Thursday, June 28, 2007

Social Software is Ready for Business, But is Business Ready for Social Software?

I missed this article in the Wall Street Journal highlighting enterprise 2.0: Social Studies - ($$). Ironic that I missed the article because I was at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.

The article tracked my thoughts about the e2.0 technologies. Wikis are the most useful for business because they allow collaboration and they capture the product of that collaboration. Blogs are a useful communication tool for executives and among a project team. RSS pulls it all together by pushing the changes to wikis and blogs to those interested in them.

LinkedIn IPO

The Motley Fool posted a story: Getting LinkedIn to the Next Hot IPO. I particularly liked the story's characterization of the other big social network sites:

MySpace: "chatty teens"
Facebook: "giddy coeds"
LinkedIn: "LinkedIn caters to the white-collar crowd, hungry for leads, recommendations, and job opportunities. Let's call it a networking social site instead of a social-networking site, because it's really all about corporate networking at LinkedIn."

Rueters has the full press release on the IPO. In that story, Dan Nye, the company's chief executive, describes LinkedIn: "LinkedIn is a productivity tool. We expect people to come to LinkedIn and accomplish tasks, then move on. We have no intention of becoming a social site. We want to remain focused on productivity that is important for professionals."

Here is my profile in LinkedIn. I found it easy to find, friends, colleagues and co-workers and add them as "connections." Over the course of the last week since I set up my account, I have created 36 connections and have 16 outstanding invitations.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New SharePoint Addons

The Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog identified two free SharePoint addons that they recommend.

The one that interest me is Telerik's RadEditor for MOSS. This tool gives you the ability to paste rich text formatted content from Microsoft Word into SharePoint's wikis and blogs. Currently (as with many blog and wiki software) pasting content from Word creates a mess as the software tries to convert the rich text to html. That always bugs me. And I hate having to strip the formatting out using notepad, just to try to re-create it after I paste in the text.

Cherish the Routine Legal Services

Rees W. Morrison has an article on Cherish the Routine Legal Services.

He makes four points about commodity legal services

  1. Recognize that commodity legal work is crucial for a company's success.

  2. Build on the fact that all legal services move toward commodity.

  3. Apply technology and knowledge management to commodity work.

  4. Reconsider where the work is done.
I was disappointed that he did not mention the use of document assembly systems when applying technology to commodity legal work. I find the use of document assembly can remove a lot of the drudge work from the commodity work, allowing the attorneys to focus on the aspect of the matter that distinguishes it from the rest of the matters in the commodity assembly line. I have found the attorneys to be ecstatic that they do not have to fill in the borrower's name over and over again over the set of a dozen loan documents.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

KM Best Practices (with its new look) posted an article by Ron Freidmann entitled: KM Best Practices. The article is a summary of a panel discussion he led.

He points out that for most attorneys, the "best practice" is to use the last instance. Attorneys are not known for taking the time to do a post-action review to send feedback to their team or their documents. That post-action review is the key to creating and maintaining best practices.

For my clients, I am very good about reviewing the final, negotiated documents to extract changes that should be made to the original form and updating the procedures memo. I have found this to be particularly successful for the automated forms. I guess if you are saving the attorneys several hours up front, they are willing to give some back at the end.

SharePoint for Business

Michael Sampson sent me a copy of his white paper: SharePoint for Business. I met Michael at the Enterprise 2.0 conference last week. The paper focuses much more on the "soft" issues than the technical requirements.

His six step framework:
  1. Develop a vision on the business reasons for deploying SharePoint within the organization.
  2. Get the technical implementation of SharePoint right.
  3. Lead people to develop competence in the various tools available in SharePoint.
  4. Develop shared agreements on SharePoint practices.
  5. Avoid the pitfalls of earlier collaboration.
  6. Cultivate the practices of collaboration.
One of his tasks in step 3 is to create and publicize a SharePoint sandbox where users can explore the capabilities (and limitations) of SharePoint in an informal setting. I am a big fan of giving users the ability to explore features of the tool on their own.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why Blog? - Blogging Offers a Lift to Your Career

As I was lying on the couch reading The Boston Sunday Globe I came across an article by Penelope Trunk in the jobs section: Blogging Offers a Lift to Your Career.

"Blogging allows you to create a high-quality network for yourself based, not on the old model of passing out business cards, but on a new model of passing out ideas."

"Most of the time you spend blogging will be reading other peoples' blogs and linking to them and writing commentary on your own blog about what others in the blogosphere are talking about. It's a constant course in your specialty and keeps you on the cutting edge."

I think these are two great reasons to blog in the blogosphere, as well as within the enterprise.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Swarm Behavior

National Geographic Magazine this month has a story on how the study of swarm intelligence and how it is providing insight on managing complex systems: Swarm Behavior.
As I was reading, I thought of Professor McAfee's statement about the wisdom of crowds at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference last week: crowds are not less intelligent than their least intelligent member, but instead are many times more intelligent than the most intelligent member.

The article starts off by pointing out that individual ants are not smart, but ant colonies are. It is management of the interaction and collaboration among the individual ants that makes the colony work. The article continues on with study of swarm intelligence and other examples in nature.

