Des Walsh podcast interview with Stephen Collins of Acidlabs on Enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management


Des Walsh, one of Australia’s premier bloggers, has launched a Social Media Podcast show. He is kicking it off with a podcast interview with Stephen Collins of acidlabs, which is a partner for our Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum next week.

A great interview which touches on what we’re trying to do with the Forum, and Stephen’s passion for these issues. It includes:

• how Stephen works with companies (if you are looking for someone savvy to help your company or to partner with, you need to listen to this)

• how valuable and enjoyable he found it to meet others with related interests at Office 2.0 in San Francisco last year and how those meetings were made easier using social networking tools

• how risk-taking is inherent in corporate social networking and how to manage the risk, e.g. by starting within the firewall

• how younger employees are using social media tools even though they are not provided by the enterprise

• how companies implementing social networking can and should engage employees in a conversation about acceptable use obligations that come with the provision of tools

Des will be doing some more interviews of people associated with the Forum over the next couple of weeks – I’ll keep you posted.

Click here to download…

What is Enterprise 2.0? – a primer


On the newly relaunched Future Exploration Network website, we have added a ‘What is Enterprise 2.0’ page to provide a succinct overview of the space for attendees of the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum.

The page (image of the top part below) includes:

* Definition

* Framework

* Technologies

* Corporate applications

* Enterprise 2.0 blogs

* Presentations and videos


The power of Enterprise Mashups


Many people seem to think that Enterprise 2.0 is about blogs and wikis. There are many other technologies supporting the shift to more collaborative and productive organizations. One of the most important of these, and one which perhaps does more to change the role of IT in the enterprise, is mashups.

In out Web 2.0 Framework, we define mashups as a “combination of different types of content or data, usually from different sources, to create something new.”

In a consumer web situation, this involves taking content from different online sources, often merging all sorts of data with locations, using a mapping application such as Google Maps. In the enterprise, it often brings together enterprise data (sales, market research, transactions etc. etc.) with information off the public web, though it can also integrate information from different sources within the organization.

The most important implication of this is that it gives power to the end-user. The IT department no longer needs to be asked on bended knee to create applications that will be useful for the company. Staff can quickly and easily do it for themselves. In effect users can become programmers, as I’ve spoken about in previous keynotes on Enterprise 2.0.

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2008 will be the year of Enterprise 2.0


This year will be when Enterprise 2.0 becomes firmly established. Different countries are at different stages of development and uptake, but the broad trend is clearly visible. This is not to say that at the end of this year all organizations will be using Web 2.0-style tools and approaches, however the momentum this year will become undeniable. We are already at the point where virtually all large organizations have some kind of recognized activities in the space, even if it’s just a department trialling a wiki. If we take into account unofficial activities, then we can say that all organizations are doing something. In all of my research and conversations with large organizations, it’s clear to me that the space is ripe to become

According to ReadWriteWeb, Forrester’s report Top Enterprise 2.0 Predictions for 2008 (a very expensive 8 page report) agrees, and suggests a few reasons why Web 2.0 tools will hit the mainstream this year.

First is that the geeks in IT are already playing with these fun tools on their own behalf, and that the visibility and the value will mean they are trialled more broadly in the organization.

Second is that so many employees are already using online applications and web tools because it’s easier than asking IT to get things done, so companies will prefer to offer them robust, secure applications rather than incur the risk of things not being done well.

Third is that using Web 2.0 tools demonstrates leadership and innovation, which among other benefits, attracts and retains talented staff.

The report emphasizes RSS as a key platform for Enterprise 2.0, and says that enterprise mashups will eat into existing markets including portals and search. Absolutely – what used to be difficult and expensive is becoming easy and inexpensive. Of course, that’s if it’s done well…

Podcast interview on social networks in business and Enterprise 2.0


I recently met Stan Relihan, having been introduced to him separately by Cameron Reilly of The Podcasting Network fame, leading tech journalist Brad Howarth, and also from further afield Charlene Hutt, one of the leading HR practitioners in Canada. The diverse introductions in themselves illustrate the deeply interconnected nature of social networks.

Stan is an executive recruiter, and also a keen student of and participant in social networks. He ranks in the top 50 most connected people on LinkedIn, with something in the order of 10,000 links, and has a great podcast series, The Connections Show, focusing on the business value of social networks, which is now ranked 4th most prominent business podcast series by Digg.

Stan has just interviewed me for The Connections Show:

Click here to go to the podcast interview on Improving Performance and Profitability.

Some of the themes I cover in the interview are how social networking platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are being used in business, social networking tools specifically for business, the value of organizational network analysis, and the role these network tools play in Enterprise 2.0, including a mention of our Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum.

Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum: early-bird registration ends 24 December!


Early bird registration for Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum in Sydney, Australia ends 24 December! So if you want to go, you might as well save some money and register now :-).

