Three Enterprise 2.0 Themes You Should Be Watching in 2010

Enterprise 2.0 continued its growth and maturation in 2009. We saw the rise of the Enterprise 2.0 consultancies, including Dachis Group, Altimeter Group and Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0. Andrew McAfee published his book about Enterprise 2.0. We saw the rise of the 2.0 Adoption Council. And based on what can be gleaned from vendors, more enterprises are deploying social software.


For 2010, three themes will impact the sector. These aren’t the only ones, but I expect to see plenty of news, features and industry mental energy covering these.

#1: Impact of SharePoint 2010

It’s coming. SharePoint 2010. Microsoft’s upcoming release for the enterprise received good attention during the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. Features include:

  • Social profiles
  • An actual wiki
  • Blogs
  • Activity streams
  • Status updates
  • Presence status
  • Social bookmarking
  • Tags
  • Ratings

As a list of capabilities, this certainly is impressive and quite a departure from SharePoint 2007’s social software efforts. The devil is in the details, of course.

But generally, customers who have been “making do” with 2007 will suddenly have an attractive option from Microsoft. SharePoint 2010 will likely be a big catalyst for Enterprise 2.0 growth.

The coming release of SharePoint 2010 is forcing many vendors to evaluate their positions in the market. Going head-to-head with the same or fewer features is going to be tough. What differentiates your offering? My Jaws picture refers to this dynamic facing Enterprise 2.0 vendors.

There will be articles reviewing 2010. There will be blog posts dismissing its capabilities or lack thereof. But there will be impact in the corporate world.

#2: Enterprise 2.0 Becomes “Like Air”

At Defrag 2008, I caught Charlene Li’s presentation, where she said, “social networks will be like air“. The premise of her talk is that social network aspects will become less a destination URL and more an integrated part of experience throughout the web and mobile.

We’re seeing signs of a similar shift in the enterprise. Enterprise 2.0 is becoming less a destination and many of its concepts are being integrated into non-social software apps. Salesforce’s Chatter and Tibco’s Tibbr were end-of-year examples of this. As Dana Gardner writes on Seeking Alpha:

This is a clear sign that the enterprise software and social software worlds are munging. Get ready to see a lot more.

Salesforce and Tibco won’t be the last. Expect more announcements in this vein for 2010. Mike Gotta noted that this concept was called “contextual collaboration”, and was promoted by Matt Cain in the late 1990s. The web 2.0 tools of today are better, more diverse, more scalable and better adapted to human behaviors than whatever was available a decade ago.

Putting these tools in-the-flow will be a powerful basis for expanding Enterprise 2.0’s reach. A challenge for standalone general tools of today is that they require employees to toggle between different apps. This can make it tough to get traction. For example, Intellipedia has been making a difference, but it’s still just “a marginal revolution“. Not all agencies have made it part of daily work.

In the European Oracle Enterprise 2.0 Group on LinkedIn, Oracle’s VP of Enterprise 2.0 for EMEA asked this question:

What the article doesn’t cover and where I would be interested in your views is how the use of E2.0 tools would enable the Business Processes themselves to be changed. Or innovated completely. eg how do you bring Crowdsourcing, Idea Engines, Prediction Markets etc and integrate those into ERP systems?

Yes, even Oracle is discussing this concept. Watch how this theme unfolds in 2010.

#3: Enterprise 2.0 Market Stratifies

I see the Enterprise 2.0 market splitting into these two models:

  1. General collaboration suites that replace intranets and portals
  2. Specialized applications that deliver tangible value around a specific activity

Watching the progression of general collaboration suite vendors, I’ve always believed their ultimate goal is to replace existing 1.0 intranets and portals. After all, once an Enterprise 2.0 vendor’s solution…

  • has the ability to store and organize files,
  • provides pages for company-wide and team-specific communications,
  • offers powerful search capabilities,
  • includes APIs for third party integration,
  • can be organized into multiple spaces, and
  • has a superset of the elements of the corporate directory,

…why would a company maintain both the intranet and the social software suite. Pick one. The Enterprise 2.0 vendors still need to mature their product further to become the company intranet/portal. But I see that as their destination.

