Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Could a New Social Software Suite Knock Out Facebook and LinkedIn?

According to this latest article on paidContent.org Jeff Dachis, former CEO of Razorfish, has teamed up with Austin Ventures to roll out a corporate social software service that will be tailored to the enterprise. AV mentions that it will focus on “creating an industry leading strategic consulting practice and an enterprise class Social Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite.” But how successful will this SAAS suite be with competition coming from all corners, and a lack of involvement in social software from the enterprise.

This post on A VC, describes how social software include certain characteristics like open API’s, customizable services, and the ability to upload different media. All of these characteristics are an enterprise nightmare. IT departments will have a field day trying to limit access to these sites, for security reasons.

The real benefit from social networking sites is the input gathered from the community, but how will a brand new start-up instantly gain millions of users? How will this new venture compete with LinkedIn and Xing since they already have a majority of the enterprise social networking market, and let’s not forget that Facebook is slowly closing in with enterprise tailored apps and restrictions. AV and Dachis will have to bring about new innovative concept within enterprise networking to really stray away people from Facebook and LinkedIn. Can they do it? We’ll have to wait and see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Google Conforms to Demand

According to a post at the official Google Docs blog, they have now modified Google Applications so that the Google Spreadsheets and Presentations are available offline. This is now available via Google Gears, which enables the documents to be viewed offline. The only downside to this is when if a document needs to be edited; it can only be done online. Google Docs was already available offline, and the difference is it that modification can be made on or off line.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 a growing business

In an study released at Forrester this week, they say the Web 2.0 business is growing so rapidly, it’ll be worth $4.6 billion by 2013. Details of the report can be found here at Read Write Web.

What’s included in this growing industry? Some of the key parts are social networks, mashups and RSS feeds. They also point out the blogs are not a part of enterprise 2.0. Neither is Facebook, Netvibes or Twitter. Why? These are ad supported. So, this growing is going to come from the money companies spend on web 2.0 tools such as Net Vibes, Microsoft and IBM. Also included in this Enterprise 2.0 category is tools that allow companies to collaborate on certain projects.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Affordable CRM Application are in the Air

Zoho is at it again! Recently we posted about their latest launch of Zoho People, which helped Human Resource department keep track of all their employees within a secure intranet. So what has Zoho been up to at their labs since the launch of Zoho People?

They’ve launched Zoho CRM – Enterprise Edition. We all know that Zoho CRM’s direct competition is Salesforce.com, but this latest edition claims to be over eight times less expensive than the Salesforce version. Here are some enhancements to Zoho CRM that the Zoho blog mention:

  • Introduction of Role-based Security Administration
  • Enhancements in product Customiation & Data Administration
  • Multi-language Support (11 Languages)
  • SSL Support for Professional & Enterprise Versions
  • Integration with Zoho Sheet

The most interesting capability in my opinion is the introduction of Role-based Security Administration. This application makes it easier to manage access of employees within organizations with multiple levels. Employees can be classified into different groups and profiles, which can keep managerial documentation away from those who should not have access to such information.

I expect Salesforce.com to come up with a follow-up version of their own application soon, since Zoho has launched a similar app. with all the same features, but at a fraction of the cost.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deployment of Enterprise Apps Shouldn’t be the end to IT’s Involvement

Lori Wizdo, Vice President of Marketing for Knoa Software recently recorded this podcast in eWeek and her main point is that after companies roll out enterprise applications, IT departments generally tend to lose focus on managing applications. Application management is vital in the enterprise to make sure that web applications are not only performing well, but that it is being reflected on end users within organizations. Currently techniques that measure end-user experience in enterprise architecture are not up-to-date and do not provide the best feedback.

Monitoring back end performance for applications is a necessity, and IT departments will have to update its technology to make sure that apps are doing what it is supposed to. Listen to this podcast to listen to the full conversation…

Monday, April 21, 2008

Evaluating SharePoint from a Business Perspective: A Webinar Presented by CMS Watch

We’d like to invite you to attend the Evaluating SharePoint from a Business Perspective webinar. Tony Bryne, the founder of CMS Watch, will be our featured speaker. Register to view the webinar on Thursday, April 24th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm eastern standard time.

About the presentation:

SharePoint 2007 is taking the world by storm, partly because of its breadth of services, but also because it is easy to install and seemingly inexpensive. Yet, the proliferation of SharePoint sites within the enterprise inevitably raises hard questions about where the product truly excels and where it does not. Enterprises around the globe are struggling to “fit” SharePoint into their broader information management strategies.

