We are dubious about some of the claims made for Enterprise 2.0, the iteration of Web 2.0 social networking technologies that is supposed to turn business into greased lightning. Take dashboards as a small example. The executives cry out for them, the developers build them, and then... entropy. The abandoned wikis, the blogs that no-one reads, the twitters that embarrass or bore- call this a conversation?
Admittedly, we like IM, although an electronic tag placed around the ankle is a more reliable indicator of "presence", perhaps. And we are old, remembering the days when "collaborator" was a dirty word and "portal" was just a building entrance. So we are ready to join the argument, presenting to you three papers from the Reg Library, all about Collaboration 2.0 in the workplace.
This paper is a call from Microsoft to portal-ise - are we allowed to say that? - business information in one place. Resources should be made available to people who need them without complication or fuss. This is more than a storage problem, according to the software vendor. What is needed is the ability to share information widely, but in a secure way, and letting staff search for information quickly and efficiently.
Microsoft's answer is for you to build portals using Office Sharepoint Server 2007. This does the seamless integration thing with the Microsoft desktops apps we all know - and many still love, allowing for efficient collaboration, version control and all those good things. This being Microsoft, incorporating software from other companies does not get a look-in. Putting that to one side, this is one of the five most read whitepapers in the Reg Library. So the company must to be on to something.
Boy is this a funky paper, for a buttoned up enterprise software company. Oracle has commissioned an outfit called Social Media Today, which has teamed up with the Techdirt Insight Community and an online group of sales and marketing marketing executives called The Customer Collective (which is sponsored by Oracle) for this breathless overview of the impact of Web 2.0 social media on selling.
Surveying the use of Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in by salespeople, the paper notes that Sales 2.0 is a "bubble-up" movement that enterprises must harness. There is the obligatory vendor pitch - in this case for Oracle Social CRM Applications. But this paper is particularly good at definitions of Enterprise 2.0 features such as mash-ups. There is also a valiant attempt to nail what, Sales 2.0 actually is. And in true conversational marketing style, the Techdirt bods have russled up a case study and even some insight.
Sub-titled "Leveraging Social Computing Technologies for ERP Applications", this paper from Epicor claims that most software is too inflexible for efficient implementation of social media technologies.
The thesis is that about half of companies deploying Web 2.0 technologies do so in an ad hoc manner. Not good, says Epicor. Far preferable to build a ground up SOA platform - all the better to simplify mash-ups into new services or sites. Also enterprise search becomes a breeze. And IT costs are reduced.
A specialist read. OK, a very specialist read, but none the worse for that. ®