What is Enterprise 2.0? - Part 1 - WTF to FTW

Last week some dialogue started between the Enterprise Irregulars on Enterprise 2.0 . Susan Scrupski set a challenge for 2009 to get one of our number, Vinnie Mirchandani , on to Twitter . Vinnie is an Enterprise traditionalist who is sceptical about some of the claims of Enterprise 2.0 vendors and what he calls their "egotistical positioning" of this stuff as some form of Enterprise solution replacement. That triggered some great interplay and ideas about the topic, ERP and Barely Repeatable Processes - more on that in part 2. I think E2.0 is significant, both in terms of the value the applications can bring to the enterprise, but also in the management change, even revolution, it can help foster. All this E2.0 talk reminded me that back just over a month ago Manoj Ranaweera asked me up to his North West StartUp 2.0 event in Manchester to present my take on an introduction to the topic. I'd forgotten to do a write up, so here are the slides themselves, followed by an explanation of the talk:
What Is Enterprise 2.0 - From WTF To FTW
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: sdn aiim )

I often use Karl Fisch's Shift Happens presentation to set the scene. Karl's a teacher at Arapahoe High School, Littleton, Colorado, but his presentation has gone viral and been seen by millions around the world. It's a fantastic explanation of the amazing period of history we live in, combining the rate of change of technology, some staggering statistics, the power of web 2.0 , Thomas Friedman's Flat World , and the rise of China and India shifting the balance of power of the global economy. The presentation itself is a living example of what can be done on the web today, when you see how the pitch has been picked up, polished, represented and synthesized in so many different versions. Just Google Shift Happens and see.

I reference the Universal McCann Wave3 survey to highlight the Internet penetration around the World, as well as introducing the various strands of social media as a concept. We now live in a time where user generated content is exploding as never before - 4,000,000 articles and rising on Wikipedia and 100,000,000 videos on YouTube, with 65,000 being added every day. If you question whether social media is significant, you only have to look at the numbers:

  • 184m Bloggers
  • 73% of active online users have read a blog
  • 45% have started a blog
  • 57% have joined a social network
  • 55% have uploaded photos
  • 83% have watched video clips
  • 39% subscribe to an RSS feed

Last year's Interactive Advertising Board Status Report highlight's the shift from broadcast advertising to word of mouth and recommendations. They say:
"if you're not on a social networking site, you're not on the Internet"

Anyone in business has to get their head around the shift from old style marketing based on advertising, to the new style approach of fads and fashions, permission marketing, communities, and consumer power. My recommendation to customers and colleagues who haven't yet "got it", is to go and buy Seth Godin's Meatball Sundae . That book neatly summarizes all of the ground covered in his previous books and gives a great explanation of New Marketing, the current trends and how you need to change your thinking to deal with them. I also recommend going back to The Cluetrain Manifesto . Written by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger back in 1999, but every one of the 95 theses are just as fresh and valid today in dealing with the connected marketplace - remember:
"Markets are conversations."

Back in May 2006, Andrew McAfee , Associate Professor at Harvard Business School (and an Enterprise Irregular) defined E2.0 as follows:
"Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers."

During Q1 of 2008 Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen produced their Market IQ report on Enterprise 2.0 for AIIM. One of the things they tried to do was get consensus on an updated definition:

"A system of web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise"

They produced an 80 page report with over 70 charts giving a good flavour of how important the enterprise 2.0 topic is to the businesses surveyed. 44% of respondents indicated that it is either imperative or significant. They also confirmed something I believe very strongly, which is that for this technology age doesn't matter as much as you think. Just as many " Baby Boomers " as " Generation Y " or " Millenials " are the internal champion for e2.0 in their business. I always tell people that it isn't a generational thing - we have a world of people in enterprise social media who either "get it", or they don't.

I go on to explain that there are all sorts of practical applications of enterprise 2.0 technologies, each with measurable return on investment, from idea generation to customers service, or from amplifying word of mouth to project collaboration. One issue we have at the moment, as enterprise 2.0 evangelists, is that there aren't enough good stories with hard facts yet. My presentation goes through some of the better ones available to date. Here in the UK the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales are using WordFrame to provide an online network , which will eventually connect all 130,000 of their members. This is the online version of the regional groups, special interest groups and faculties that already hold physical meetups. One, award winning , part of the community called IT Counts is providing IT advice between members for accountants in business and in practice. SocialMediaToday are using the same technology to provide moderated online business communities for social media bloggers and marketers, or for leaders of growth stage businesses , or for people interested in how energy choices, technology and markets are shaping the quest for a secure and sustainable future.

Last year at the Boston Enterprise 2.0 show , one of the best presentations was by Shawn Dahlen and Chris Keohane of Lockheed Martin. They explained the history and progress of their in-house developed Unity system that is spreading inside the organization. They started with a small pilot costing $8,000 which worked, and led to the next step which cost $50,000, and then they have steadily grown the team to 40 full time developers building and maintaining the infrastructure. Their system is based on the Microsoft SharePoint tool kit, as well as Google Search Appliance and Newsgator . They provide personal space for the individual, team spaces, blogging, wikis, document management, discussion forums, bookmarking and activity reporting. Although they aren't the originators of the phrase, their key message for anyone deploying enterprise 2.0 solutions was:
"think big, start small, move fast"

The "stand out" example at last September's Office 2.0 show in San Francisco was Pete Fields explaining the Enterprise 2.0 Business Strategy at Wachovia (it's well worth watching the video). Of course this was just before the worst news of the credit crunch, and then subsequent changes at the bank. However, at that stage Pete was explaining how they went through almost 18 months of business case and business justification. Their solution is based on Microsoft SharePoint Server and a collection of tools they have built. It covers a portal, search, wikis, blogs, enriched profiles and presence. They have 15,000 active team sites. They provide more than 6000 web conferences a month, and they have been tracking travel costs to show a saving of $214 per web meeting - hard dollar savings. They see staff use 100,000 IM sessions daily, and last August saw 46,000 visits to their various company blogs. Back in September when I spoke to Pete after the session, he told me had a technical team of about 55 people developing, integrating and supporting the tools.

Another great example is the SAP Developer Network . For me this is one of the best enterprise examples of recent years. For a corporation the like and size of SAP to be prepared to open themselves up to their whole developer community in such a transparent manner is a huge step. This is one of the key messages that we present for enterprise 2.0 - that your company must "be prepared to lose control" in this way. Their community has grown to over 1.4 million, with 1000 people joining each day. Back at the last TechEd conference they reported there were 4 million posts and 1 million questions on the forums. The quality and business value are more important though. Zia Yusuf , the executive vice president for the platform ecosystem, told me what he believes is the key benefit. Before SDN existed it might take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for the company to take a new product or feature to market. Now with SDN they can get some functions to market inside 3 months - a huge advantage with both cost benefits and revenue generating potential.

I went through some other examples, highlighting that there are a number of approaches that work, and that implementation can be top down, as well as bottom up. You can use commercially available enterprise 2.0 platforms, low cost "best of breed" tools, or bespoke development. However, although technology is important, the social factors and your approach to implementing enterprise 2.0 inside your company is much more important to the success of the project.

Ric Roberts , one of the guys I met up there, was kind enough to blog about the event, and I notice that Cynapse put the slides on their blog and their Intranet - thanks guys!
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