Oracle WebCenter at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference

We had a great week at the E20 Conference, presenting in four sessions – Andy MacMillan gave a session titled Today’s Successful Enterprises are Social Enterprises and was on a panel that Tony Byrne moderated; Christian Finn spoke on a panel on Unified Communications Unified Communications + Social Computing = Best of Both Worlds?, Mark Bennett spoke on a panel on The Evolution of Talent Management.

The key areas of focus this year were sentiment analysis, adoption and community building, the benefits of failure, and social’s role in process applications. Sentiment analysis. This was focused not on external audiences but more on employee sentiment. Tim Young showed his internal "NikoNiko" project, where employees use smilies to report their current mood. The result was a dashboard that showed the company mood by department. Since the goal is to improve productivity, people can see which departments are running into issues and try and address them. A company might otherwise wait until the end of the quarter financials to find out that there was a problem and product didn’t ship. This is a way to identify issues immediately. Tim is great – he had the crowd laughing as soon as he hit the stage, with his proposed hastag for his session: by making it 138 characters long, people couldn’t say much behind his back. And as I tweeted during his session, I loved his comment that complexity diffuses energy - it sounds like something Sun Tzu would say.

Another example of employee sentiment analysis was CubeVibe. Founder and CEO Aaron Aycock, in his 3 minute pitch or die session talked about how engaged employees perform better. It was too bad he got gonged, he was just picking up speed, but CubeVibe did win the vote – congratulations to them.

Internal adoption, community building, and involvement. On this topic I spoke to Terri Griffith, and she said there is some good work going on at University of Indiana regarding this, and hinted that she might be blogging about it in the near future. This area holds lots of interest for me. Amongst our customers, - CPAC stands out as an organization that has successfully built a community. So, I wonder - what are the building blocks? A strong leader? A common or unifying purpose? A certain level of engagement? I imagine someone has created an equation that says “for a community to grow at 30% per month, there must be an engagement level x to the square root of y, where x equals current community size, and y equals the expected growth rate, and the result is how many engagements the average user must contribute to maintain that growth.” Does anyone have a framework like that?

The net result of everyone’s experience is that there is nothing to do but start early and fail often. Kevin Jones made this the focus of his keynote. He talked about the types of failure and what they mean. And he showed his famous kids at work video:

Kevin’s blog also has this post: Social Business Failure #8: Workflow Integration. This is something that we’ve been working on at Oracle. Since so much of business is based in enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM (and since Oracle offers e-Business Suite, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards, as well as Fusion Applications), it makes sense that the social capabilities of Oracle WebCenter is built right into these applications.

There are two types of social collaboration – ad-hoc, and exception handling. When you are in a business process and encounter an exception, you immediately look for 1) the document that tells you how to handle it, or 2) the person who can tell you how to handle it. With WebCenter built into these processes, people either search their content management system, or engage in expertise location and conversation. The great thing is, THEY DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE THE APPLICATION TO DO IT. Oracle has built the social capabilities right into the applications and business processes. I don’t think enough folks were able to see that at the event, but I expect that over the next six months folks will become very aware of it.

WebCenter also provides the ability to have ad-hoc collaboration, search, and expertise location that folks need when they are innovating or collaborating. We demonstrated Oracle Social Network. It’s built on our Oracle WebCenter product to provide social collaboration inside and outside of your company. When we showed it to people, there were a number of areas that they commented on that were different from the other products being shown at the conference:

  • Screenshots from within the product
  • Many authors working on documents simultaneously
  • Flagging people for follow up
  • Direct ability to call out to people
  • Ability to see presence not just if someone is online, but which conversation they are actively in

Great stuff, the conference was full of smart people that that we enjoy spending time with. We’ll keep up in the meantime, but we look forward to seeing you in Boston.

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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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