As the end of the article, the author moved onto the applications in human behavior. The author cites the obvious connection of swarm intelligence in the success of Google and Wikipedia.

I think knowledge management and enterprise 2.0 are both looking to harness the swarm intelligence of their organizations.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Knowledge Doesn’t Want to Be Managed

After drinking all the Kool-Aid this week at the Enterprise 2.0 conference, and trying to figure out the correlation between enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management, I thought I would look at some contrarian views:

Paula Thornton on the The FASTForward Blog posts that Knowledge Doesn’t Want to BE Managed. She seems to think we should abandon knowledge management in favor of 2.0 technologies.

Tom Davenport (who seems to be unscathed after his steel cage deathmatch with Andrew McAfee) thinks that E2.0 "technologies produce too much content for their own good." [Read more.]

James Dellow thinks we are all completely wrong.

Which is statement is more true?:
  1. Enterprise 2.0 a subset of knowledge management.

  2. Knowledge management is a subset of enterprise 2.0.

  3. Enterprise 2.0 is the same thing as knowledge management.

  4. Knowledge management has nothing to do with enterprise 2.0.

Facebook Gets Help From Its Friends

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on Facebook and its new platform for allowing third party integration: Facebook Gets Help From Its Friends. ( $$)

It is interesting to see the network effect in its user graph:The site itself get more popular as more people use it. As more people use it the more useful the site becomes. This looks like Reed's Law in action.

Facebook still intrigues me with its set of features and robust ability to see what is happening in your network of "friends." Ii Just found out my brother is a Romney supporter). I am still looking for needs it can address in the enterprise.

It is one of the most visited sites on the internet, so it is doing something right. Its initial user base was college students and they are now moving into the workplace and presumably carrying their use of Facebook with them. I posted previously how Allen & Overy tried banning the use of Facebook, but had to retreat from that position.

As its users mature, Facebook will mature. The opening of its platform could allow for some powerful interaction. Add me as a friend and explore.

20 Ways to Use LinkedIn Productively

Web Worker Daily put up this story on 20 Ways to Use LinkedIn Productively.

LinkedIn is another social site that I have been curious about. So, as I did with Facebook, I signed up and explored. [Here is my profile in LinkedIn.] I have not had the opportunity to add much information yet. It certainly is more grown up than Facebook. But Facebook seems to be much more rich in features. Although the vast majority of features have no value to the workers in an enterprise.

I even added the LinkedIn button on the blog this morning.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is Enterprise 2.0 Knowledge Management?

One of my goals for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference was to figure out if enterprise 2.0 is the same things as knowledge management. I want to think this over for a few days and let the effects of "drinking the kool-aid" at the conference wear off before coming up with an answer.

I certainly found a lot of common themes and common purposes. Both want to foster better collaboration, and in the process create more searchable and reusable content. As Jessica Lipnack pointed out in her session, it is mostly about the people, not about the technology. They are about getting people working together, interacting and finding each other.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Embracing Enterprise 2.0

Donald Tapscott moderated a panel of Ross Mayfield, Kim Polese and Joe Schueller on how successful companies have adopted enterprise 2.0 platforms to drive innovation and collaboration.

Where do you start?

Ross: You need to find out what you are already doing. You can look to transform culture with the tools because of the transparency.

Joe is cautious about experimentation, looking at the upsides and downsides. There is a cultural problem; there are way more consumers of information than producers of information.

Kim: Spike was started on a wiki, but the company is still dominated by email communications. You should start with an individual project rather than push out to the enterprise as a whole.

Joe went after email first. That was a failure. People were not willing to let go of their email.

Don made a story of a big automotive company that wanted the CEO and top executives to start a wiki. That was a terrible idea. It is much better to start from the bottom and move up.

What are the Challenges?

Don points out: freeriders, integration, and culture.

Ross: the legal team and marketing team can through the initial roadblocks. You need some early success stories. Find a champion to give some cover as the project is first started.

Joe: 2.0 is all viral. There is no deployment. There is nothing worse than an empty wiki. You need to fill in some information first.

Kim: Managers are worry about wiki proliferation and collaborating with control.

Joe: You need to orient the technology around the process. Make sure you are picking the right tool for the right job.

Audience: IT Dept's are concerned about E2.0 tools. If IT is not behind it, then who is going to pay for it. How do you get HR to buy in?

Don: Leadership needs to make sure it happens.

Ross: IT needs to make the tools available and then get out of the way. People will quickly find the value in the tool and by being a contributor.

Kim: IT needs to be involved to make sure the systems talk to each other. IT should be a leader and not just an enforcer.

Joe: The software is more lightweight and easier to maintain. They started the roll out of the tools in IT, so IT became leaders and evangelists for the tools.

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Joe Schueller

Joe Schueller, Innovation Manager, Procter & Gamble Global Business Services, on how they moved to a wiki workplace. They have embraced ideas and products discovered and developed outside the company. They have overcome the NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here).

They are focused on productivity, doing more with less. Mass collaboration allows them to be more nimble. It also allows they to attract innovative people.

Procter and Gamble has 160 years of success as a vertically integrated company. They are still figuring out how to integrate and change the culture at P&G to allow for more collaboration and discovery.

