Monday, March 31, 2008

Why Are Wikis Unlike IT?

Applications within the enterprise have generally become standardized due to restrictions being put into place by IT. After all, it is easier to conform to one set technology instead of having wide-spread chaos and security conflicts. The wiki though, is a special Web 2.0 tool that differentiates itself from the pack, since it is a collaborative effort. This post written by Michael from the Transparent Office came into my inbox this morning, and it lists several factors for the differences between adoption of the wiki versus standardized enterprise software.

Here four factors he lists:

  1. Every individual team or even a single person can take away business benefits from using wikis. Enterprise applications must generally be used on a larger mass scale in order to see business value.
  2. Wikis are not standardized! It sparks up collaboration between different teams.
  3. While it is easy to force enterprise apps and systems onto employees, someone will only use a wiki if they want to. An alternative to wikis are email…
  4. Michael just recently updated this last factor…Wikis are easy to launch and very cheap to sustain. IT is not needed to maintain a wiki system while other more complex business applications require more management.

So what do we take from this? Wikis are a cost effective way to communicate and share ideas within the enterprise, but it can not be standardized in organizations. Business benefits and ease of use must be obvious to employees, or else there will be no reason to use it…

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The importance of Web 2.0

In a recent post at ZD Net Asia, they spoke with Bill Kearney, the General Manager of Enterprise Content Management at Oracle Asia Pacific. Kearney believes that the use of Web 2.0 tools in the enterprise is a vital piece of the future.

Not only can Web 2.0 promote collaboration inside the enterprise, but it can empower the entire user community while facilitating collaboration with both the employees and users of the product. Enterprises need to adapt these tools now in order to be competitive in the future.

Kearney believes that a great way to start this now is to simply start forums on the websites where users can chat about products. What company have you been most impressed by in their drive to effectively use Web 2.0 in the enterprise or to communicate with customers?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tips to Communicate Benefits of Enterprise 2.0

So upper management still doesn’t recognize the huge disadvantage that the organization is in because of their lack of involvement…What do you do? I came across this list of preparation tools on Enterprise 2.0 Evangelist that can help any employee before giving the “social media can benefit our company” speech.

Here’s a recap of those tools, first off things you should avoid:

  1. Tools will always need someone to look after itself, so don’t claim that it will not need an additional resource.
  2. Don’t plan on getting rid of old systems and replacing them with social media apps…Web 2.0 tools should assist other systems collaboratively and aid in communication, not by replacing them.

Now on to communicating benefits of Enterprise 2.0 to dreaded management:

  1. Relate current practices and existing processes that social media tools can take over. Show them how much easier and effective the process is made by switching to Web 2.0 tools.
  2. Look for Enterprise 2.0 success stories within your industry. After corporate execs see this, it might ease their mind in adapting to social media technology. After all, no one wants to be behind competitors in what they are doing.
  3. Think of creative ways to bring forth all of your ideas. You must be able to convey the importance of social media apps, and the difference it can bring to the table. Lame PowerPoint presentations and standard pitches have all been done too often. Stand out!

If this can’t get people to see the value of Web 2.0 tools within the Enterprise, then I don’t know what will…What other tips have you used to persuade management?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Comments all around

Recently at ReadWrite Web, they address the common issue of comments on blogs. They’re uncommon these days and rarely promote conversation on the actual blog. However, as Sarah Perez points out, they’ve many times moved to other sites. It’s very common for a comment conversation to start up on another website like Digg. So how does a blogger keep track of where these conversations take place? RSS feeds are the key.

Where do you commonly make your comments about articles? After reading this article, I did notice the abundance of comments on this particular article. If you are using your corporate blog to interact with the customers, are you worried about promoting conversations outside of your blog comments? Or is this something to be encouraged by because you’re giving them something to talk about?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Follow…Do not be Followed!

How many people out there still think the secret to Twitter is to be followed? This used to be the by way of thinking, before I stumbled upon this latest post on the Scobleizer blog. Robert is right on the money when he explains why being followed is not so important. Here’s a quick recap of his ideas.