This seminar will review SharePoint from a business perspective, comparing its information management services to other toolsets in the industry, with a particular look at Portal, Collaboration, and Web 2.0 services. It concludes with selected “do’s” and “don’ts” for enterprises seeking to take a more methodical approach to their use of SharePoint.

What you will learn by attending:

• The eight core business services that SharePoint offers
• How SharePoint compares to other Portal and Collaboration tools
• Where SharePoint is easy, and where it gets hard
• Do’s and Don’ts for leveraging SharePoint properly

About the Speaker
Tony Byrne, Founder
CMS Watch

Tony Byrne is founder of CMS Watch (www.cmswatch.com), an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies on behalf of solutions buyers. Tony was part of a team of analysts who researched the CMS Watch SharePoint Report 2008, a 200-pp evaluation of SharePoint.

This is a webinar in order to support the Enterprise³ Conference, May 19th through 22nd in San Diego, California.

Mention Priority Code: BlogMWS0011

We hope you can join us for this webinar with the founder of CMS Watch! Register today for this webinar.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 - 101

Yet another successful webinar under the belt! First off I want to thank all those who attended Colin White’s presentation “The Importance of Enterprise 2.0” yesterday. This was a detailed but easy to understand compilation of benefits of Enterprise 2.0, that anyone from business professionals and IT management can learn from.

Here’s the presentation for those who missed the chance to view the webinar yesterday, or if you just want a quick refresher of the ideas discussed. Feel free to share this presentation with friends and colleagues.

As always, we’ll be posting valuable webinars here in the future. On Monday we’ll highlight our newest webinar presented by Tony Byrne, founder of CMS Watch.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Next Step in Enterprise 2.0 looks to Prediction Markets

The current tools used for enterprise 2.0 are blogs and wikis. As reported in the New York Times on April 16th, there is a new tool coming about: Prediction Markets.

A prediction market is a new web 2.0 tool that allows members in the company to bid on future events occurring. With a fake currency, they bid on the event they actually think will happen, and the person closest to the real outcome wins a small prize, such as an IPod. Companies now using this approach: Intercontinental Hotels, GE, Hewlett Packard, and Best Buy.

This new innovative product can help corporations see what can happen in the future. In the article they discuss how workers at Best Buy participated in this, betting on whether or not their first store in China would open early. Most participates bid no, and so Best Buy was able to prepare themselves financially when the store didn’t actually open on time.

This new, innovative enterprise 2.0 service is gradually catching on in the mainstream markets. Best Buy plans to expand the bidding process to more of its employees for other future events and efforts. So how can this help your company? The possibilities seem widespread. It will lead to collaboration among employees that you can directly measure against and help executives in their forecasts and planning. Of course, just as with other enterprise 2.0 tools, it's value depends on creating the optimal experience that gives participants a chance to feel they have a direct impact and can truly provide insight and feedback on future event. But when all of this is considered predictive markets can be a powerful tool could be an even more powerful tool with direct results to the bottom line.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is too much content a bad thing?

As we all see on the internet, everything posted is for the taking. In an article at ReadWrite Web, they point out how the information posted on blogs has become subject to much the same problems. Same goes for the content you are posting on your enterprise's websites. How are you supposed to keep the value of the content high if everyone else uses your content?

Once your blog with your intellectual information is posted on the internet, control over your content is lost. You officially have no control over it. This may be a good thing because a brilliant idea can spread like wildfire. However, many times that represents the chance for someone else to take the content and conversation from your blog and use it on theirs. This provides for a great opportunity to collaborate all over the internet. Although someone is borrowing your information, more people see it so more people could come up different solutions for your enterprise problems.

As we all learned in economics, once there is an abundance of something, the value dramatically drops. So how are you going to add value to the content you are posting for your enterprise?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Future is Soon

At the Bub.bilicio.us blog, Brian Solis observes the current state of affairs at Microsoft. Today, virtually every company is dependent upon Microsoft products, and especially upon Windows. However, throughout the years, while Microsoft has continued to dominate the market, they have failed to listen to their consumers. Brian makes a prediction that due to the up and coming in the clouds software, the dominance of Microsoft will be a thing of the past. With the debate between Microsoft and Yahoo still raging, Brian thinks that it would benefit Yahoo the most to be baught by Yahoo!.

So, with the future coming, and software evolving by the day, will Microsoft truly be able to keep up with the needs of the Enterprise? We’ve seen the fall of the main stream music industry in the matter of ten years. One concept came along (mp3s) and obliterated the key source of revenue. Due to lack of reaction, major music labels are still struggling to keep up. Microsoft should take note from another major industry. Configure now to what your customers want, or you’ll be left struggling to float when the inevitable happens. After all, Brian Solis thinks it could be 2011.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Could New Firewalls Be the Answer For the Enterprise?