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Kim Polese

Kim Polese, CEO of Spike source, on E2.0 adoption. She thinks you can do more quicker and for less cost.

Concerns: cost of administration of point solutions, security, importing data and exporting data.

What is the best approach for implementing Web2.0 in the Enterprise? You need interoperability. She turned this into a salespitch for Spike so I tuned out.

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Ross Mayfield

Ross Mayfield of SocialText on software getting in the way. Complexity is in the social network. Vendors tried to put it in the software. Social software keeps complexity in the social network, so lets keep it there. Use simple tools with simple rules to deal with the complexity.

What to wiki?

Start with People. Use it to remove information from email. Make it easier to edit the intranet. Let people express their identities on their intranet.

Start with Projects. Document and share information on a project.

Start with Practices. Develop a FAQ and how-tos.

Start with Process. Have people write down the process and come to agreement on how things should be done. A lot of value by opening the place for answers open to the whole company.

Launched wikiwidgets today.

Here is a link to his slides.

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Wikinomics: Winning with Enterprise 2.0

Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics (and others), on how the participatory web is changing how goods and services are invented, produced, marketed and distributed.

He buys into the idea that there is a new enterprise, moving from a closed hierarchy system moving to an open networked enterprise. He noted this his 1992 book: Paradigm Shift.

He identified four drivers of the change:
  1. Web2.0 - The new web is based on xml, which allows computation. You can access the web through devices other than a PC.
  2. The Net Generation - We have the first generation to grow up in the internet age. They do not have a fear of technology; they grew up on it. They don't really use email; they view at as a formal type of communication.
  3. Social Revolution - flickr vs. webshots. Flickr has taken off. Myspace is killing Wikipedia is killing Blogger beats
  4. Economic Revolution - There is the rise of the digital conglomerates: ebay, yahoo, google, ebay, microsoft and amazon. Google is telecom provider (they are wiring SF), they are an ad agency, they are retailer, they are a hardware manufacturer.
He saw it an extended enterprise. Transaction costs and collaboration costs are being reduced so it makes more sense to break up the vertical integration. This leads to four new principles of the new business model: Peering - rather than cogs in the supply chain, Being Open - transparency of the enterprise, Sharing - intellectual property and Acting Global - why be multinational when you can be global. "If you are going to be naked you need to be buff."

Goldcorp as an example of the new business model. His geologists could not tell him where the gold was. He took his geological data and published it on the internet for a contest. There was a $500,000 if anyone can tell him if he had any gold and if so where it was. The winner was a computer graphics company that gave him a 3D model of his mine.

What are the New Models:
  1. Peer Pioneers
  2. Ideoagoras - open markets for thoughts and ideas
  3. Prosumers - turn your customers into producers
  4. New Alexandrians - the sharing of science
  5. Open Platforms - example the amazon API for retailers
  6. Global Plant Floor - suppliers are peers
  7. Wiki Workplace - use collaborative tools to design internal procedures

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From The Labs at E2.0

Bob McCandless on the company that provides video and audio experiences. There is the gaze correction challenge. Often you are not looking at the camera when you look at someone else. You can use three cameras to correct the problem, but that causes a bandwidth problem. For perspective corrected viewing, measure the viewing angle and distance to correct for a better image. He is looking for a next generation telepresence so that it looks like the person is sitting in your office and that person sees you sitting in their office.

He demoed a second life telepresence room. They took a live video stream into Second Life instead of an avatar. There is an audio problem in Second Life.

Many Eyes
An IBM project on collaborative visualization, presented by Irene Greif. They started with a baby name project showing the popularity of names based on social security data. Manyeyes is about visualizations of data. She showed a chart tracking US government expenses from 1962 to 2004. It was an interesting way to show lots of information in a very visual experience.

Enterprise Widgets
Denis Browne from SAP showing desktop widgets. One widget tracked the sales figures of his salesman and could drill down into the sales themselves. The goal is to give users the "tip of the iceberg" look into the CRM system.

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Liquid Talk Launch Pad

Liquid Talk.

There are few cracks in the day to get stuff done. We are increasingly out of the office. You can't collaborate when you are sitting in a car or on a plane. It is hard to find information when you are out of the office. Companies need to attract the best and brightest talent.

They provide the information through mobile devices for whenever and wherever knowledge sharing. They push audio and video through mobile devices. It is like an iTunes for internal business information. Also it allows information to be pushed to them. Your boss can send information to your inbox.

The users can translate them and comment on them. He recorded the presentation and pushed it out to their employees.

The analysts critique. . . .

Dave found this a little more interesting. He equated it to a Tivo for business communication.
Stowe found it intriguing, but better suited to a plugin to another system rather than a standalone product.

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KnowNow Live at Launch Pad


The live information management application. The proposition is that email is overused, the static portal is broken and search is not the answer. They get access to underlying systems, pull it into their server doing some aggregation, filtering, security and alerts. They drive the information to users through their new product: KnowNow Live.

It has a sharepoint look and feel, with navigation of channels on the left that you can add to your homepage pallette.

The analysts critique. . . .

Stowe wants more demo and less pitch. He thinks they will have a hard time battling the incumbents in this space. Dave likes the trend that aggregation is good space to be.