Being followed means that:

  • You’re just popular, kind of like having tons of friends on Myspace.
  • You might be using it as a media source, ex: Newspaper, magazine, or website.
  • You just want attention.
On the flipside, following people tells us that you are genuinely trying to learn more, become a better listener, and that you are trying to connect with the rest of the world. Let’s get out of the popularity mindset, and start using Twitter to its full advantage in the enterprise by maximizing its collaboration potential.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Latest on Google: Search Engine Share and Google SpreadSheets

The latest news on search engine market share came out yesterday. According to CNet and E Week Google’s market share dropped from 63.1% to 62.8%. With all the news surrounding the Microsoft trying to buy Yahoo!, their search engine share still dropped from 11.9% to 12.2%. However, overall world searching did drop from 71.9 billion searches in January to 67.4 billion searches in February.

Also, according to CNet, Google has also announced it’s latest improvements to its suite of software. Gadgets have been added to the spreadsheet application, giving the user over twelve new ways to see data laid out on a spreadsheet. New views are available in a variety of tables and charts, from pie charts to heat maps for population. Also new to the applications is that users can be emailed each time someone else has modified the spreadsheet. Then the changes are highlighted when you log on to your spread sheet. Another neat feature is that users can now access stock data through the spreadsheet through a Finance function.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dishonest Enterprise Solution Sales: How Do We Stop it?

There are so many enterprise solutions out there, so what truly differentiates one application from another. Many enterprise solution sales people take advantage of unsuspecting (sometimes first-time) enterprise buyers due to their inexperience.

Here’s a great article to help prepare you for those pesky sales people. I came across this post by Michael Krigsman on ZdNet that highlights seven common lies told by enterprise solution salespeople drawn by Doug Mitchell on his free download, Confessions Of An Ex-Enterprise Salesperson: What I Really Meant When I Said.

I have heard all of these lies before, but “Lie 2. My solution does not require much of your company’s IT resources” is one of my personal favorites. It is almost impossible for enterprise solutions to perform the way it should due to restrictions and roadblocks put up by IT departments. According to Michael, the key question to ask the salesperson is What are you prepared to do when we DO encounter problems due to IT dept. A good enterprise solution salesman with a reputable application will be prepared for this question.

Read over this list before your company decides to switch its enterprise app. Buy carefully…

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giving Up Email

Over at The Knowledge Management Blog, Louis Saurez has given up work email completely. He’s giving weekly updates on how many emails he’s receiving. Instead of email, he is directing his emailers to use social media tools. Here is the first post detailing what his plans are for this project. He has also been updating weekly: First three weeks, Week Four, and Week Five. What do you think about this?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Unveiling the True Power of Web 2.0

I came across this great presentation by Amit Ranjan, co-founder of, that focuses on how to incorporate different Web 2.0 aspects into your company, such as corporate blogging and social networking. Even though the presentation is focused primarily on Web 2.0 in India, we can still harness all of this info in our enterprise here in the States. Are you taking full advantage of social media in your organization? Take a couple of minutes to look this presentation over, it’s worth the time…

Friday, March 14, 2008

Adopting Web 2.0 for business use

At the Cazh1 blog, they’ve recently written a post about the best ways to adapt Web 2.0 into the enterprise. So what are they?

--The Millennials: This new generation knows the software and expects to use it. Will IT follow? What’s the downfall to this? The Millenials are at the bottom of the enterprise food chain and are not yet in a position to influence the companies.
--Consumer high tech: Many internet tools, such as Google, have been opened so that they can be used from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. People will begin to see the influence these tools can have at work. People will be quick to point out here that technology changes fast and it will be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest thing in Web 2.0.
--The Innovation Imperative: IT needs to find a way to innovate from their side. This is a great way to allow them to find new innovative ways to use our computers. However, the management is more concerned with the bottom line and profit rather than how wikis could help their enterprise.

Have any of these things come across as things to encourage your company to adapt Web 2.0 technology for more communication and knowledge management in the enterprise? I believe, that like many other things, Enteprise 2.0 will be adapted to the majority of most enterprises. Being able to capture knowledge on a group wiki has so many benefits. Whether it’s the knowledge of a person who’s about to retire or a detailed description of how to do specific tasks, wikis will turn out to be huge. And I think these technologies will not evolve beyond their needs before the next generation adapts them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Microsoft Vista and Incompatibility

Under the watchful enterprise eye, Microsoft Vista is seen as slow, outdated, and complex. One of the most frustrating aspects of Vista is compatibility issues with applications that companies have come to depend on. Insufficient memory can also cause problems with Vista, and that is why most organizations have chosen to stay with Windows XP until the latest operating system is released.

