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 March 28, 2007
Thanks to my new friend Brian, I found out that Nike has dumped (WSJ – requires registration) its longstanding Advertising agency relationship in search of a partner with more digital expertise. This may be the seminal event/wake-up call that will rattle the cages for marketers everywhere.
Interactive Agencies are the game changers in the new marketing economy. Young, digital zealots pumped up on Red Bull, what’s not to love?
Posted in Interactive Agencies, Next Net, SusanScrupski, Web Integrators | Comments Off on Just Do it. (Go Digital)
Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 13, 2006
I was encouraged when McAfee wrote about how his new Harvard graduates would be coming into the workforce with an “I want my
MTV Internet” attitude. This sentiment is what I’ve actually been trying to get across here and here. His latest post on the “Empty Quarter” is even closer to my personal experience researching the Computerworld story on Enterprise 2.0. (Incidentally, there is excellent commentary from Microsoft’s Alex Barnett on McAfee’s Empty Quarter post.)
But like I told Dion Hinchcliffe a while back… be prepared for the backlash. As talk of real Enterprise 2.0 starts trickling outside the echo chamber, we’re going to start seeing some real negativity. Rod Boothby and Tom Davenport were debating its merits here. And McAfee got slashdotted here for his efforts in evangelizing.
The flipside to this negativity is the positive experience I had recently while visiting an Interactive Agency, Avenue A| Razorfish (AARF). Clearly, this firm “gets it.” The company is delivering Enterprise 2.0 solutions (despite the backlash) to their Global brands. The firm also eats its dogfood. The company uses a wiki (MediaWiki) to collaborate. Interesting enough, the way to the corporate user-adoption nerve center may be through the Chief Marketing Officer, not the CIO. Better- a collaborative effort between these two executives. Even though, today, AARF is focused on building consumer brands, the firm survived the dotcom bust by building and implementing enterprise portals behind the firewall. That experience goes far to explain how AARF can converse easily with advisors, employees/clients, and knowledge workers who are expecting the same experience in the Enterprise world as they have in the consumer world. “Technology is an enabler,” said Amy Vickers, who is heading up AARF’s enterprise solutions. “There is a robust set of flexible combinations… users are more empowered to have a voice and IT manages the collaborative effort between business and technology,” she said.
This is where web 2.0 meets enterprise 2.0. What’s changed is the consumer taking control of the brand conversation, according to Vickers. But in the enterprise all users are “consumers.” Bob Lord, the East Coast President for AARF said, “IT is put on notice. No longer is it a blackbox mentality. The corporate knowledge worker is saying, ‘I can do this on Amazon, why can’t I get someone’s address?'”
As the evangelizing starts to move its way into the empty quarter, it may be coming in the front door (CMO) as well as the back (IT). It’s more about demand than supply, in other words.
Along these lines, industry leading B2Bonline has a cover story on web 2.0 today. I found this quote interesting:
Weber [Larry Weber, chairman-CEO of W2 Group] said this latest iteration of the Web makes the Internet “very emotive.”
“It’s not a channel anymore,” he said. “B-to-b marketers need to understand the profound impact this platform will have in their buying and selling, and in their relationships with customers. The job of marketers in b-to-b today is to be that of an aggregator of products, trends, issues, events and communities.”
He said marketers will need to venture beyond their own sites to other Web destinations where customers congregate. “A lot of the b-to-b companies don’t understand that they have to go out to other people’s `parties,’ ” he said. “It’s just like networking in the physical world. You have to start going out so that the community comes back to you as well.”
Posted in Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0 | 1 Comment »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 17, 2006
Taking a short break from Enterprise 2.0 coverage, I had to acknowledge the news on Sapient today. I received a flash alert from Sapient’s investor team that, “SAPIENT NAMES ALAN HERRICK PRESIDENT AND CEO.” The bulletin went on to explain that co-founder Jerry Greenberg had resigned. Stuart Moore, the other co-founder is still a board member, but gave up his position as co-chairman in order to allow for an independent chairman (now, Jeffrey M. Cunningham). The company also named Joseph S. Tibbetts Jr. as the new CFO, replacing Susan Cooke who was interim CFO and who also resigned today.
Reading the press release, it appears Sapient is in hot water over options-dating, I suppose. Is this the 2.0 crime du jour? Why, everybody’s doing it! Not just Silicon Valley hotshots, but now a company like Sapient, that heretofore, I believed was basically infallible.
Sheesh. I’m not sure I’m more disappointed this happened or if I didn’t know anything about it because I’ve taken my eye off the IT Services ball. Some ITSinsider! Well, the good news is Dan Farber agreed to give me a ZDNet blog on IT Services, so I hope I will be catching up fast.
I put out a number of calls on this Sapient news, and haven’t heard back from anyone yet. I talked to Sapient, but the PR woman really couldn’t tell me anything more than was in the release. The news troubles me. I once wrote a column about what makes an IT Services firm successful, and Sapient gets high marks for all my criteria. I’m sure the company will weather the storm, but when founder CEOs leave, it generally doesn’t go well. My guess is we’ll see a merger/acquisition on the horizon.
Incidentally, Jerry Greenberg is a Jersey boy. He grew up in a small town here in South Jersey not too far (or too dissimilar) from the town I live in today. He made it to Harvard out of there majoring in Economics, he then worked at Cambridge Technology Partners, and started Sapient with Stuart Moore in 1991. Moore was a Computer Science grad out of UC Berkeley. In the day, Moore led one of the first client/server implementations on Wall Street and managed one of the largest installations of Sybase.
I admired Sapient for many things… including the choice of naming Susan Cooke as interim CFO. Imagine that? A woman who can talk numbers and face the investment community.