I am not sure I saw enough to understand what it does.

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Clarizen Launch Pad

Clarizen was created 18 months ago of an on-demand collaboration solution for project management. [They only have six minutes and he is wasting time making statements about the problems with project management. Let's see the product]

Yet another outlook-like interface. (At least from the quick screenshot.)

The analysts critique. . . .

Stowe thinks there is not much new here. David labeled it "1.5 tool." He thinks the key is cutting down the cycle time between tasks, not capturing the task.

I did not see enough to even get an idea of what it does.

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Collanos Launch Pad

Launch pad has started late showcasing a few new products.

Up first. . .

Collanos Software presentation is the launch of their product that enables cross-organizational collaboration. They have a serverless solution sharing information through a peer to peer network. You invite members to your network and the information is synchronized.

The interface has the multiple pane outlook organization. The new feature launched today is allowing voice calls to be originated from the workspace.

The analysts critique. . . .

David thinks it is interesting that Collanos focused on what other groups do and not what they do. He raised the issue of security and compliance of having data replicated across a peer-to-peer network. Stowe thinks the marketplace does not need another product in this area. He thinks they need a server back up location and not just peer-to-peer.

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How to Build an E2.0 Platform That Employees Will Use

Rob Preston (Information Week) moderated a panel of Toby Redshaw (Motorola), Mike Fratesi (Cisco) and Oliver Young (Forrester). This was the most crowded presentation of the morning.

My notes:
No slides (I am little over PowerPointed. There were a lot of abusive PowerPoint presentations.)

IDEAS an acronym at Motorola for their collaboration platform. 75,000 users are on each day(but only 63,000 employees; partners use the system). Their KM system includes blogs and wikis. They just added the feature and never trained people on their use. They have thousands of blogs and thousands of wikis. It has to be easy to very easy to use and very useful to get adopted.

Oliver's research is on how to users to use the product. He sees a dichotomy. Marketing is excited about the tools and IT is afraid of the tools. IT wants to make sure they lock it down, they want to make sure that intellectual property is not walking out the door. He sees an analogy in instant messaging, which came into organizations without IT being involved in the process.

Mike comes from the perspective of the unified communications segment. Cisco is looking to meld UC and E2.0 together. There is lots of collaboration in real time; face-to-face and phone calls. He wants to pull the people, the processes, the information and the communications together. They are looking to build their people directory to be much more like MySpace. They are looking for ways to move information out of the email stream and reduce email traffic.

Toby runs the KM system with five people. They have hundreds of KM champions throughout the organizations. They shepherd the blogs and wikis. Toby seems agnostic to bad behavior in the blogs and wikis. He thinks over monitoring them will kill them because people will be afraid to use them. He advocates collapsing the hierarchy, empowering the workers. Put the community knowledge in the hands of the people who need it.

Oliver says a report that IT managers that said 20% of their employees are using blogs and wikis. Even those that said they are not purchasing them and supporting them still said 5% of their employees are using the tools. He sees the technologies coming in through SaaS. For short money, people can set up these collaboration tools outside the firewall. IT cannot prevent you from setting up an account on He also sees the technologies coming into the enterprise through the incumbents. Case in point is SharePoint's wiki and blog capability. The issue is how to educate your employees on how to use these tools.

Back to Mike, who points out how the CEO is empowering department heads to increase collaboration. Cisco is revamping how they collaborate and how they communicate. They also are advocating that their customers use the tools and show them the benefit of using the tools.

Toby pointed out the need to get out in front of the adoption. If you let these sneak in , you will have migration, searching and upgrade problems. Toby thought there was no age split on use. Oliver thinks the split is whether the user is technologically inclined or not. He points out that Motorola and Cisco are technology companies where their employees are focused on technology. There is much more familiarity of young people with the Web2.0 technologies.

Oliver sees the need for KM champions and evangelists to use the technology and get their groups to use them. Then let it progress and spread throughout the organization. Oliver points out that email was not initially used and blackberries were feared. Now they are ingrained in the working culture.

Toby points out that it is really hard to measure. Companies built their physical space to have people meet, run into each other and collaborate. They do not run an ROI on the building. Toby thinks email is one of the worst things going on inside an enterprise.

Toby expects all the training to be one page. If it is more complicated than that, it is too complicated. He also sees a lot of IT success from "reverse training" where junior employees show more senior employees how to use technologies.

A question to Toby was whether the success of the E2.0 technologies was because of a change in culture or cause a change in culture. The new CEO did institute cultural changes. He required the groups to be focused around customers, he does not allow dissension, a lot of people left.

Toby thinks the executives should be making decisions and the workers should be collaborating.

Oliver points out that there is a group of people who will not change, but you need to make sure they are still in the loop. Mike said at Cisco if you do not use IM then you are left out of the communications channel. If you do not adopt you get left behind.

The benefit using a common platform is getting the unified search. (Dare I say enterprise search.) It also removes some of the complexity of having different user interfaces and operations.

This was a great presentation. Toby was a hoot during the presentation.

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90% People; 10% Technology

Jessica Lipnack (NetAge) moderated a panel of Milton Chen (VSee Lab), Bill Ives (consultant), Dan Somers (VC-Net), Jeff Stamps (NetAge) and Tom Witkin (SiteScape). Milton was connected through a VSee application.

