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.
Regarding 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 »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on January 29, 2008
I spent Friday afternoon with an impressive technology crowd that gathered here in Austin from Avenue A | Razorfish. I’ve blogged many times over the past few years about how these Interactive Agencies hold the keys to the kingdom on bringing “sexyback” to the Enterprise. It’s been nearly a few months since the blog/firestorm kicked up starting with Mr. Bill (Gates) fueled by Scobleizer.
What I saw with mine own eyes at the AARF gig was red hot enterprise-worthy sexy stuff– borderline enterprise porn. 🙂 The integration was downright obscene!
One of the highlights of the event for me was meeting Tim Bray, pictured to the right here with me. Tim keynoted the event and was described to me by Shiv Singh as one of the original authors of the XML standard. Readers of this blog know what a geek fangirl I am, so I rushed poor Tim at the evening before’s cocktail party and talked his ear off for about a half-hour with mostly nonsense. He kindly took this photo, so I could post it on the blog.
The next day, Tim showed a slide on PHP referencing integration challenges with WordPress and Drupal. My video interviewing skills are (UM) lacking, but I managed to ask him about it, just in case any Enterprise 2.0 hopefuls were considering PHP as their platform choice… You’ll see Tim is very much the Ruby on Rails fan here.
Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that BSG’s web site and our e.laborate platform is all Rails, baby. It’s times like these that I wish I were more technical, but to hear a guy like Bray gush over the simplicity and ease of agile development with Rails, makes me feel proud of our apps team. I’ve been on many calls with Scott Brittain, our with customers and with industry insiders. I always learn something from Scott and enjoy talking to the “apps guys” whenever I can. We talk a lot about how this so-called revolution is not about technology, but hey, the technology is one heck of an enabler, ain’t it? It’s like trying to imagine the 60s social revolution without electric guitars.
Rawk on for freedom you awesome geek gods.
Posted in conferences, Consultants, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Web Integrators | Tagged: AvenueA-Razorfish, BSG Alliance, enterprise applications, Interactive Agencies, Tim Bray | 1 Comment »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on June 10, 2007
I fear poor, fellow Enterprise Irregular Dennis Howlett has been bitten by the startup bug. After taking the product for a test drive– I completely understand! FreeAgent is an online record-keeping, invoicing, banking, project management, tax liability keeping, time management, AND community-based, knowledge-sharing resource for freelancers, contractors, and independent contractors. (I probably missed a few dozen other features.) I was originally delighted by the pleasing user interface and easy to navigate design of the application and site. But what really impressed me is the depth of the product resources.
Having been an independent consultant many more years than I have been an employee, this product is a consultant’s dream! I’m not sure what the long term plans are for the product, but with some minor modifications, I could easily see this product morphing into a time-tracking powerhouse for large consulting firms or growing ones, such as ours.
For today, however, my only beef with the product– and it’s a good problem to have– is why UK-only? Us small fish –in the colonies out here– might be worthy of the privilege of such a fantastic product. Not only do we have local banks of origin outside of the UK, we typically serve global clients. I know my best client was based in Amsterdam when I was an independent consultant, and I had other international projects and clients. It would really have been handy to have a global platform where I could have been paid in Euros in a European bank. I can think of dozens of others of freelance friends of mine who were ex-pats living in Paris, London, Germany doing freelance writing and consulting gigs. My hope is FreeAgent will spread the love throughout the British Empire. 😉
On a more serious note,
I remember snatching up Dan Pink’s, Free Agent Nation, when it first came out. The book resonated with me because I don’t typically fit in well with large companies and much prefer to fly solo, like so many of my writer, analyst, consultant, and researcher friends. But the worst bit, anyone will admit, about being an independent is the @#$%^ bookkeeping and paying the tax man. What’s interesting to me about FreeAgent and Dan Pink’s first book is how web 2.0 technology has created the platform to deliver on the promises of what Pink forecasted for the new frontier of work. But even if you’re a digital Bedouin who happens to work for a corporation, like some of the guys I work with, it’s clear to me that whether we can thank AJAX or Ruby or a larger zeitgeist virally propagating as we collaborate and share across boundaries and nations via the next generation Internet– so much of the baby got thrown out with the bathwater in the 1.0 dotcom bubble.
In Free Agent Nation, Dan Pink says, “The basic unit of this Free Agent Operating System– the 1s and 0s of the underlying code– is trust. Trust , as scholar Francis Fukuyama noted in a magnificent book of the same name, is essential not only to a just society– but also to a healthy economy.” Trust is the currency of web 2.0 and its business partner, enterprise 2.0. As the individual continues to supplant the organization in power and influence, I’m continually reminded of these early visionaries that set the stage for the freedom we’re seeing today on the web.
Posted in AJAX, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 15, 2007
Had an excellent chat this week with Narinder Singh, founder of Appirio based in San Francisco. Singh and his colleagues started up Appirio to take advantage of the next wave in enterprise adoption of SaaS applications such as Salesforce.com and SuccessFactors. With backgrounds from SAP, Webmethods, Borland, and Accenture, Singh and his colleagues know the enterprise market cold.
His predictions for the disruption of the enterprise app ecosystem were particularly interesting to me. Singh feels today’s enterprise vendors are falling into the classic trap of the innovator’s dilemma— how do you serve two masters– move to embrace disruptive technology while preserving your existing base? Further, he feels traditional, large SIs are also hooked on the enterprise drug with revenues pushing toward $10B for Accenture and IBM alone in enterprise app implementation and support services. On-demand also affects ISVs in that changes Oracle or SAP make in their core products won’t affect an ISV until maybe a year or so because of the complexity of the cycle in upgrades, etc. “In the on-demand model, if Salesforce innovates in an area where you [the ISV] have previously created some value add, over night their entire customer base has access to that innovation,” says Singh. The model of on-demand forces everyone to stay on their toes, and Singh believes this is good for customers.
He also sees his firm and firms like his as playing a unique role in helping enterprises with the SaaS (r)evolution. He sees a wide open opportunity to “bring the customer back to the center of innovation.” For instance, he’s working with a client to mesh their HR data (SuccessFactors) with their sales data (Salesforce) to deliver a strategic view on how to manage sales performance by increasing quality and reducing ramp-up time. The opportunity to observe, assemble and rapidly deliver new solutions is unique to this era of systems integration. The role of the SaaS-savvy services provider is more of an emissary than vendor, too. The business units are rapidly adopting SaaS under the radar of the CIO. Singh feels his firm is a natural to rationalize the SaaS silos within an enterprise and to help the CIO embrace the new technology, rather than resist it. By the same token, he feels the more successful and comfortable CIOs become with leveraging SaaS and web 2.0 solutions in the enterprise, the greater the disruption will become for the enterprise eco-system.
The following is a chart from a paper from Appirio entitled Services 2.0. It’s a good read for IT Services fans and enterprise app stalwarts alike.
Another interesting paper in the IT Services sector was recently published by the Outsourcing Institute. If you want to know more about Outsourcing 2.0, you can download the paper here.
Posted in Consultants, General IT Services, SaaS, SOA, Systems Integration, Web Integrators | 3 Comments »