Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston - Recap
By firstname.lastname@example.org on Jun 24, 2010
I had the privilege of attending the E2.0 Conference in Boston last week, and what a great conference it was. The keynotes included presentations from E2.0 thought leaders like Andrew McAfee (happy to get a signed copy of his latest book at the event - btw) and JP Rangaswami, as well as real-world customer presentations and informative vendor demonstrations - overall the keynotes were some of the best I have ever seen. I highly encourage anyone that has an E2.0 interest - especially at a professional level - to attend this conference.
As I looked around the rooms where the keynotes and general sessions were held, I couldn't help notice how young everyone looked. Being only 34 myself and a proud member of Generation X, I may have been in the minority. However, as was discussed in a lot of the sessions, the "millenials" or Generation Y, have been using Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, for many years now, and as they are entering the workforce they are expecting similar tools to be a part of how they accomplish their job tasks. This is where Enterprise 2.0 enters the fold.
However, a major theme at the conference was the resistance with bringing Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies into the workplace - both at the senior LOB and IT manager level. LOB managers hear "Facebook for the enterprise" and they envision no work getting done, while IT managers fear a lack of security and control. Both are valid responses, but from what I saw at the conference and from what Oracle's Enterprise 2.0 customers have experienced, these worries are somewhat unfounded. Enterprise 2.0 solutions, including Oracle WebCenter Suite, bring the benefits of Web 2.0 tools into the workplace but they do it with much more security and control. So companies can take advantage of collaborative features such as blogs and wikis, and do so knowing that security is highly enforced with role-based access, creation and distribution, as well as content and records management for complete content lifecycle management.
There were also questions regarding Enterprise 2.0 and ROI. When it comes to Enterprise 2.0, there are the benefits of increased knowledge and information sharing across the enterprise utilizing RSS feeds, activity streams, linking and tagging; the ability to find and access the most-accurate information from one location, such as a portal; and the ability to bridge process gaps by empowering knowledge workers to connect and collaborate with other users within and across enterprise applications. So another way to look at ROI as it applies to Enterprise 2.0 is to measure its effectiveness as a Return on Performance. That is, think of Enterprise 2.0 as an investment in the employees that do the work by empowering them with new and more effective ways to create, collaborate and share information and comparing those methods with how work gets done via email. This "metrics 2.0" concept includes evaluating how job performance improves with Enterprise 2.0 and can look at the level of engagement each employee has by, for example, tracking the number and frequency of posts they contribute to company or product discussion forums, blogs or wikis. Then, as this internal participation grows, companies can track the increase in visits to websites, product downloads, and other external requests for more information.
Culture and how it relates to Enterprise 2.0 was another topic. The takeaway I had from these discussions is that Enterprise 2.0 will be an evolution within most companies and not a revolution. To be successful, consider identifying an Enterprise 2.0 champion or visionary within your company and nurture them as they start their Enterprise 2.0 project. Let them lead a step-by-step process that aligns with current goals and initiatives, gets others interested, and augments current methods of collaboration.
So after hearing what other vendors had to say about Enterprise 2.0, I feel Oracle is uniquely positioned as an Enterprise 2.0 solutions vendor. Not only does Oracle have the necessary Enterprise 2.0 features and functionality, provided by the award winning Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle Content Management, but also the integration framework to extend social computing, content management, and business intelligence capabilities to enterprise applications - the place where workers spend the most time. Numerous customers have already started implementing Oracle Enterprise 2.0, including the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, so I would encourage you to take our Enterprise 2.0 Readiness Assessment to see where your company is at with regards to Enterprise 2.0 . Good luck!