What can Microsoft do to battle incompatibility issues? Dan Kusnetzky’s latest post on ZdNet describes Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Kidaro, a desktop virtualization app, and how it will aid Microsoft with this dilemma.

According to Dan, purchasing Kidaro as an add-on will help do the following:

  • Accelerate Windows Vista migrations by minimizing compatibility issues between applications and the operating system

  • Easily deploy managed Virtual PCs to Windows desktops

  • Drive business continuity by enabling rapid reconstitution of corporate desktops

  • Minimize the tension between IT control and user flexibility by applying policies in locked-down corporate Virtual PCs while giving users more open access to the underlying host operating system

  • Speed user adoption of desktop virtualization by making Virtual PCs iinvisible” to end users

  • Reduce IT investment in desktop image management by delivering virtual images independent of hardware or local desktop configuration

One thing that concerns me is that Microsoft will not offer this as a complete bundle, it will still be offered as a separate add-on subscription. Microsoft acquired Kidaro in hopes that it would help out the current perception of incompatibility when people think of Vista. Was this a smart move for Microsoft?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mash Ups in the Enterprise: Serena Software making them happen

As we all know, Serena Software is one of the leaders when it comes to pushing out Enterprise 2.0 capabilities into the world.

Serena Software’s latest venture, according to EWeek, is that they are now releasing software with Creative Commons. This nonprofit organization’s aim is to push software out into the work place and having it open source so everyone can modify it to the different needs of the company. Their standpoint is that as long as the software is reworked, the original still has value and is worth the same amount of money. All of this between the two companies free of cost. They hope to set up an online community that encourages people to share their solutions to the problems in their business.

Serena Software wants to see innovation throughout a company, and this is why their mashups are free and open to anyone who wants to use or modify them. This cuts out time on the IT side, and users can modify the software to do exactly what they need. This way, productivity can be increased as well since the models can be adapted by the users and there is no middle man creating the product. Serena software looks to release 20 mashups with in the next two months. And after innovation happens from users modifying the software, who knows how many mashups those will turn into.

Many companies have already seen success with mashups. In this Business Week article, Société Générale shares that the use of mashups in their business has helped the time gap between California and France.

So, in mid-October, he brought in software company ActiveGrid, which added a host of tools, from Yahoo! (YHOO) news feeds to Google (GOOG) Maps to AltaVista's Babel Fish for on-the-fly English-French translation. Best of all, the upgrade took all of three days, compared with the three months it took to build the application at the outset. "It's all the applications I need, but simplified," Hababou says.

Société Générale as well as other organizations (E*Trade, Siemens, JDS Uniphase, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Realogy) have taken advantage of these mashups are quickly built and inexpensive.

Are you willing to share the mashups that are developed in your company? Or have you had a mashup that’s had great influence on your company? If so, what were they?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Building Effective Portals: Realize Business Benefits

We’ve recently hosted a web seminar entitled “Building Effective Portals: Realize Business Benefits”, and what a success it was! I’d like to thank all the attendees and would like to invite anyone who has not seen this insightful FREE web seminar to view it here.

The web seminar was presented by Tushar K. Hazra, Ph.D., who is the CTO for EpitomiOne Inc, a Maryland based strategic consulting company specializing in EA, SOA, portals, web services and model driven solution delivery. Tushar is responsible for facilitating strategic technical solution delivery of EpitomiOne clients.

Here’s a list of items you will learn by viewing this archived recording:

  • Capitalize on seven (7) business drivers to make a convincible case for portals
  • Recognize seven (7) key business advantages of building portals
  • Define seven (7) essential steps to create a roadmap for building portals
  • Utilize seven (7) best practices to achieve major business benefits of portals

Tushar will also be speaking at the Enterprise3 Event, which takes place on May 19th through the 22st in San Diego. This event takes a broader look at the use of portals within the enterprise, coming from a wide array of expertise from different speakers. So feel free to pass this on to other colleagues that will benefit from this information. Enjoy the FREE web seminar and I hope to see you all in San Diego in May!

New Service for Social Networking and the Business

According to Information Technology News, IBM has announced a new service for organizations that will help them utilize social networking and web 2.0 in their businesses. The Enterprise Adaptability services will provide guidelines on how to judge the return on investment for social media, social media analysis, and a few other tools to help judge the effects of Enterprise 2.0. Lotus Software and FileNet as well as IBM Global Business Services' Human Capital Management is what is used to power this service.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Zoho Nation

What’s next for your company’s intranet portal? Well, Zoho People, the latest addition to the Zoho Suite is a great HR application that allows companies to organize reports and key employee information within a secure intranet.