The name on this great article from the NY Times just caught my attention this morning... Enterprise 2.0: A Computer Security Nightmare?” We all know that IT departments are not huge fans of enterprise 2.0 technology because of hassle it creates for them, since most of the time they are trying to restrict access completely.

What’s interesting in this article is the research done by Palo Alto Networks. Most employees are still able to bypass security firewalls and access file-sharing applications like eMule and BitTorrent. The current firewalls put into place are not effective enough to stop this from happening.

So what’s the answer for this? No it’s not a complete crackdown on all internet applications, but a better monitoring system where organizations can filter out specific characteristics of applications that they do not want employees to have access to. I’m talking about a new breed and approach to firewalls. After all, we don’t want to block out enterprise 2.0 applications; it’s a great tool for collaboration and innovation. Companies want to be able to use these apps without fear of a security meltdown.

As security becomes a growing concern for organizations, we will see an abundance of new security firewalls being put into place. Enterprise 2.0 technology is here to stay; companies will simply have to start investing in new security controls to make sure that corporate networks are safe…

Friday, April 11, 2008

Colin White, Conference Chair of E³ presents: The Importance of Enterprise 2.0

We’d like to invite you to attend the web seminar The Importance of Enterprise 2.0 presented by Colin White, the chair of the Enterprise³ Conference. Colin White will be our featured speaker. Register to view the webinar on Thursday, April 17, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm eastern standard time.

About the presentation:
Enterprise 2.0 approaches are changing the way organizations create, publish, and share information. Used wisely, Enterprise 2.0 can provide significant improvements to both the business and IT. Deploying Enterprise 2.0 techniques and technologies, however, requires careful planning. This Web seminar presents a status report on Enterprise 2.0 and reviews best practices for its implementation.

What you will gain from attending this web seminar:
-Introduction to Enterprise 2.0
-How your business can benefit
-Developing an enterprise strategy

About the Speaker: Colin White, Founder and President BI Research Colin White is well known for his in-depth knowledge of leading-edge business intelligence and business integration technologies and how they can be integrated into an IT infrastructure for building and supporting the Smart Business. With over 35 years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has co-authored several books and has written numerous articles on business intelligence and enterprise business integration. He is currently conference chair for the Institute for International Research’s Enterprise³ Portals / Collaboration / Web Conference and writes regular columns for both DM Review and the B-Eye-Network.

Click here to register today!

The Enterprise³ event is taking place May 19th through the 22nd at the Hilton in San Diego, California. To learn more about the event, visit its website here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

iPhone 2.0: Blackberry Watch Out

As the growing numbers of executives are going mobile, so is the need for the enterprise apps to also follow this trend. According to this this latest post on engadgetmobile, the iPhone is planning to release its beta enterprise version firmware, where you will be able to view your contact list and accept meeting invitations via Outlook. One of the drawbacks though, users will not be able to get iTunes store icons or the app store.

Those are just a few luxuries that enterprise mobile users will have to sacrifice in order to reap the benefits of web 2.0 capabilities on the iPhone. This is just a start for the smartphone industry, when will users be able to collaborate via Google Apps on their blackberries and iPhones. Steve Jobs seems to be finally moving past the iPhone’s aesthethic appearance and finding real business value for it in the enterprise. If he keeps this up, the iPhone can give the blackberry a run for its money in the global enterprise market…

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Social Application Language…Foreign to the Enterprise

Web 2.0 applications are too often described as “social”, and the Enterprise still does not see business benefits in that word. After all, it’s hard for organizations to find business value in the term social.

Tom Foremski’s latest post on ZdNet explains how Eugene Lee, CEO of SocialText, is trying to communicate business benefits of Web 2.0 technology like the enterprise wiki. Eugene comes from a long background of dealing with enterprise companies, and so he should bring forth a lot of exciting ideas to the table.

Eugene Lee mentions:

“Businesses look for solutions and that’s what SocialText is in the business of providing,”

According to his quote, SocialText will need to get businesses past the idea of “social” in order for executives to realize the potential social applications hold. Convincing corporate management to involve social tools within their organization has long been a conflict. We’ve recently written a post on communicating business benefits of Enterprise 2.0 to management, it’s a must read for those still trying to implement Web 2.0 tools that most executives feel is foreign ideology. Hopefully, Eugene along with others, can bring an enterprise perspective to help shape where social tools are heading in the business realm…

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Enterprise RSS Awareness Day

According to Stu Downs, at his website, Thursday, April 24, is an international day of awareness for the growing importance of RSS capabilities in enterprises. Since the benefits of RSS can span not only from news and information to the daily commentary from experts around the field, it is important that IT and others realize the importance and benefits that can be brought about by Really Simple Syndication.

