Despite how the world is flat and increasingly digital, the fact remains it’s not trivial to physically get around the globe. For this reason, I’ve teamed up with my old pal, Fred Alden, to be ITSA’s man on the street. Fred and I worked together for a large division of Dutch Philips Electronics, then called Origin B.V. now Atos-Origin. Fred is a Brit by birth, educated in the U.S. (Stanford), lives in Paris, and works in Belgium. It’s a buy one get four+ proposition. I love that about my European friends. In any event, Fred’s a smart guy and has been around the enterprise space for years. Fred will be filling us in on his travels around the UK-European enterprise 2.0 sector.
Here is Fred’s quick report from leweb3:
LeWEB3 and Enterprise 2.0
Despite the LeWeb3 crash there were interesting trends and companies which I will cover in detail in a future post. For now some quick impressions:
The vast majority of companies at LeWeb3 and the start-ups presenting to GuideWire/VCs (see good overview in French by Olivier Ezratty with links to the presenters here ) were in the web 2.0 “consumer” space. A few exceptions fused enterprise/consumer sectors but there were some interesting Enterprise 2.0 plays both in the main event and the start-up section. Unfortunately the main session on the Enterprise 2.0 degenerated…both Ross Mayfield and Lee Bryant on the panel expressing frustration with the meandering which went way off topic (see Mayfield’s post here.)
On the BtoC side you have to wonder if this is not déjà vu all over again; lots of variations on a theme, chasing a finite number of dollars/mindshare, tweaking existing business models with marginal differentiation.
On the Enterprise 2.0 side it is still early days and quite a lot of what I heard is in stealth mode some being funded by people who cashed out of Enterprise 1.0 or others who cashed out of Web 1.0. These are fusing models, think for example p2p (peer to peer) meets business intelligence. There is a small but active Enterprise 2.0 services community across Europe that have done deals with Fortune 100. Larger consulting companies are trying to get into the act from the strategy side but have little depth while digital agencies are pitching their skill set to try and sell into the Enterprise. Pre-configured solutions and applications are few and far between but not totally absent.
So the Enterprise 2.0 landscape from LeWeb3 looks like this:
(a) Internal Collective intelligence plays; in the enterprise, focus on knowledge workers (think lawyers, pharma researchers etc) using blogs, wikis and other tools. How you drive value using tools to extract and visualize data from places, topics and persons…..Others are fusing current office tools with the web, for example look at wrike.com
Bridge plays are a variation of the theme using the same tools to bridge between the internal and external audiences. Think customer-driven product and marketing development.
(b) Customer “sand box” plays using web 2.0 tools for user generated content, increasing loyalty, providing a platform. Think sponsored sports events that can be used to stretch the brand without taking too much risk…it all closes down after the event. Traditional media and communications companies are looking to user-generated content tools and platforms to anchor their current customer base that has begun to migrate because these tools and services are available elsewhere.
A variation on this play is turnkey solutions for specific segments: a “professional” MySpace for doctors in a specific country, for example. Another example is catering to a very unusual sub-segment of the market which is not associated with main brand but is key to their market. Think car-tuning fans around the world for a major oil multinational as an example here
(c) Finally there was some talk of open source SaaS meets online services, think compiere meets fedex, meets citibankonline meets…. well you get the picture. There was a wikierp.com presentation from Italy but there was no there there.
More details in a future post. Stay tuned.