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Software-as-a-Service

Early market test data coming in…

Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 24, 2006

Over on the Itensil blog, I posted a note about early user adoption. To summarize, we’ve begun our Early Access Program for interested users. We’ve employed a useful web lead generation tool called Salesbuilder to categorize and qualify the interested parties in the product. For me, as a researcher, the early data coming in is interesting.

I was particularly alarmed by the answers to this question: User Adoption

Over 50% of the qualified leads were not able to get a product evaluated by the team that would benefit by using it. A mere 19% were. And there’s no guarantee, the product was adopted post-evaluation.

Although the data is not yet statistically significant, it’s an early warning sign to all Enterprise 2.0 vendors that user adoption is going to be a challenge for many enterprises. For this reason, I’m starting to think it’s in the best interests of the community to start educating and enlightening its target communities on the benefits of ALL enterprise 2.0 solutions.

I think Jeff Nolan was onto an idea like this… I will contact him and report what I find. In the meantime, I’m recommending all e2.0 vendors start accumulating data about their customer’s trials and tribulations while adopting or trying to adopt e2.0 products. If web 2.0 is truly about content, collaboration, and community– we will all benefit from eachother’s experiences, yes?

Posted in AJAX, blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Wikis | 1 Comment »

Watch this Space: Hinchcliffe is Hot

Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 9, 2006

Dion Hincliffe

Dion Hinchcliffe, as many of you know, is one of the leading pioneers in the Enterprise 2.0 movement. His regular blog posts on ZDNet and at the SOA Web Services Journal have explained concisely and eloquently how to apply web 2.0 in the enterprise. Yesterday, Hinchcliffe & Co. announced its Web 2.0 University. The university will be providing high-end Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 education solutions and premier consulting services in partnership with O’Reilly Media who delivered the concept and the term “web 2.0” to the industry.

The early registration list of A-list customers for the University is impressive. Classes and seminars for Web 2.0 University will be offered around the world in a variety of locations starting this year. The core curriculum consists of five courses, beginning with “bootcamps.” The next scheduled is the Enterprise 2.0 Academy ™ which aims to provide real-world, hands-on information on how to transform the enterprise. The first bootcamps will be held December 12th and 13th at the Carlyle Center in historic Alexandria, VA.

The University will train top executives, IT experts, programmers and developers and other business leaders on how to transform their business by focusing on “the power of the user.”

Hinchcliffe’s partnership, also announced yesterday with with Tim O’Reilly’s O’Reilly Media to deliver a suite of educational and consulting offerings to enterprise customers is a further testament to Hinchcliffe’s rising status as a thought-leader in the web 2.0 market. Tim O’Reilly certainly could have chosen literally anyone in the industry to partner with, but he chose Hinchcliffe. The combination of O’Reilly’s reach into global corporations and Hinchcliffe’s passion and depth of understanding for the technology that is fueling Enterprise 2.0 advances is an unparalleled match for consulting and education services.

Andrew McAfee recently wrote about “Evangelizing in the Empty Quarter.” With this O’Reilly and Hinchcliffe partnership, that quarter will be populated in no time. Remember, the “Rub’ al Khali” is one of the most oil-rich places in the world.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0, Wikis | Comments Off on Watch this Space: Hinchcliffe is Hot

Riders Wanted

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 31, 2006

It’s Halloween, so my time is limited on what I can post today. Sorry.
Today’s leading news regarding JotSpot being acquired by Google is more validation of the sector. Tomorrow, I’ll post my interview with Kraus. You can read an excellent analysis of the acquisition here. I’m sure there will be more to come.

Lots of good indicators moving forward in the Enterprise 2.0 sector lately. In the past few weeks, several major vendors have made announcements regarding incorporating web 2.0 technologies into their platforms. According to Internet News,

“Software vendors such as Oracle, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Microsoft are increasingly seeing the value of shifting their traditional portal and applications offerings to an integrated platform to reflect the trickle down of Web 2.0 technologies to the enterprise.”

Yesterday, SocialText announced SocialPoint ™– a wiki solution for Microsoft’s Sharepoint. You can read Dan Farber’s take on it in his blog post yesterday. Boothby also provided a good analysis.

