Saturday, December 27, 2008

This week in links - week 53, 2008

Time now for the last set of links for 2008. See you all in 2009 - Happy New Year!

"2009: Planning Considerations For Enterprise 2.0" by Mike Gotta:
Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 (MOSS) is a disappointing platform for social computing in my opinion. The blog is barely acceptable, the wiki is not, the decision to implement RSS rather than Atom was short-sighted and the "Corporate Facebook" capability is not that impressive. Still, many organizations are deploying SharePoint for many valid reasons unrelated to E2.0 and are "ok" with undertaking extensive customization or adding specific partners (e.g., NewsGator) to augment what SharePoint has in terms of E2.0 capabilities.

My position for some time has been that the next release will be a tipping point for Microsoft's social computing efforts. Either Microsoft "gets it right" and delivers a forward-looking release with significant improvements that transforms SharePoint into a market-leading social computing platform, or it delivers a release that has only incremental improvements to existing functionality that reflect a backward-looking competitive landscape (circa 2008 as things get locked-down).

If customers fail to see a forward-looking release and realize that they will again have to wait "another three years' before Microsoft delivers credible capabilities, then I expect to see a sizeable backlash within the SharePoint install-base. Organizations will leverage SharePoint for traditional productivity and content management needs but will look for an alternative social platform to sit alongside SharePoint while a minority of shops that have not over-committed to SharePoint (e.g., WSS only) will de-prioritize the platform.
RJ: What’s your response to people who say that all this information that’s out there, all this knowledge that we’re producing is great, and there’s all this access that we didn’t have before. But we also risk information overload alongside, and we don’t—

CS: Oh, those are the stupidest people in the entire debate because they, I mean, almost all of the people arguing that this is the Dark Ages are narcissists, because they’re essentially trying to preserve a particular piece of it. But the information overload people are the most narcissistic because information overload started in Alexandria, in the library of Alexandria, right? That was the first example where we have concrete archaeological evidence that there was more information in one place than one human being could deal with in one lifetime, which is almost the definition of information overload. And the first deep attempt to categorize knowledge so that you could subset; the first take on the information filtering problem appears in the library of Alexandria.
"Instant Messaging: The Business Case" by Bill Pray:
For years, IM has been marketed to enterprises as:
  • Enabling new agility and responsiveness in the organization through real-time communication
  • Reducing latency of communication transactions
  • Improving coordination
  • Enabling rapid response
  • Facilitating globalization
And while all of this can be true of IM in an enterprise, it can be very difficult to assign a value or a ROI to these statements. The difficulty to assign hard monetary value to IM is, I argue, one of the major reasons enterprise IM has not been implemented as ubiquitously as many have anticipated.

While researching this question of enterprise IM ROI for my next document, I have found that many enterprises resort to specific use cases to help them assign value to enterprise IM. There are nearly a dozen different use cases that I have identified for enterprise IM that provide benefits.

The major vendors (Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft) include enterprise IM in unified communications platforms, making it part of a much broader business case.
"Economist Finds True Believers in Business Value of Social Software" by Bill Ives:
The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that Web 2.0 has moved from buzzword to reality in many of the world’s largest corporations. They conducted a survey of 406 senior executives worldwide and found that 79% of respondents see the collaborative web as a way to boost revenues and cut costs. They said that, ╥perhaps the most interesting finding is that a full 85% of C-suite executives see the sharing and collaboration aspects of Web 2.0 as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins, versus 75% of middle management. Nothing like having top down sponsorship delivered to a largely already convinced group of middle managers. This top down effect also extend to the view that Web 2.0 is transformative, affecting all parts of the business (35% versus 28%) and is making a significant impact on the company╒s business model (41% versus 22%)

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