Jessica started off have the audience introduce themselves.

My Notes:

Milton started off the panel. VSee is a free audio and video conferencing service through a peer to peer system. Focusing on telepresence, he questioned when is a smile not a smile? How big a picture and how much quality to you need to recognize a smile as a smile. He also advocates teleconferencing from his office. The things in his office makes him smarter and easier to integrate with the conference.

Tom's presentation was entitled: Out of the Cool? In his organization, he found that a cultural change was needed to increase collaboration. Then he found that the technology was not "cool." He thinks people spend too much time assembling a taxonomy that is put in place before the technology was put in place. Users then have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to put their information into the taxonomy. Every user gets a blog, a wiki, a photobook and a guestbook for their personal space. The expectation is to share the space with a few "buddies" then to expand to sharing it with a team.

Next up is Dan. He advocates a Chief Collaboration Officer. He point out that people need training on which collaboration tools to use and how to use them. The tool is like a baseball bat. Without training, the bat is just a very destructive weapon. He also advocated rewarding altruistic behavior. People should be rewarded financially for collaborating and sharing. Regular measurement and training is the key to success; run collaboration audits. You need measurable results.

Next is Bill. In a survey of new hires, they said they got 90% of their information from other people and only 10% from the technology. There is more of a technology challenge inside the enterprise. IT systems are often set up to extract information from users, not make the information available back to the users. Knowledge management can evolve from the transparency of collaboration. Some things need to be kept from being transparent. Engage the users by finding out what they think should be transparent.

Last up is Jeff. He points out that you need to deal with introverts and extroverts. People are different and you need to deal with the differences among them. He is advocating a little different position than Milton. He has been working on a project for 18 months and never had a telephone conversation; all communication went through email and wikis. Milton was preaching the benefits of face time. Some people communicate better through the written word; others through the spoken word.

An audience member brought up the point that Web2.0 often allows a fair amount of anonymity. That will not be true in the enterprise.

An audience member asked about the use of Avatars (Second Life). Jeff thinks there is no infrastructure to support the collaboration, but thinks it may happen.

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Microsoft Strategy: Building a People Ready Busines

Mike Gotta (Burton Group) introduced Rob Curry (Microsoft, Director Office SharePoint Server).

I expected this to be a product specific presentation. We are deploying SharePoint 2007, so I looking for ways to use the new tools in the platform. In retrospect, I should have slept in for an extra hour or attended one of the other sessions. He spent a lot of time on generic Microsoft speak on business processes, etc. Then his demo barely touched SharePoint and spent most of his time on Office 2007 products. I know they have some great interoperability. But, we are just now deploying Office 2003, with no plans for Office 2007.

My notes on the presentation:

No surprise that Rob is starting off from a heavyweight, corporate governance perspective. This feels in stark contrast to the lightweight, free form models that I heard about on Monday and Tuesday. He is spending a lot of time framing the issue and the problems.

Enterprise 2.0 is coming from (1) the increase in hardware and processor power (desktop and mobile) with cheaper storage, (2) people being used to the web experience and getting familiar with the Web2.0 experience and (3) interoperability of systems, with vendors rallying around standards like XML, RSS and web services.

Ways to empower the user
  1. Employee Self-service - they do not have to go through IT
  2. Role Delegation - provide different information to different group, you get different information and a different intranet experience depending on your role
  3. Intuitive User Interface - [training users sucks] the ratio of adoption is inverse to the difficulty in using the interface
  4. Pervasive collaboration - make the information searchable and retrievable, harness the network effect
Ways to deal with governance:
  1. Site and Information Architecture
  2. Policies
  3. Rights Management - protection of documents
  4. Auditing - track the information, who looked at it and who used it
Strategies for success:
  1. Create a connected organization infrastructure
  2. Build a holistic information management system - so people do not have to deal with documents in different ways
  3. Invest in a vendor ecosystem with a broad range of interoperable solutions.

After 30 minutes we finally get to the product. We see a generic home page. The blog is list-based so you can set up a workflow with approval before the post is published. He moved onto the integration of Office 2007 with SharePoint 2007 and showed how you can make the blog post in Word and publish it to the SharePoint website.

He moved to a SharePoint team site and highlighted a PowerPoint slide library (I think this is tied to Office 2007). He also went into features of PowerPoint 2007. He continued on with Office 2007 applications so I started tuning out. They seem neat, but he is just teasing me with features that I will not be seeing for years.

He jumped back to MySites in Sharepoint. They give background on the user. It can pull information from your Outlook Inbox.

He moved onto SharePoint search and showed how it can search other data systems. He showed a search of a CRM system.

He pointed out how every SharePoint list has an RSS feed.

He went onto PopFly combining information from a SharePoint list and made a quick mashup of a map showing locations. It also turns the mashup into a widget that you can embed in other applications including SharePoint.

A question came up about folksonomies in SharePoint. Rob stated that SharePoint is a platform and that we should look to partners to create tagging. There are some robust third party vendors providing this tool.