Also, yesterday, I was able to convince Computerworld, the “Voice of IT Management,” to let me write a freelance story on the Enterprise 2.0 phenomenon. With these announcements and developments, it’s clear to me that Enterprise 2.0 is saddled up and ready to ride, but will this dark horse turn out to be a winning thoroughbred or a trojan horse? The pace of industry adoption is accelerating; yet how, when, and why users adopt these tools will make for interesting news… no doubt.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0, Wikis | Comments Off on Riders Wanted

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 »

Bring it on. There’s a New New Internet in town.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006

Mandatory reading from Dion Hinchcliffe on the Tim Berners Lee comment. Brilliant.

Posted in AJAX, Enterprise 2.0, General IT Services, Next Net, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | Comments Off on Bring it on. There’s a New New Internet in town.

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 »

“Oh! the Humanity!” Office [Space] 2.0

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006

officespace

officespace,
originally uploaded by srm_nj.

To some degree, it’s pointless to comb the blogs of everyone who is on the same page and then reference them, but I couldn’t resist this post by JP Rangaswami.

Stalinists: Even though there is some doubt as to whether he actually ever said it, Stalin is often credited with saying that as long as people know there is an election, it’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes. A variation of this tends to operate in enterprises, where “power” is vested in the presentation-makers and minute-takers. What social software does is threaten this power.

Sadists: Learning to do things in an enterprise can be painful. Learning to do hard things can be very painful. I have worked in a company where, in order to save on stationery costs, they instituted a process whereby the “stationery cupboard” was only open on Tuesdays between 2pm and 4pm; if that wasn’t enough, no stationery could be ordered unless a form was filled in; and forms were only made available on Tuesday mornings between 10am and 10.30am. Learning how an organisation works is often like growing ear hair. There are no short cuts, it just takes a long time. And causes much suffering. What social software does is threaten to take away this familiar pain, leaving phantom limb sensations.

Stockholmers: Similar to hostages forming an attachment to their captor (despite the invidiousness of their position) there is an enterprise tendency to form deep-rooted and long-lasting relationships with lock-in vendors. This syndrome comes in two flavours: Temporary and Permanent. The Temporary one is less intense, fading when there is a change of management on the enterprise side. The Permanent version is a real feat of engineering, able to withstand multiple changes of management. Nobody gets fired for buying locks. What social software does is threaten to release the hostages from their secure jails.

Second-guessers: Any swarming or emergence effect needs to have a swarm in the first place. One place. With the plethora of options available in Web Too Many Oh, this creates a paradox of choice. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to choose. Second-guessers can stultify attempts to derive value from social software, by fragmenting the enterprise base in time and space. Space because they ensure multiple options are taken up simultaneously guaranteeing there is no critical mass, no liquidity. Time because they engineer an enterprise change-of-horse-in-midstream, never actually allowing the liquidity to be acquired. What social software does is threaten to take away the freedom of the second-guessers.

Sewer-dwellers: The ploy here is to define the battleground for social software as infrastructure, as plumbing. Even though it shouldn’t be the case, most enterprise buyers treat infrastructure as overpriced, oversold and over. As soon as the argument shifts to sewerage, the enterprise immune system has no problem repelling all boarders. This is despite the fact that social software has minimal infrastructure costs. Why do sewer-dwellers do this? Because it’s their home. What social software does is threaten to take away where they live.

Silobites: These are people who live in silos. Their jobs are to ensure that as much stuff as possible is stored in the silo, the bigger the silo the better they feel. They are defined by the walls. What social software does is threaten to take down these walls, building small connectors between silos.

Look at the things threatened. Power. Familiarity. Security. Housing. Freedom. Enough said.

I loved this post! Yet interestingly, I see more “trash talk” and antidisestablishmentarianism in the SaaS ranks, where the objective is clearly to go direct to the users… the “Power to the People” crowd.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0 | Comments Off on “Oh! the Humanity!” Office [Space] 2.0

Office 2.0 in SF: It’s the “IT” (the hip word, not Information Technology) conference for the Fall

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 2, 2006

Office 2.0 conference

Office 2.0 conference,
originally uploaded by srm_nj.

