Archive for the ‘Enterprise Web’ Category

Enterprise Social Networking: Focus on Relationships (Altimeter Report)


Altimeter’s latest report now on Enterprise (inside of companies) social networking is now out from Charlene Li, author of Groundswell, Open Leadership and my business partner. She conducted thorough analysis by surveying 185 users, surveyed 81 ESN decision makers and interviewed 12 technology vendors.

Fig. 5 Enterprise Social Networks Have Only Moderate Impact On Business Goals
Key findings that attracted my eye include:

  1. Long term adoption often unsuccessful beyond one department. What’s interesting is there’s lots of initial enthusiasm but a slow decline after deployment. In many cases, primary adoption occurred in the marketing/product section, IT, followed by sales and corporate communication.
  2. Highest adoption of fremium tools. Interesting breakdown of vendors, with self-service Yammer in the lead, followed by Chatter and Tellingent and IBM connections.   What’s interesting is these fremium tools enter the market, get their hooks in and grow adoption and switch to premium offerings.
  3. Companies are measuring in the wrong way. Lack of metrics (or measuring the wrong way) by focusing on measuring conversations or engagement –rather than measuring improvement in relationships

Who said social media will reduce emails?
What’s interesting is that enterprise social networks don’t actually reduce internal email. The report also includes an actionable plan to get started, while there’s lots of details in the bullet points (filled with real world examples from real research interviews), they include four ways ESNs drive business value, including: 1) Encourage Sharing, 2) Capture Knowledge, 3) Enable Action, and 4) Empower people.

Open Research: Use it, Share it, and We’ll Publish More
We’re continuing to publish reports, and have a growing archive on our site, and will be doing a variety of webinars in support of these research findings. If you found them helpful, we look forward to you engaging with us in the conversation, and appreciate you using, sharing, and applying the findings.

You’ll find the full report embedded below which you can download, print and share, also read Charlene’s post.



Microsoft’s Office Web Apps Is “Me Too” To Google Docs –Yet Gives Enterprise Options for Collaboration and Security


This post was collaboratively written on a wiki by Jeremiah Owyang, who maintains a focus on Customer Strategy and Ray Wang, who maintains a focus on Enterprise Strategy. Together, we’re covering the convergence of emerging technology, Ray has cross-posted on his blog.

Microsoft gets serious about collaboration using the web and it’s office products by offering Microsoft Office Web Apps. On the consumer side, it’s just catching up to Google Docs, Zoho, and whatever collaboration start-up emerges. On the enterprise side, this could give internal teams real-time collaboration tools –and close security gaps through an on-premise solution. Regardless, IT must develop a collaboration strategy or run the risk of being blind-sided by business units developing it without them.

Microsoft Office Now Web-Based
Enterprises seek unified solutions for web-based applications that complement their desktop productivity tools. Today’s tools often do not work seamlessly across on-premise, on-demand, mobile, and disconnected scenarios. The delivery of Microsoft Desktop Apps just under a year after the October 28th, 2008 PDC announcement in LA puts Microsoft back in contention among corporate user who have been actively piloting alternative solutions from Google, Zoho, and others. Microsoft Office Web apps includes web-based versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. In addition, Microsoft delivers an online document management system with permissions called SkyDrive, which is advertising supported. These set of features are available to both consumers who have Windows Live accounts as well as to enterprises who have purchased the Office Volume License, who can install an on-premise version on internal serves for intranet usage.

Jeremiah’s Take: For the CMO
CMOs should be aware of the broad ranging changes of consumer behavior, but should recognize this is just catch up to Google docs which has beginnings as far back as 2006. Despite this “me too” there’s a few distinguishing points that make this announcement stand out:

  • Gives consumers the option over Google Docs. Consumers and certainly stakeholders in B2B prefer the no-nonsence experience of corporate issued Microsoft office. The upside for Microsoft is the spreadsheets appear to have more features than Google sheets, although some of the advanced functionality of web-based excel is not available. As a result, users will have to use the desktop client to perform advanced features like pivot tables.
  • May have better performance –attracting consumers. Microsoft makes claims its service will be faster than the somewhat slow Google docs products, which we believe as we’ve noticed latency in real-time collaboration in Google Docs. (which we’re using for this blog post)
  • Microsoft’s big footprint will accelerate adoption. A research survey conducted over a year ago suggests that Google Docs was used by just a 1% of the US consumer base, and Microsoft Word had over 51% adoption. Expect Microsoft’s large footprint in enterprise combined with over 375 million users of Hotmail and Live to push these web based apps to the mainstream –expect integration into other MS web products.