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E2.0 Reports From Other Attendees

Here are links to some other attendees thought on the conference:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

E2.0 - Corporate Blogging

Stowe Boyd (BlueWhale Labs) moderated a panel of Anil Dash (Six Apart), Suw Charman (consultant), Sam Weber (KnowNow) and Oliver Young (Forrester) on whether businesses can use blogs in a business setting and how so.

Suw went first with a monologue:

A blog is just another tool. There may need to overcome some stigma that a blog is a diary. [I posted previously on overcoming this perception.]

Identify the needs that blog could solve. Customers want to know more about you as a person and your company as a whole. The blog can allow a more personal connection. Ultimately, business is about personal interaction. A blog can be used to provide that personal insight. [Do you know more about me than you did before reading this blog?] People generally want to share their expertise and people are always looking for expertise. The blog can be used as a marketing tool. You can use the blog as a place to interact with the community interested in what you are doing. [Law firms may have an issue with this. You would need to be careful about inadvertently creating an attorney-client relationship.]

The semi-official blog is what scares companies the most. They will show the warts and problems as well as the successes and will stray off message. The CEO blog is also a possible problem because the CEO may be too busy to provide the steady stream of information needed for a blog (never mind ghost-writing).

Decreasing occupational spam is a great reason for using internal blogs. People should not need to use their email inbox as a storage tool for internal communication.

Then onto some panel discussion:

Oliver mentioned a research report asking IT managers whether they saw a business value for blogs, wikis and other technologies. Blogs came in at the bottom of the list with only 17% saying that they would have value. Anil saw this as a glass half full: 17% saw value.

Oliver pointed out that you need to be careful about using the wrong tool. ("If you have a hammer a lot of stuff starts looking like nails.") Oliver pointed out that blogs need RSS and need to be indexed by the enterprise search to be useful ("You need the whole toolbelt, not just the hammer.")

Companies need to set blogging policies, particularly in financial services and legal services where there are regulations to follow and legal implications to information in blogs.

Blogging can amplify bad judgment. Your user can stand on a street corner with a megaphone saying stupid things, but you do not blame the megaphone. Don't blame the blog for bad behavior. Stowe's blogging policy: "Don't say anything stupid."

The organization probably has lots of valuable information stored in their email, but others cannot access this. The tools for searching blogs are great, but there are no tools for the users to search another person's email.

Sam finds external blogs to be of great value.

One problem is how to get blogs adopted, just as email had problems being adopted 10 years ago. One solution is to use email as an on-ramp, cc the blog or have the email contain a link to the blog entry.

Stowe threw out the proposition that blogs by themselves are not enough. You need the aggregation tools and prioritization tools. You need the tagging and RSS feeds to help manage the information. You need to be able to separate the blowhards from the experts. (It is not about quantity, its about quality.)

You need to figure out when to use email and when to use a blog so users know when to use the right tool.

Tips and techniques for moving from emails to blogs:
  • Highlight great posts and make a feed of these great posts (move them to the intranet homepage)
  • Have a top-level corporate initiative.
  • Start with a project team that matches well with a blog use.
  • Look for behaviors in email that could be better done with a blog and target that user.

Stowe thinks that to become a blogger, first you need to read blogs.

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E2.0 Reports from the Frontier

Jessica Lipnack moderated a panel of Jeffrey Stamps (NetAge), Carole Boudinet (Volvo IT) and Sujatha Bodapati (ProdexNet) to discuss examples of enterprise 2.0 in action. We spent a few minutes having everyone in the audience introducing everyone in the audience. (It was a very diverse crowd.)

The first case study was Shell Oil. They started a "networked community" project in 1997, driven by a key executive as he advanced the corporate hierarchy. At that time they were consolidating their global operations. They started with virtual teams organizing around communities of practice and virtual working projects. They developed team rooms inside their knowledge management system.

The next case study was Volvo IT. They wanted to implement collaboration in the company and used mail, messenger, NetMeeting and audio conferences in a TeamPlace collaboration site. Their ten keys to collaboration:
  1. Be organized
  2. plan ahead
  3. show respect
  4. be clear
  5. seek confirmation
  6. dare to ask
  7. give response
  8. seek understanding
  9. address problems
  10. resolve conflicts
They included a guide on how to run a virtual team. They supported the deployment using virtual trainings by a world-wide internal network of ambassadors and consultants. There were not just IT people in this network.

Next up is ProdexNet, a technology development company. The collaboration tools have allowed them to offshore most of their research and development. The tools are put in place to pull together the US operations, India operations and the customer. They need to overcome cultural differences and time zone differences as well as the classic collaboration needs of why, what, how and when.

They use email when they want an audit trail and customer interaction. They use message boards for individuals projects and technical details, use online chat for quick clarifications in the real time and use web conferencing and desktop sharing.

They changed some of their processes. They now have regularly scheduled meetings. They made the teams smaller. Big teams are broken into smaller groups (They like 5-7). Phone conversations are used for informal conversations and increase the personal touch. Since the have geographical dispersed teams, they allow flexible work times. They broke their rigid communication hierarchy so that upper management can talk directly with engineers and product managers.

