Platform vs Hodgepodge Enterprise 2.0

Mashups and compositing are hallmarks of web and enterprise 2.0. But what separates mashups and composite applications from more traditional integrations, is the blending of function not software. Integrations are about making different software systems work together - to talk the same language (or at least translate their language into a common transport language and then translate that to yet another proprietary language). Sigh. That was the life of a consultant for many many years.

But Enterprise 2.0 is about (in part) the bringing together of (previously) separate capabilities so that they can augment a common task, process, or purpose. Enterprise 2.0 is about evolving the technological ecosystem in which modern employees work. It's not about making employees learn new systems. It's not even as much about process consulting or re-engineering (though that may happen). Much like the entire paradigm of business communication changed with the advent of the ubiquitous telephone, the paradigm of business communication is changing now with the advent of the new communication and collaboration technologies that make web and enterprise 2.0.

The big difference though is that organizations want platform based enterprise 2.0 capabilities rather than a hodgepodge of different point solutions. This is because while Enterprise 2.0 technology makes it easy to composite applications and organizations don't need to spend additional money to integrate point solutions.

The reality is that there are tons of point solutions out there for free or nearly so on the web. But they are made and supported (if even) by communities of passion. Those communities spring up and dissipate relatively quickly - after all, enterprise ROI is calculated in years not months. While communities of passion will always be on the cutting edge, the platform players are committed to their brand and their solutions. Our software is not only going to be around in the years ahead, it is also 2nd generation - tapping the best of what is "out there" while incorporating disparate functionality into an enterprise ready platform.

That makes for a good strategic decision.


I like the review of mashups versus integrations. One thing I am noticing is that the less "up on it all" clients do not seem to like the term "mashup". I wish mashup had a different name. It sounds unprofessional, at least when stood up next to the word Integration. Interestingly, integration also sounds expensive. So I guess you just can't win can you?

Posted by Jason Stortz on August 04, 2008 at 09:49 PM CDT #

has AIIM ever done a study along these lines? Like, polling CIOs about if they are doing Enterprise 2.0, and if not, why? I agree with your assessment... I'm just wondering if anybody has done the math on it yet.

Posted by bex on August 05, 2008 at 12:22 AM CDT #

AIIM has the Market IQ here: It has some interesting statistics like: * 44% of respondents indicated that Enterprise 2.0 is imperative or significant to corporate goals and objectives * Another 27% positioned Enterprise 2.0 as having average impact on business goals and success. * 74% stated they have only a vague familiarity or no clear understanding of Enterprise 2.0.

Posted by billy on August 06, 2008 at 01:34 AM CDT #

instead of mashups what about composite applications?

Posted by billy on August 06, 2008 at 01:37 AM CDT #

I think the topic that Billy is addressing is something that everyone of us has been dealing with for ages... Scripting vs Compile, Agile vs Waterfall, E2.0 vs Web2.0, idoc script V. java. It's great to watch the ying yang battle! I'm afraid we will never have one without the other...what I mean is that the light flexible html, inspire us, encourage participation, however these sit on top of robust ( complex ) operating systems. The either or mentality is such a human desire...Jake with arguing E2.0 is a useless name, Billy defending it...what we must realize is that both need to exist and actually feed one another. E2.0 sprung from the creativity and anarchy of Web2.0, but Web2.0 sits on top of the OSI Model (tcp/ip...). One thing we all hate, however, is trying to upgrade a massively old, poorly written perl program! I think we need to drive on both fronts as aggressively as possible and understand that we are feeding each other this way. Oracle Connect, perhaps the most E2.0 application in Oracle is not written in WebCenter, our flagship E2.0 product! It's written in JRuby, which is Ruby implemented in Java...again the complex meets agile again, JRuby! Why does JRuby exist, why not simply just use Ruby on Rails? Well you can deploy Ruby programs to existing Enterprise App Servers. Finally, it's not an either/or debate, it's a 'one feeds the other' and depends on it. So encourage your 'competition', excel in what you are trying to do and challenge your 'competition' and lets all keep raising the bar!

Posted by Fenton Travers on August 07, 2008 at 09:03 AM CDT #

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