Ray’s Take: For the CIO
Enterprises will benefit from a familiar solution that delivers enterprise security and collaboration. For intranet deployments and mobile, there are three key use cases that standout:

  • Secured experience behind the firewall. Microsoft delivers an on-premise install that does not expose corporate data to consumer products such as Google docs.
  • Improved real-time collaboration. Consumer teams can now use these light weight web-based tools for near-real time collaboration. Apparently, this is Microsoft’s first real time collaboration tool, as we know Sharepoint often acts more like an asynchronous DMS and CMS.
  • Lighter mobile footprint. Browser based docs give the mobile warrior less resource limitations on laptops or other mobile devices.

IT Must Develop A Collaboration Strategy –Or Business Units Will Do It Without You
Enterprise IT must develop a collaboration program, as the advent of consumer collaboration tools will quickly outpace ITs ability to play catch up. As employees continue to create collaborative workspace in the public web, data can become mishandled, not accounted for, or orphaned. To avoid these risks, we recommend that:

  1. Enterprises should take inventory of the vast teams using consumer based collaboration tools, evaluate their usage and decide if an enterprise solution should be available for internal collaboration features.
  2. IT leadership shouldn’t shut down the firewall and block third-party collaboration tools, as work is often being done at the edges of the company with business units working with partners, customers, and prospects. Instead, focus on providing secure tools within the enterprise for collaboration, then roll-out proper awareness campaigns, training, and ongoing support for company supported technologies.
  3. IT departments should be proactive resources to business units and provide them with the right tools, training, and resources. IT departments that are reactive or clamp down on business units needs for collaboration will find employees finding work-arounds on consumer collaboration tools.
  4. Enterprises will want to reevaluate how Microsoft Web Apps work within existing volume licensing agreements and enterprise agreements, especially as many have considered alternatives during contract negotiations.

Below are screenshots provided by Microsoft to us of the web-based applications: Word, Powerpoint, OneNote and Excel. It’s not clear if the infamous “Clippy 2.0” will re-emerge –we hope not.

Microsoft Word Web App Microsoft PowerPoint Web App Microsoft OneNote Web App Microsoft Excel Web App

Silicon valley based Altimeter Group is a strategy consulting firm focused on providing companies with a pragmatic approach to emerging technologies..

Oracle Could Enter The Already Crowded Community Platform Space


A reporter recently sent me two documents that were previously on the Oracle site, and are now deleted. I’ve reviewed them carefully, and they showed an architecture stack that provides community platform features for the internal enterprise, and sits on top of Oracle’s database, and ties with Oracle’s applications.

Information Week has the story, rumors, and links to the PDFs if you want to learn more, about this skunkworks project that was kicked off in Asia. There is some confusion if this product is intended to go to market, but it makes sense for Oracle.

ERP systems haven’t evolved in the last decade, and community is a nice overlay that can impact the whole enterprise –consulting teams can sell change management, and be entrenched in large brands for years, a great play for ERP vendors, and the big consulting shops.

Expect SAP to launch these types of systems, as Microsoft Sharepoint, IBM’s Lotus, already will battle for another software install in their current footprint. They won’t be alone as CMS vendors are already sniffing the sidelines. The lone community platform vendors like Jive, Awareness, Mzinga, Telligent, Blogtronix, all have internal deployments of note, these point systems must quickly integrate with the aforementioned players, or they will get kicked out when the CIO moves in this year.