Her tips for successful collaboration:
  • Willingness to take time to communicate
  • Willingness to be flexible to work hours that allow time overlap
  • Willingness to travel for face-to-face
  • Willingness to use the right tools at the right time
They do post-mortems on projects to extract information and synthesize it for re-use. [It sounds like the project sites are not findable or leveragable outside the team until the project is done or dead.]

Last case study is for an unnamed global financial services company. They married best practices in sociology with an enterprise wiki. HR lead the project, not IT. They found a 34% increase in collaboration based on pre- and post- surveys. The best practices in sociology was to make sure that the right tools were used for collaboration. For example, what you should and should not do with a group conference call (No status reports on conference calls).

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E2.0 - Enterprise 2.1

Dennis Moore, General Manager, Emerging Solutions, SAP, is looking to the next wave.

We are moving from task work to knowledge work, moving from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge community in the US. (Of course, someone needs to make all of the things we consume.) SAP was concerned because they were focused on workflow around task-based work. They have moved to new areas.

IDC report said 45% use blogs, 43% use RSS and 35% use wikis. He is skeptical of these numbers. The audience (a surely self-selected crowd) had a higher rate of use. People have better IT at home than at work. So they are starting to import those technologies to the office. Compare the mailbox size limit in your Outlook/Exchange mailbox at work compared to virtually unlimited size limit at Gmail and Yahoo!Mail.

He is calling Enterprise 2.1 as emergent technology where the user decides how to match and combine the information. Users also like things are delightful, even if not useful.

He went into a sales pitch for a SAP product called Smart Workspace. It allows the user to pull information systems into a workspace to analyze and solve problems.

He sees Enterprise 2.0 using the wisdom of the crowds, to leverage collective intelligence, to enhance work patters, and to improve self-sufficiency.

Off to lunch and checking email.

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E2.0 Amplify the Impact of Your People

Derek Burney, general manager of SharePoint Platform and Tools, on Microsoft's take on E2.0. We could not let a meeting pass without hearing from Microsoft, the 800 pound gorilla.

The role of software is to help you find the information you need to to do your job, to retain and share knowledge and build communities across organizational communities.

Microsoft thinks that collaboration tools should be available to knowledge workers where ever they are. Five core capabilities: (1) unified communications, (2) business intelligence - finding statistics and metrics about the enterprise, (3) enterprise content management - storing documents, (4) collaboration - wikis, blogs and what have you and (5) enterprise search.

They take collaboration: wikis, blogs, expertise search, rss feeds, social networking, profiles and presence in the working environment and structure to reduce complexity and security risks.

There are four types of people important to the business: (1) employees, (2) customers, (3) partners/supplier and (4) non-affiliated community. These four groups work in silos and information is not readily shared.

How can you improve this situation?:
  • Promote expertise and communities in your organization.
    Right people, in the right place, at the right time. It does not rely on LDAP to create the community. Build a Mysite so there is a one stop shop for information on a person in the enterprise and a one stop shop for that person to find the information they need.
  • Strengthen customer relationships.
    Use E2.0 to drive marketing, sales and customer support. Use the community for support and evangelism. Make more information available to your customers about your organization and build loyalty with them.
  • Build next generation platforms.
    Avoid the results gap by making more information available to employees. Connect the office applications with the information silos in other enterprise background data. Integrate external data with internal data to supply more information to the knowledge workers. We pointed out the mashup tool that makes it easy to create mashups.
  • Unify communications.
    Here he pitched LiveMeeting
  • Accelerate development and innovation.
    Try leveraging your customers to get direction and ideas for development. They launched the community kit for SharePoint v2, includes enhanced blog, enhanced wiki and tag clouds. It creates innovation to the product outside of the development cycle.

Yes, this was a big sales pitch. But since we are a Microsoft shop, currently using SharePoint and upgrading to Sharepoint 2007, I paid attention to this sales pitch. He used screenshots and examples from the software we are implementing.

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E2.0 Collaborating in the Transparent Enterprise

Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps of NetAge, turned to the people side of collaboration.

"We can't solve 21st century problems with 19th century organizations." A quote from the CIA.

Networks are nodes linked with common purposes. Nodes are people, positions, teams or organizations. Four networks weave the enterprise: (1) org chart - who you report to and who reports to you, (2) working networks - management teams and project teams, (3) knowledge networks - finding experts who help you, and (4) social networks - friends.

Networking requires new principles, new behaviors and new tools. Consistency is important in the online experience. In the physical space, you expect light switches to be in a certain place. The analogy carries over to a virtual space.

Forming teams is good, but you need to avoid the silo-ing of information in these teams. We also need to put thin information coming from the team into context.

"We are born to work and play together in teams, but we have to give enough of ourselves to let the filaments connect." Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

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E2.0 How Video And Other Web2.0 Tech is Changing the Enterprise

Marthin De Beer, of Cisco, talked about change. The current crop of college students has grown up with Web2.0. They may have never known the internet without these technologies. They are used to having an on-line presence. They are probably going to want to bring the experience they are used to having on their social consumer sites into the enterprise. They want to use and will use the tools regardless of whether they are inside or outside the firewall. So Enterprise 2.0 is coming, whether or not the enterprise is responsible for them.

Mashups started in the music industry combining different music sources into a new song. He things they will eventually include video mashups.