Speakers include: (click on this link for speaker bios)

David Backley, Chief Technology Officer, Westpac Banking Corporation

Ross Dawson, Chairman, Future Exploration Network

Peter Evans-Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer, Capgemini Australia

Joshua Gliddon, IT Editor, Australian Financial Review

Brian Haverty, Editorial Director, CNET Australia

Andrew McAfee, Professor, Harvard Business School

Sheryle Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Information Industry Association

Victor Rodrigues, Software Development Manager, Cochlear

Euan Semple, Former Head of Knowledge Management, BBC

Jonathan Stern, Business Unit Executive, Lotus Software Australia/ NZ

IBM is Platinum Sponsor of Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum! … and launches organizational network analysis tools


We’re very pleased to announce that IBM is Platinum Sponsor of the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum. Given the breadth and maturity of IBM’s Web 2.0 offerings for large organizations, as well as its own experiences in using these tools internally, this makes a lot of sense and will bring a lot of value to the event.

I’ve written extensively about IBM’s initiatives in the space. In January IBM launched Lotus Connections, a suite of collaboration software which today brings much of IBM’s Web 2.0-style offerings, establishing a solid, coherent, credible offering to corporations. Just over two years ago now I blogged about how Lotus was embedding blogs and wikis into IBM’s platforms, in line with their vision that social networking tools were the future of collaboration. Over five years ago, in my book Living Networks, I wrote about how IBM’s alphaWorks provided a platform for user innovation and product development, while earlier this year I pointed to one of alphaWorks’ fantastic initiatives, ManyEyes, which is a participative site for people to upload and mash-up data sets and visualization techniques.

Just today the Lotus Connections suite has expanded further, with the launch of IBM Atlas, a set of social networking visualization and analysis tools. It has four components:

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Web 2.0 creating value in organizations: Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum – Sydney, Australia


The first hard-copy flyer for our Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum has just been mailed out. Click here or on the image below to download the flyer as pdf.


Below is the text for the cover letter which went out with the flyer. More detailed updates on the event coming soon.

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ERP: automating processes | Enterprise 2.0: enabling knowledge work


There has been some very interesting discussion over the last week about enterprise software, which began with the question of whether it is sexy or not. It has since covered a wide range of related topics, including the usability of enterprise software, industry structure, how it is bought, its role in attracting talented staff, and whether it can get people laid. (Selected references at the bottom of the post.)

In all of this, there was a gem that I think is well worth exploring. In the context of market opportunities for the biggest enterprise software firm of them all, SAP, Sigurd Rinde wrote (in part):

A Business Process is any process, sequential work or activity, that happens in an organisation. Some are repeatable and linear, others happens in unstructured ways and are hard to model.

Let me keep it simple and divide process types into two groups:

1. The Easily Repeatable Process (ERP for me)

Processes that handles resources, from human (hiring, firing, payroll and more) to parts and products through supply chains, distribution and production. The IT systems go under catchy names like ERP, SCM, PLM, SRM, CRM and the biggest players are as we know SAP and Oracle plus a long roster of smaller firms.

Known to be rigid, but handles events and transactions with precision and in volume. Systems delivers value through extensive reports and full control over resources.

Resource oriented, transactional, event driven systems. Delivered by system vendors with roots in accounting using up to 25 year old technological solutions.

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Adapting consumer Web 2.0 for use in the enterprise


When I spoke at KMWorld07 in Silicon Valley last month, I sat in on the presentation made by Charles Armstrong of Trampoline Systems. One of the interesting points he made is that Web 2.0 is the first set of technologies that have been developed in the consumer space before being taken into enterprise use. All other major information technologies have first been developed and used in large organizations before being adapted for consumer use, not least by becoming accessible on price.

I’ve often observed that Enterprise 2.0 initiatives largely stem from executives seeing their children using sites like Facebook, Wikipedia,, Digg, YouTube or Remember the Milk, and thinking, “Hmm, I can see that kind of tool being useful inside my organization.”

It is very useful to think of it specifically as that issue: adapting consumer tools and software to be useful inside organizations.

One obvious issue is that of scale. As I point out in my Web 2.0 Framework, one of the key aspects of Web 2.0 is that it “collectively transforms mass participation into valuable outcomes.” In the case of the open consumer web, that mass participation can amount to literally hundreds of millions of people. Organizations at the most have hundreds of thousands, and often far fewer people. This means there are a range of issues in effectively scaling Web 2.0 applications to be valuable inside organizations. However the other side of that is that far more detailed information is available on workers inside companies, including their current projects, training background, work objectives and more, all of which means that aggregating information can be far more usefully applied than in the open web.

Building on the theme of adapting Web 2.0 technologies to be valuable inside organizations, Network Computing has recently published a very good piece titled Can Web 2.0 evolve into an Enterprise Technology? It’s well worth a read. Some of the points it raises:

* Since Web 2.0 gives power to users, it can reduce IT staffing levels. Nutritional products firm Shaklee has reduced IT staff by 20%. It is a significant change issue to have IT staff support these shifts.

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