The enterprise community space is about to get really crowded from community platform vendors, CMS vendors, ERP vendors, and entrenched vendors like Microsoft and IBM. Ill be here to chronicle it all.

Webinar: Social Media Across the Enterprise


Hopefully you’ve noticed my journey lately, to understand how social computing impacts not just one aspect of a company, but how it’s going to be an ‘overlay’ across the entire organization, in fact, nearly two years ago, I created this graphic in 2007 which demonstrates how social computing can be applied across an entire customer lifecycle. Maybe you noticed that in 2009 your CIO will start to sniff out the different business departments deploying social technologies, and may want to consolidate.

Spiksource and Intel have made it possible by working with Forrester to sponsor this webinar on Leveraging Social Media into your Business Strategy, Feb 5th 10am PST where we won’t just talk about how social media impacts marketing –but thinking bigger to the whole enterprise. I’ll be joined by Six Apart’s Michael Sippey, and Jive’s CMO, Sam Lawrence. See you there!

Update: Joseph has taken some notes from the webinar, thanks! also, the recording is now available.

LinkedIn’s Applications Further Moves the Intranet Away from the Firewall


Although I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I’m sure my kids won’t know what a firewall is when they reach the workplace.

Why? firewalls, the enterprise security that maintains security between employees and the public on your intranet are going to be irrelevant –and LinkedIn and other SaaS products are making this happen –one URL at a time. I’ve expanded upon this a bit more in a recent discussion with the WSJ indicating the opportunity for LinkedIn and others.

I’ve been in close contact with LinkedIn over the past year, and recently had lunch with their CEO to discuss their strategy, so I’ve been fully briefed on this platform announcement. Given the downturn in economy, this is a great market for LinkedIn to grow with users, and to offer services and features that reduce developer cost within the enterprise.

A bit of history, LinkedIn, which is reported to have 29million users, was one of the OpenSocial partners that agreed to join the coalition and put their name by it in fall 2007, finally, a year later they’ve finally launched an application platform with 10 application partners. You’ve heard of MySpace, Bebo, and many others being OpenSocial compliant, and you should be aware of Facebook’s F8 platform that kicked this off in mid year 2007.

These 10 application (sometimes called widgets) are now accessible by LinkedIn users and have collaborative and social features that allow you and your LinkedIn friends to share presentations, favorite books, event calendars, documents and other work related themes (no super poke here). You can collaborate with your colleagues at a company and even beyond with your business contacts, imagine that, getting work done with people that aren’t even your colleagues.

I used to be the enterprise intranet manager at HDS before I started the social media program, and I know that from experience, most intranets are a horrible cobbled together experience, most lacking true social features. We continue to see more SaaS products being offered like SocialText, Zoho, ConnectBeam, and of course SalesForce to allow employees to work and share together, without even having to rely on IT developers to build a new products.

LinkedIn isn’t done with it’s growth, to truly be a major competitor in the intranet market, they need to make their system extensible with other platform players, allow more business applications to be shared on their platform (they hand select developers) and consider some acquisitions in the community platform space or collaboration space. Since they snagged funding before the investment money dried up, they recently have generated $22 million in funding (beyond their existing raised capital, which will enable them to : 1) stand the test of time, 2) get ready to go shopping.

Expect LinkedIn to:

  • Offer more collaboration between colleagues and connections to happen outside of the firewall where IT doesn’t have control
  • Provide resources for some IT departments to lean on SaaS environments to further their mission
  • Launch more business applications request to be developers on LinkedIn’s business platform
  • Export the top business applications will be then be ported to community platform players
  • Raised significant capital, thrive in an downturned economy, and get ready to go shopping
  • List of Enterprise Microblogging Tools: Twitter for the Intranet


    With the popularity to Twitter and other Microblogging tools, we should expect to see a flurry of simliar tools for project and program mangaement for the enterprises.

    Stemming from commodity technology, I’m sure I’ll have a hard time keeping this list up to date over a few months –expect IM vendors, blogging vendors, community platforms, enterprise 2.0 vendors, and a flurry of startups to offer similiar features, first read up on the pros and cons as well as some potential use cases.

