ITSinsider

2.0 for the Enterprise

Archive for the ‘Interactive Agencies’ Category

Interactive Agencies are branding firms specializing in internet and electronic media.

Rails Rules for the Enterprise

Posted by Susan Scrupski on January 29, 2008

me and Tim BrayI 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.

Advertisements

Posted in conferences, Consultants, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Web Integrators | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Relationships are the Killer App and Marketing Rules.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 4, 2007

For a while, I had this notion that I should self-limit my friends to 150 on Facebook drawing on Dunbar’s Number that states basically you can not respectfully hold any real connection to more than 150 individuals. I’ve given up on this now for a few reasons. As social networking is now taking center stage on the 2.0 roadmap, I realize the more friends/connections I have, the better my harvest for weak tie benefits. Relation capital or relationship equity as I’ve called it before, is the new gold standard that will drive the economy of the next generation Internet. We’re seeing it first, of course, in the consumer economy where relationships matter most between brand marketers and their webs of prey.* And as more enterprise vendors, including Google, get more innovative about how to apply social networking utility to the complex ecosystem of partnerships and interdisciplinary teamworks that comprise the global world of commerce, we’ll see how crucial these relationships play out. What’s critical is your nodal strength and your influence. Whether you are influencing the purchase of toilet tissue or the purchase of hedge fund strategies, you and your relationship to your community will be indexed, matrixed, monitored, and analyzed to abstraction.

As Marshall Clark commented on the Organic blog:

Regarding Google’s benefit from all this – I think Open Social is a brilliant, cost-effective way for Google to acquire social graph information which they can now incorporate into future Google search ranking algorithms.

There’s a massive amount of information buried in the personal interconnections and communications on social media platforms, but until now Google has been largely blocked from indexing this content (we all know Orkut doesn’t count).

If PageRank was big, wait until ‘SocialRank’ rolls out in 2008. Google just pulled off a major coup me’thinks.

Because social networks are easily studied mathematically, I’ve been talking to our in-house math wizards about mapping and manipulating the data in social networks for our clients. It turns out there are volumes– years– of data on this, including dedicated academic journals. I was interested to see that Google is a member of the Sante Fe Institute that George Danner tells me is one of the most prestigious scientific research think tanks.

Speaking of relationships, it seems everyone is going to Defrag… I’m not going, but I will be lurking like a demon on Twitter.

I was particularly interested in this comment from Eric Norlin on the Defrag blog Friday:

John Chambers (of Cisco) has been sounding the trumpet about “enterprise 2.0″ technologies for months now. In fact, you might remember that Cisco also acquired Webex. The purchase of an authorization management company by essentially a collaboration company tells us that collaborative tools are about to get *serious* inside of the enterprise. All of which goes back to the thesis that Brad and I have been kicking back and forth — that 2008 is the year of the beginning of the enterprise IT spending surge.

*For a long while now I’ve been harping on the role the interactive agencies will be playing in leading the charge in bringing web 2.0 technologies into the forefront of big business adoption. There are many examples throughout my blog where I’ve highlighted their critical role as ambassadors to this new promised land. A lot of these firms are companies you may have never heard of, but they are on the cutting edge of these technologies. Of course, they’re relegated to the marketing silo of enterprises, but it is a start. As I said recently in our Enterprise Irregular group, some of the best advice I can have for our IT clients is to take their CMO to lunch to learn more about web 2.0.

Here is a video from interactive media firm IconNicholson who has been leveraging 2.0 technologies to enhance the customer experience for its clients.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Update: Hat tip from a Tweet from Jeremiah Owyang: AdAge’s ranking of the best 150 Media and Marketing blogs.

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, Next Net, social networking, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

THIS changes everything— Now it gets interesting.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on May 18, 2007

5/18 OKAY. Just got a WSJ alert that Microsoft is buying aQuantive which owns Avenue A|Razorfish. More on this later.