I’m experimenting with flickr. Here is the button for the Office 2.0 conference. What’s neat about this conference is the grassroots effort that is behind its organizing, collaborating, and showcasing.

Let’s see what happens when I hit “post entry…”

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, Interactive Agencies, Next Net, Office 2.0, REA, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

Starship Enterprise 2.0: Cleared to Roam the Galaxy

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 1, 2006

Thank you Jerry Bowles, who thanked Andrew McAfee, and Ross Mayfield for his heroic efforts (adding props from me on behalf of all outsiders looking in)– the confederacy of brainiacs at Wikipedia have deemed Enterprise 2.0 worthy of definition and have not deleted it in its last dash, near-fatal round of scrutiny.

Others who should be commended for taking up the lightsaber* on pursuit of the revolutionary battle include: Vinnie Mirchandani, Ismael Ghalimi, Jeff Nolan, Dion Hinchcliffe, Jason Wood, Rod Boothby, Dave Tebbutt, and anyone else I missed who spent long hours debating what should be in/out of the definition.

*sorry, I know it’s bad form to mix trekkies and star wars fans, but remember, we’re fighting for freedom for all geeks and wannabe geeks. 🙂

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0 | 7 Comments »

The Rebirth of the SI Market: Anyone in the Mood for a Fat Margin?

Posted by Susan Scrupski on August 31, 2006

I had a great briefing this week with IBM’s Dan Gisolfi of its Emerging Technology Group. I was able to clear up a few things. For starters, it’s not THAT easy to create a “long tail” micro situational app. Gisolfi says, “Today, it’s extremely hard unless you’re a programmer… and unless you know Ajax, Java script, and programming languages, you’re not going to create a mash-up.” But that’s where this IBM group is headed. With their web 2.0 class of tools– mash-up makers– ultimately, the high IQ guys and gals in IBM’s key installed base accounts will be able to create their own dashboards ad hoc and provision data across departments and groups without troubling anyone from IT at all.

Gisolfi and I waxed philosophically about the cultural trends that are driving Enterprise 2.0 and we agreed about the socio-cultural underpinnings. Now here is a guy who can fit squarely in both camps– traditional IT, wearing the IBM logo, yet can hold a respectable conversation on the latest in open source, or any web 2.0 technology. We agreed the new Enterprise 2.0 wave is not about technology. The technology is evolutionary and Gisolfi recounted many examples of initiatives IBM has been involved in for years that are now hyped as web 2.0. What’s different now, however, are the attitudes that eclipse the technology. He said, “Web 2.0 is a convergence of enablers… coming together at the right time, at the same time.”

We then talked about a possible rebirth of the systems integration industry– something I found intriguing. Gisolfi said, “For the IT guys, we’re not taking away work, we’re creating a new type of work. Instead of doing integration of monolithic applications, today, you’re going to create granular software components.” He used Sarbanes-Oxley as the perfect example of the need for a customized, daily mashboard. He described using a business analyst or consultant to define the data indicators and then pass it to a software guru to render it and provision it as a mashboard.

It’s at this point, I started thinking about the sweet-margin business of the late 80s: systems integration. I checked in with Graham Kemp, who tracked the SI market in those days. Graham said, “In the late 80s, SI margins were good… in the high teens… and FM (facilities management [outsourcing]) margins were fair (low teens). As the 90s came in, both dropped.”

On EDS’ Next Big Thing blog a few days ago, I read with some interest a post resurrecting the “I” word:

For a long time, the Fellows have been talking about the movement away from the Chief Information Officer to the Chief Integration Officer. The integration of process and information flow between and across the enterprise to enable greater flexibility is where all organizations need to be headed.

And as I just wrote recently to the head of analyst relations at CSC, before all outsourcers were called outsourcers, they were systems integrators. It might be time to ditch the losing battle in the ITO market, and start putting up recruiting booths on MySpace. There may be high margin opportunity introducing the Global 2000 to Enterprise 2.0.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, General IT Services, IT Outsourcing, Next Net, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | Comments Off on The Rebirth of the SI Market: Anyone in the Mood for a Fat Margin?