What is so special about this application? There are many HR apps that include modules for hosting HR forms and a way to search for job openings. With Zoho People, you are eliminating the dedicated HR person needed in order to track employee benefits, recruitment, vacation, and skill management. The ability to post a picture gives it a Facebook-like style that many employees in the corporate setting will find familiar.

Is Zoho People the answer to the age old collaboration conflict within organizations? I’m not sure if it’s the solution, but it’s definitely a start…

Friday, March 7, 2008

Apple, Oh Apple

In our recent post we discussed how the iPhone has finally tailored its own LinkedIn application on its mobile phone, but when will Apple adapt to other enterprise apps. Larry Dignan’s latest entry marvels at how Apple is still trailing its counterpart Microsoft within the enterprise realm.

When will we see the iPhone compete with the Blackberry in terms of corporate exchange mail servers, clearly Apple still has a long way to go. The iPhone is no doubt the most aesthetically pleasing mobile phone out there, but its enterprise functionality is still lacking. Catching the subway to work everyday makes me realize how popular the iPhone has become amongst corporate executives, but its mobile technology will have to adapt to the growing need of enterprise apps. Steve Jobs has a track record of appealing to consumer markets, but it is time for a change. It is not enough to just tailor an enterprise social networking site, they must do more…

We will not see an influx of Mac OS X servers in the enterprise anytime soon, but Apple most start somewhere. So I’ll turn back to a question posed by Larry Dignan…Apple, is it 25 years too late?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Portals in a Enterprise 2.0 world

Today, I came across a post at Internet Marketing Updates that gave a description of the different types of portals that are in use across the web.

The horizontal portal is the one most of us are very familiar with. It’s a portal that gives us access to the rest of the web. Examples would be Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. Most of the time they provide a community, and provide us access to information that would normally take thousands of pages to sort through. These portals make their money from advertising and transaction fees.

A vertical portal provides deep content to the user. It’s a place to connect with others and learn about specific topics in depth. Examples would be WebMD and Web Flyer. These portals make their money through advertising, referral fees, and subscriptions to their content.

An affinity portal is a place where the content is community base driven. It’s a lot like the vertical portal but made for a specific segment. It’s content and community driven. It’s profit comes from the same things as the vertical portal.

So what type of portal do you find your enterprise using the most often? Do you believe there is one that is more commonly used in the enterprise setting?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yahoo in serious talks with Time Warner

Earlier in the year, we reported about the possibilities that Yahoo approached Time Warner to become partners with AOL instead of being bought by Microsoft. According to a post at EWeek, that’s exactly what’s going on today. They reported that in the Wall Street Journal, the two companies were considering merging, and Yahoo would be folded into the AOL sector of Time Warner.

According to the Mercury News in the Silicon Valley, these talks have lead to the extension of time in which Yahoo is accepting nominations before the annual shareholder meeting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Fear of the Unknown

At The Content Economy, they recently posted about the fear that accompanied emails when they first came into existence in enterprises. Back then, bosses feared that productivity would be lost when employees spent all day emailing their family and friends. But, now, we see a common oversaturation of emails. And we have to ask ourselves if that is the best way to communicate through out the enterprise.

So much of what we focus on in this blog could be a great alternative, such as: blogs, wikis, instant messaging, web conferencing and social software. These also bring up worries and concerns about improper use of these technologies. We ignore what these tools could be used for. As the Content Economy points out, what would have happened if bosses feared employees writing poems when the word processor first came out?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sharepoint Gets an Upgrade

Today, Microsoft is expected to announce that their new software services Search Server 2008 Express and the Silverlight Blueprint for Sharepoint are now available. This news came from EWeek.

Search Server 2008 is a new free service that will be available to download. The new software will include a new set of capabilities to help businesses connect wide ranges of information. Silverlight combines the interactivity of Silverlight with the next generation web applications development platforms. Silverlight BluePrint is described as:

It includes sample applications that combine Silverlight and SharePoint, detailed guidance and proven best practices, and new rich business data visualizations and interactivity.

The registered number of SharePoint users is 2,250, with many more expected to have used this software in the corporations that utilize this software. SharePoint has also crossed the $1 billion profit mark.