To find out more about this day of international awareness, visit this National RSS Awareness page. It can be an excellent starting point to raise awareness in your institution.

Monday, April 7, 2008

IT Budgets are growing…An Enterprise Nightmare?

The IT dept has long been restricting adoption of Web 2.0 technology and applications such as social networking, corporate blogs, and wikis in the enterprise. According to this latest post on ZdNet, IT budgets in the U.S. are expected to grow 2.3% over last year’s budget. This could lead to an enterprise disaster if it is used to regulate and restrict access.

Instead, the IT dept should re-assess its focus on the following:

1. Help manage CMS systems within the organization to aid collaboration between different teams.

2. Invest in new security measures within enterprise 2.0 applications to help ensure data is not compromised, instead of wiping out web 2.0 technology completely.

3. Monitoring usage of social networking sites, to make sure that it is used for “business purposes”.

A growing budget for IT doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. It all depends on how they decide to allocate their money. IT can go two ways on this one…What are your organization’s future IT concerns?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Enterprise Second Life

It’s about time IBM announced it would develop Second Life capabilities in a corporate setting. This article in Information Age goes into detail about their new enterprise-ready launch. IBM will release several beta versions before deciding to offer this solution to the enterprise.

IBM must realize that Second Life within organizations are used for different purposes, specifically as a collaboration tool between teams and for teleconferencing. Other distinct attributes that IBM must not overlook are security settings, since this solution will come into contact with IT.

The mere fact that IBM is hosting this service shows us that we are constantly aiming to seek new ways to share information within organizations. When will Microsoft release a similar enterprise solution? How long will it take the corporate world to adopt this technology?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Open Source in the banking industry

At a recent CNet post, Matt Asay talks about how Bank of New York Mellon has discovered the use of open source software for their banking needs. With open source software for their banking systems, they have a choice as to who they work with their programs and this choice to alter programs leads to innovation for their company. They can therefore be more competitive when it comes to the services they offer as well as operate more efficiently within their enterprise.

Open source software will become essential to many of the companies in business today. Every company uses many of the same software programs for a wide variety of actions, from banking operations to inventory at an airplane manufacturer. Allowing for the modification of the open source tools, these companies can bend the programs for their specific needs. By modifying a program, the operations performed will be quick and efficient. This will speed up the processes of the computer, leaving employees with more time for other tasks. Free time can bring about creativity which leads to innovation from the employees. They can also help in modifying the open source by providing opinions about what they feel can be better as a result of their daily operations. A company who uses and modifies their open source software will have a strong competitive advantage that may be hard to see from a competitor’s edge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wire-Frames and Collaboration

Does effective communication between design teams come easy in your organization? Quite often design teams are faced with the dilemma of scrapping projects that they have been working on for weeks. This can be directly accounted for by lack of communication during the initial stages between teams. Oscar Berg’s explains how wire-frames can often by misused in his latest post on the Content Economy.

I wholeheartedly agree with Oscar, wire-frames applications have often been used by in-house design teams internally, without external involvement. What does this lead to? More money wasted, more time wasted, more energy wasted, and added frustration. If feedback was given at the beginning stages of design development, it would reduce the time it takes to successfully complete a project.

So the next time your design team decides to start its design project from scratch, think of the reasons WHY. Wire-frames should be used as a collaboration tool between all teams within the enterprise.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Are you in need of some new RSS feeds?

In a recent post at ReadWrite Web, they review the new site Toluu. This new sites is a feed aggregator, but also provides some community as well as some recommendations of posts you might like. ReadWrite Web recently listed the top ten reasons you’re going to love it, I’ll share a few with you.

2. It’s Easy. All you have to do once you’ve uploaded your RSS feeds is read. Then you can begin reading.

3. Collaborative filtering helps Toluu learn. As you begin to read your RSS feeds through Toluu and mark your favorites, the engine will begin to pull in other feeds that fit your preferences.

7. It’s not trying to replace your RSS reader. It’s trying to find new feeds that it believes you would be interested in.

8. The Feeds – There are tons of blogs out there with information you’re looking for. Why not make it easier on yourself and have another search engine do it for you?

Have you had experience with Toluu? What has your impression been? RSS feeds have quickly risen to a place of importance in the Enterprise 2.0 world. I think constantly having new recommended blogs that give new perspectives can be very valuable.