    It’s interesting to see the need to justify enterprise needs of such tools that are already being adopted by consumers, typical of enterprise settings (I’m a former enterprise intranet manager). With that said, let’s start the definitive list.

    List of Enterprise Microblogging Tools
    I’ll be making lots of updates to this post as comments come in.

    Prologue, by Automatic, makers of WordPress
    Announced in Jan 08, Prologue allows users to, “…can post short messages about what they’re doing”, even in a secured environment GigaOm has adopted it for his news network, recently covered by Venturebeat.

    Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment (ESME)
    This pet project which was given birth by the “Demo Jam” at SAP labs (This is an SDN Community Project initiated by SAP Mentors, not part of SAP), was recently covered by Read Write Web.

    Simply detailed as: “What’s happening at your company? Share status updates with your co-workers.” recently reviewed by webware. This in depth review answers many questions. Launched in Sept 08.

    A friendfeed and twitter tools for the enterprise, this has been covered by Webware.

    Laconica – The Open Microblogging Tool
    This open source application can be installed on servers and potentially used within the firewall. Link via Nick Cowie via comments.

    “Status is part of a new trend of LIGHTER communication tools. When you need to get up to date with your group, a single screen shows what everyone is doing and where they are. This means you can stay in touch on your own terms, without using heavy attention-stealing tools like email.” link via Frank. added Sept 9, 08.

    “Trillr is a service for co-workers, partners and customers to communicate and thus stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What’s on your mind”. By CoreMedia. Link via Pistachio Consulting (focused on Micromedia), added Sept 9, 08.

    I Did Work
    This task based update tool provides teams with abiity to leave status messages. “The work log that shares Keep a history of your work, and share it with your team” Link via Ralf via comments.

    OraTweet -Oracle
    Oracle’s launching a Microblogging tool internally, then for external clients: “…OraTweet is seeing companies, universities, and organizations running their own OraTweet instance, allowing them to keep their information private yet strengthening their own internal communities. It should be the same way we do email and instant messaging: We manage our own information, which allows us to broadcast messages safely in our own microcosm.” Added Sept 9, 08.

    Joint Contact
    This collaboration suite has microblogging features, and hooks into titter: “…A better way to Twitter. As a small business owner you’ve added micro blogging to your list of daily marketing activities. In the past few months you’ve come to appreciate how easy and effective tools like Twitter can be to communicate project status and to inform followers of upcoming events. You currently manage your postings using a desktop Twitter client. It would be great if you could somehow link your “Tweets” with your project management system.” Added Sept 9, 08.

    An internal only twitter client has been deployed for some time, and has been providing some colleagues with relief from email flare-ups. It was recently covered in BusinessWeek (link via pistachio) –BlueTwit has been around since 2007.
    “ is a micro-update communications tool for your company. Give your employees the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask questions, post media, and more.” Via comments of Pistachio, added Sept 11, 08.

    Spanning both the internal and external worlds, Mixin: “… lets you share your daily activities and intentions
    to get together more often with your friends”

    “HeadMix has powerful messaging and social networking features that promote the capture, sharing and discovery of the knowledge trapped inside employees’ heads.”

    I’ll stop managing this list after a few weeks, I know an onslaught of features will appear in just about every imaginable software package, you can leave comments below, as always, if someone creates and index, I’ll point to it.

    See this list of opensource twitter vendors. Also, Laura “Pistachio” has now started a form to populate her database of vendors. She’s now published a spreadsheet on mashable.

    Also, I should add that Forrester is watching this space, aside from our CEO and many employees using these tool, we’ve a report with data showing use of microblogging tools.

    Have you deployed this at your company?
    Rafe of Webware and I would love to know, please contact me if you have, my email is on my contact page.

    I already know of a some community platforms that are experimenting with similar tools, expect this to be a bolt of feature that many will provide in the next few moons.

    If you know of others, leave a comment below, oh and if you like this list, you’ll love these.