Yesterday I attended the Enterprise 2.0 conference, “the event that will make your company more agile.”
First up was a Google presentation about Wave. Bare-bones Wave is a snooze; I haven’t been able to see many benefits. But customized Wave looks like a winner and that’s how I think Wave will be deployed. SAP demo’d a business process management application with collaborative charting; prototyping with their “analysis gadget” looked slick. ThoughtWorks showed project task assignments; the individual tracking and comments reminded me of what I’d seen in Brainpark last month. Novell Pulse combined messaging and project management. All of these bolt onto Wave’s API. Wave enables collaboration. Some in the audience were skeptical.
Google said it plans to open-source most of the code. This happens through the Google Federation Protocol. From the Federation website:
Decisions are made in public: all protocol specification discussions are recorded in a public archive
The Google Wave Federation Protocol is evolving as an open source project, and as the community and technology grows, here are the guiding principles:
- Wave is an open network: anyone should be able to become a wave provider and interoperate with the public network
- Wave is a distributed network model: traffic is routed peer-to-peer, not through a central server
- Make rapid progress, together: a shared commitment to contribute to the evolution and timely deployment of protocol improvements
- Community contributions are fundamental: everyone is invited to participate in the public development process
Next up was a panel session entitled “Is Enterprise 2.0 a Crock?,” hosted by Information Week’s David Berlind. The panel included representatives of MetLife, Alcatel-Lucent, Eli Lilly, EMC, Booz Allen Hamilton, Medtronic, and CSC. None of them thought Enterprise 2.0 was a crock. In fact, they were raving fans.
The panel addressed Enterprise 2.0’s crockiness along these dimensions:
Most of the discussion focused on workforce transformation. “We are shifting from waterfall design to agile development.” “We’re providing tools and technology to support change agents.” “This makes it easier for people to share and learn things.” It’s best when embedded in workstreams.
Booz is employing enterprise 2.0 to make business processes better, faster, and cheaper through bottom-up change. Others report cutting time-to-completion and speed-to-resolution. CSC has an Enterprise Social Collaboration Officer (who also runs KM.)
The Intellectual Property issue is the old trade-off of governance and democratization. The answer is to trust your employees. Workers have been able to betray secrets with email and phone; enterprise 2.0 is no worse threat.
The Religious Wars issue is recognizing that Enterprise 2.0 is a people endeavor, not an IT project.
Big benefits come from useful apps (like Excel Tips and Tricks), timeliness (realtime competitive information), and innovation (through crowd sourcing).
I mistakenly wandered into the keynote for VoiceCon, the co-located conference, where this character from Siemens was explaining their integration of social software and phone service. Translation: phone tries to make sense of Twitter messages. I tweet “Just arrived SFO,” and my phone resets itself to Pacific time. (Funny, I don’t have to do anything for my iPhone to switch time zones.)
More advanced: I tweet that I’m headed to lunch and my phone is automatically put in vibrate mode for the next hour.
Imagine the parody Doonebury could create around this one.
The expo was listless. People were gathering data sheets on SharePoint, Notes, and lots of undifferentiated collaboration tools.
Clark Quinn and I ended the day with the San Francisco Overlap Group at Adaptive Path
, engaged in an impromptu, zany exercise that seemed a fitting end to a somewhat confusing day.