoft family, FAST is looking quite fashionable and forward-thinking. Last year’s event was a huge success. I expect similar results from this one.

If you’re in Europe, or want to consider a spring European get-away… You should check out the Enterprise 2.0 Summit to be held in on the CeBIT Fairground in Hannover, Germany in March. This conference looks really interesting to me, as I’ve been tracking with some of the discussions on the group’s Facebook group page.

The next conference in the e2.0 space is the second annual Enterprise 2.0 Conference which will again be held in Boston in June. CMP runs this conference and it is shaping up to be rich with content and attendee interest. I’m on the advisory board for this conference. We are discussing various keynotes and directions to take strategically with the theme. So much has transpired this year, it’s hard to narrow down the choices. I’m responsible for five different roundtable panels: enterprise mash-ups, social media, social computing platforms, micro-blogging and emergent platforms, and social networking. I’m making progress on gaining commitments from various leaders in the space and celeb bloggers who can moderate the panels. I’ll be posting more on this, as schedules firm up. Steve Wylie has initiated an interesting user-generated approach to general assembly sessions. Attendees can vote on the sessions they’re interested in. There is also a Facebook group for this conference too.

In early September, we’ll return once again to San Francisco for the 3rd annual Office 2.0 Conference. I’m responsible for the Enterprise 2.0 track, so I will be busy trying to bring you something new that you haven’t seen in the other conferences. This year, once again, my focus will be to highlight case studies and on-the-ground Enterprise 2.0 projects and trials in production. Much more on all this, as the year progresses. Ismael Ghalimi has been busy building his prototype device for this conference. You can track with Ismael’s progress on the IT|Redux blog.

There may be some e2.0-specific events I’ve left out between now and September, so please feel free to add them in the comments. Hope to see you in carbon, real soon.

Update:  If you happen to be down under, Ross Dawson’s Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum to be held February 19 in Sydney looks well worth attending.   Participants have started a blog that’s worth reading too.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 1 Comment »