Each users unique persona at home, at work and in the applications are blending together. The private network and public network are blending. The user just wants the best information regardless of whether it is inside or outside the enterprise. He thinks the boundaries of social networking, collaborations and entertainment are going to blend and swirl together.

He is looking ahead to the portability of processing power of mobile devices. Compare the processing power of the phone in your pocket compared to what you had 3 years ago. [Are the data limitations of the mobile phone networks going to limit this?] He sees the future of any media, anywhere on any device.

Consumers, prosumers (very talented consumers publishing information) and professionals. The web is new platform for prosumers to find an audience without having to go through major media companies. Professionals are still trying to find the right business model on the web.

He thinks telepresence should be included as part of the E2.0 collaboration toolbox. Cisco has has 12,000 telepresence meetings over the past 6 months.

Video is an experiential medium. If a picture can tell a 1,000 words, then video can tell millions. It is also the fastest growing medium in Web 2.0. The numbers going up on YouTube are staggering.

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E2.0 Drive Innovation and Growth with E2.0

Ambuj Goyal, IBM General Manager of the Software Group, Information Management (substituting for Mike Rhodin) took the podium.

Enterprise 2.0 is an evolution of E-Business. Traditional businesses took advantage of the web to improve their businesses and startups took their position as well.

A business can put up information anywhere and users can comment on it. We don't just browse, we can now update and participate.

Three components: (1) economic - harness the "long tail", (2) technology - lightweight infrastructure and simpler programming and (3) community - harness the collective knowledge.

He highlighted the IBM WebSphere Portal Product. He pointed out that it brings Web 2.0 rich interactive applications. [It looks interesting, but we are still moving down the path of our SharePoint 2007 upgrade to our intranet. I tuned out the sales pitch and checked my email. Sorry Ambuj. ]

The rules of business are changing, moving from structure based to knowledge based. Reduction in time to market opens new business opportunities. Reduce costs through customer self-service. Extract value by collecting the sharing and wisdom in the organization.

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E2.0 The State of the Meme

Andrew McAfee presented the state of Enterprise 2.0 in a report card format.

Awareness: A. Mainstream press is starting to catch on. It is the children of senior executives who are doing the most to push awareness. They are looking over the kid's shoulders trying to figure out what the Web2.0 things do.

Social software is powered by the network. A word document can live on its own. Facebook only works because it is connected to other users. Network effects mean that more users create an exponential increase in the value.

Allow freeform authoring and not force a lot of required fields on them. We do not know what people know. Let them put the information together in the way that works for them. Let the users generate the metadata as a byproduct of their regular work. Let them organize their information their way. Structure emerges from the initial freeform and folksonomy structure. Their is a natural order to things.

Technologies: A- The Enterprise 2.0 toolkit is growing and making excellent progress. There is a rapid proliferation of technologies right now. (There is a question of what companies will survive.) There is a mix of startups and incumbent companies. Enterprise needs are being addressed in particular security and compliance. You need to be careful about feature creep. Keep the system simple and it will more likely get adopted.

The challenge is how to get people out of email. All knowledge workers use email.

Communicating Results: C
How to we show the decision-makers the positive impact of E2.0? There are only a few case studies and success stories. He senses that the decision-makers are willing, but want some verifiable or measurable success.

He proposes a repository of E2.0 efforts, with disclosure rules about the information being posted. He volunteered to help organize and participate in the development and governance of the repository. This would help E2.0 evangelists make their case.

He has changed his opinion about crowds. He previously thought the IQ of a crowd is less that the IQ of the dumbest member. He now thinks it is a multiple of the IQ of the smartest member. He has come to realize that blog is not a teenager's online diary.

Professor McAfee appears to have emerged unscarred from his E2.0 throwdown with Tom Davenport.

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E2.0 Rattling Business Foundations

David Weinberger, from the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, shared his thoughts on rattling the foundations of business.

Why aren't we drowning in information? The solution to the information overload is more information: metadata.

First Order: put something somewhere- a document in a folder. Second order: Then organize based on key facts e.g. card catalog. This works for physical world where you need to keep things apart. Two things cannot be in the same place at the same time. This requires some top-down authority deciding where something ends up.

These limitations on physical things do not apply to information. In a physical store, the product cannot be in one place. In an online store, the product can be in multiple categories.

Since data and metadata are both digital, you can organize and search the data and metadata. Essentially everything is metadata. You can search, by author, title and the text of the document.

Unowned order, the user controls the order, not the publisher. Let the users find what they need and connect the pieces and relationships. Make more information available to the user and let them work with it. (Saturn is now including Camrys and Accords in their showroom for you to test drive against the Aura. sub required )

Wikipedia is willing to be fallible. They post warnings that the contents are in dispute. By contrast a newspaper is in the business of being infallible. Businesses have trouble accepting their infallibility.

Knowledge is social. The intelligence of the group is smarter than any one individual. Businesses need to harness the knowledge of their stakeholders: employees, customer and competitors.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

E2.0 Conf - The Debate

On Monday morning, two Enterprise 2.0 pioneers, Harvard professor Andrew McAfee and Babson College professor Thomas Davenport, went head-to-head debating whether on Enterprise 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and social networks, will have a profound effect on how companies work.

See the video of the debate at

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