So, we’ll see what happens. For me, it’s the end of an era.
Posted in General IT Services, Interactive Agencies, Web Integrators | 2 Comments »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 8, 2006
Thanks to the creative talents of Rod Boothby, the Enterprise Irregulars have a new logo image. The Irregulars are an incredibly smart and experienced collaborative team who group together on the web to try and solve the mysteries of the future of Enterprise Software in the Next Net world.
I’m going to post here a point I made to the Irregulars a few weeks ago. I received excellent comments on it, and would like to solicit more feedback, if possible.
Talking ’bout Y-Generation
Web 2.0 is not all about us, sorry. I have no hard statistics on this,
but I’m thinking that many of the developers that are building it are a
generation behind us. Adoption is coming in the enterprise because the
next-generation office-worker is psychographically predisposed to it.
It’s what Jerry Bowles refers to as the “MeMedia” generation, not sure
if that’s original from him. We need to keep this in mind when we’re
thinking about defining the sector.
In other words, it’s the ‘tude, man. My kids would be rolling their
eyes if they saw me trying to type cool. Yet I feel compelled to put
this on the table. We can argue the enterprise software
deletion/inclusion debate like the EU trying to establish its European
Constitution for months, maybe years… but there is an entire
generation of nextgen hotshots building applications that will find
their way into the enterprise. Will we be ready?
Take a look at this presentation from Molecular*, a consulting firm part
of the Isobar network of Interactive Agencies. Isobar with its massive
reach, has G2000 customers. They are raising awareness and generating
excitement on a global scale.
*Sorry, the presentation is not widely available. You can contact Molecular directly to get a copy of this 100-slide deck.
Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Interactive Agencies, Next Net, Office 2.0, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 11, 2006
During web 1.0, I was a skeptic and pretty vocal about it. Before my research was finished, I presented in Atlanta (12/99) when market caps were high for the digital apostles I was tracking. Most of the presentation was tongue and cheek, but is somewhat prescient looking at it today. I wrote this column for Phil Wainewright’s aspnews.com site which was also published as an op-ed in Computerworld for the user community. When the back-breaking, risky 300-page market research report on what I called the “e-services” market was published in April 2000, I joined one of these start-ups myself. You see, through the course of doing the research, I became a believer too. I fell in love with the first Internet revolution and its massive societal-changing promise. Of course, like most companies in that first run up, the start-up crashed. I felt like I, in particular, should have known better than to have fallen for such an idealistic infatuation.
I read with interest Michelle Manafy’s editorial in eContent. This is the second time I’ve heard the Soylent Green, “It’s made of people!” reference in the web 2.0 crowd. This time it gets attributed to Ross Mayfield. I know when I have said, “It’s the people, stupid.” I’m not talking about cannibalism and annihilation; I’m talking about liberation. I’m not talking about overpopulation; I’m talking about a billion Internet users– sharing and doing. Interestingly enough, the tagline for our 2000 start-up was a question– “what happens when everyone’s connected to everything?” Less death. More rebirth.
So, maybe we should start considering a different indie flick? or maybe something more mainstream, if the mission is to turn perception positive on Enterprise 2.0, eh? Manafy’s a great writer and her community is extremely important to the new office generation. For instance, I just received the best presentation (a 100-slide deck) I’ve ever seen on web 2.0 yesterday. It didn’t come from Dion Hinchcliffe; it wasn’t something I found on techcrunch or wasn’t even something I could have gotten my hands on privately as an Enterprise Irregular. It came to me from Molecular, a consulting firm part of the Isobar network of Interactive Agencies. And oh, the reason I was reading Manafy is because Shiv Singh (Avenue A|Razorfish) referred to it in his blog.
Web 2.0 inside the firewall isn’t all work and no play, though. Singh has suggested to clients that there are fun ways to use the interactive processes for “prediction markets,” which harness group intelligence. For example, if a company has six ad campaigns under consideration, they can create a space where employees can “trade shares” on the ideas. “Then execs can see the activity that happens around an idea,” he says.
While Web 2.0 may or may not live up to its press, nobody can scoff at the ability of its underlying technologies to enable some of the Internet’s founding principles. As Singh says, “Collectivism is very big.”
Referencing the slide above… Now, one film we might consider could be Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The “throw out your dead” scene, in particular, is working for me. I was chatting with Cognizant’s Malcolm Frank Friday who is not dead (“Yes you are! No I’m not!”), and he was telling me that, in fact, Bob Gett, Gordon Brooks, and few others from web 1.0 are back in the Internet or IT services game. Of course, Jerry Greenberg has found Internet religion again. So maybe the Holy Grail is attainable in web 2.0. I’m not skeptical this time ’round. And it’s really early.
Incidentally, for all ITSinsiders who haven’t heard yet. the weirdest development for those with long memories, is last week’s announcement that Jim Sims was named to EDS’ board of directors. Can someone send that cart to Dallas? 🙂
Posted in Enterprise 2.0, General IT Services, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, IT Outsourcing, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | 2 Comments »
Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006
Thank you for your wine, California
Thank you for your sweet and bitter fruits
Mick and Keith might not be there, but you will be among friends. The kickoff conference for Web 2.0 for Business is definitely Dion Hinchcliffe’s New New Internet conference here on the East Coast in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. He has assembled an A-list set of speakers in web 2.0 including Michael Arrington (TechCrunch). If you (customer or vendor) are on the East Coast. DO NOT miss this conference. A first-mover event; will make it into the history books.
Posted in AJAX, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, General IT Services, Interactive Agencies, Next Net, Office 2.0, REA, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | 1 Comment »