5/20 Update:

I was going to write a new post, but I didn’t want the headline I feel I must attribute to this acquisition to show up on feeds… which is this:

It’s the People, Stupid. (!)

I haven’t studied the coverage, blogs or commentary on this, but I’m giving you my off the cuff reaction to this acquisition and why I was so excited about it when I first saw it. It’s not how much Microsoft paid for Aquantive, the fact that now Microsoft will get into the advertising game, a revenue play, a beat Google strategy, a grease the skids for Yahoo strategy– none of that analysis is meaningful to me from my perspective. Microsoft IS enterprise 1.0; it still is the evil empire, I suppose. (Just humor me here, please? Here I go mashing up Star Wars with Trekkie zealotry, but like I’ve said before, we’re trying to save the galaxy for geeks of all nations, eh?) To introduce Aquantive to the Microsoft family which owns the #1 worldwide interactive agency in the world– whose median age worker is probably 27? Just a guess, but I’ll confirm… is real progress. With this acquisition comes fresh thinking– new ways of applying web technology to consumers and business. Doesn’t anybody even remember Andrew McAfee’s “Now THAT’s what I’m Talking About!” ?

Shake. Rattle. And Roll.

The evangelist in me sees a potential cometojesus awakening at Microsoft through the eyes of these nextgeners… yet, the old analyst in me fears my friends at AA|RF will sit in endless meetings much like canaries in a coal mine. But, I’m a glass is half full person– I gotta believe. Time. It’s on our side.

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0, RSS, SaaS, Social Media, Web 2.0, Web Integrators, Wikis | Comments Off on THIS changes everything— Now it gets interesting.

Big Animal Pictures

Posted by Susan Scrupski on May 18, 2007

Back in the stone ages, I had the good fortune to work on Madison Avenue before the digital age had arrived. One campaign I was working on was IBM’s launch of its long-awaited mid-range series, the AS400. We grappled with the positioning of the product and did focus group testing across the country. When it was time to launch the product, the creative team pitched using the team from M*A*S*H, including Alan Alda to promote basic positioning of the product which was simple: the AS400 will help your small business grow. Why am I risking humiliation revealing my age by telling you this? The account team was headed by a guy that often used the turn of phrase, “big animal pictures” to describe how we had to have a very simple visual impression to tell our story. I can’t reveal to you what IBM spent on their launch of the AS400 with our Madison Avenue agency, but even after 20 years– it’s a lot. Similarly, during web 1.0, we saw hundreds of millions dollars spent on advertising to create awareness, induce trial for Internet companies. Add to that the giddy Wall Street headlines and until it all went south, there was a baseline understanding of what it was all about and what the benefits of doing business on the Internet were.

We are lacking Big Animal Pictures to bring the message home for Enterprise 2.0 today. In web 2.0– we have the blogosphere and maybe YouTube. The problem with the blogosphere is, well, we get it. The budgets and the markets aren’t the same as they were in 1.0 and in the enterprise space, until the large enterprise vendors get serious about enterprise 2.0, we’re not going to see widespread education and awareness building for the masses. In the meantime, we will get to appreciate the terrific work done by what I’m starting to dub “Pirates of the Collaborian” like this guy, Scott Gavin, with his truly awesome “Big Animal Picture” slide show: Meet Charlie. (Please send Charlie to everyone you know in the hopes it will be picked up on a major media outlet.)

It is interesting, however, because just as enterprise 2.0 must grow virally throughout the enterprise as an emergent, collaborative alternative, it is following the same pattern of adoption in the broader context. Exposure and education is still the gateway.

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, RSS, Social Media, Web 2.0, Wikis | 2 Comments »

Just Do it. (Go Digital)

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)

McAfee’s “Empty Quarter,” mind meld, and backlash.

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 »

Sapient Erupts

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 »

Web 2.0 and the Youth Culture

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 8, 2006

EI logo

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 »

Are We Eating Our Dead? Again?

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.

Manafy writes:

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 »

Sweet Virginia

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006

TNNI_badge3

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 »