Meanwhile, a new crop of vendors have dispensed with the pursuit of all-everything suite approach. Rather, they build applications that integrate social in solving specific problems (e.g. Spigit for innovation management). Gartner analyst Anthony Bradley tabs these vendors’ offerings as “activity-specific social applications”. These vendors build in functionality that solves specific problems for companies, usually with definable ROI.

I expect the general collaboration suite vendors will offer their own specialized modules as well, in order to offer tangible ROI solutions to their customers.

Watch how this stratification dynamic plays out in 2010.

Those are my thoughts – what do you think?


What the article doesn’t cover and where I would be interested in your views is how the use of E2.0 tools would enable the Business Processes themselves to be changed. Or innovated completely. eg how do you bring Crowdsourcing, Idea Engines, Prediction Markets etc and integrate those into ERP systems?


About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

24 Responses to Three Enterprise 2.0 Themes You Should Be Watching in 2010

  1. fbaud says:

    #1: Impact of SharePoint 2010
    Sharepoint 2010 will certainly be investigated in 2010 by many corporations, but there won’t be any significant deployments in big organizations before 2011. 2010 will most probably be the year of Sharepoint 2007 in the corporate IT world.

    #3: Enterprise 2.0 Market Stratifies
    I’m not sure portal and ECM systems need to be replaced by collaboration tools. Employees still need to access referentials where official information and documents can be found. Of course, we need more and more customization, but it’s not necessarily the place where collaboration should happen.

    While unification of reference centric and employee centric systems looks attractive, we will probably face first synchronization of all the social features blooming in the different corners of the Information System into some sort of a central social enabled corporate directory. The same issues than those addressed by solutions like OpenSocial on the wider Internet will soon appear within corporate intranets.

    Happy Year 2010 to everyone!!!

    • Hey Frederic –

      Even if it isn’t initially rolled out in full in 2010, expect it to impact the market. If a corporation is ready to take the plunge into Enterprise 2.0, and SharePoint 2010 is available, it will impact buying decisions is my thought. And general collab vendors, knowing this, will need to strategize how they compete against Microsoft.

      As for the intranet replacement, I’ve seen signs of it happening. Washington Post is using Socialtext for its intranet:

      Employees include senior managers too. Providing spaces for them to broadcast referentials seems well within the capabilities.


      • fbaud says:

        Agreed for Sharepoint. Corporations will probably buy loads of Sharepoint 2007 licenses with Software Assurance to upgrade to 2010 in 2011 (or beyond).

        I’m not sure what you mean by intranets. My guess is something that could be close to what you have in mind is the default home page that IT is setting for browsers on employees’ desktop. In that case, I can imagine some companies choosing social home pages and others standard portals. But I don’t necessarily see the two merging in one single concept.

        For bigger organizations, we will probably see coexistence of the two types in many variations as we have today several dozens of portals for division branch or group level requirements. Once again, unification would be nice, but I’m not sure we are there yet.

        By the way, it’s probably a good thing for younger collab vendors that Sharepoint 2010 is not the holy grail providing seamless unification of the reference centric and employee centric approaches.

  2. Well done Hutch. I especially like your thoughts on #2 as you’ve helped clarified my own cloudy thinking on the subject.

    Do you have any thoughts on: “how do you bring Crowdsourcing, Idea Engines, Prediction Markets etc and integrate those into ERP systems?” We’re thinking through these issues now.

    • Hey Mark –

      Thanks – glad you like this post. I have some initial thoughts, but nothing fully thought out yet for ERP. Here’s one example I thought of, for procurement (from earlier post

      Procurement: Enterprises buy mountains of things. Inevitably, some of it doesn’t work out as well as expected. As employees order and request items, allow them to rate and comment on existing contracts. By sharing their experiences, employees provide procurement managers with insight into the quality of suppliers. And employees can describe evolving needs. The workflow aspect of this occurs when the crowdsourced rating falls below some threshold, triggering a required review by the procurement manager.

      Definitely an area to explore further in 2010. Interested in what MindTouch does here.


  3. Ellen Feaheny says:

    I think this is a great article!

    I’ll add a key point and uptrend that I have seen in 2009 – maybe just because my business, but I think more: INTEGRATIONS of systems.

    Social media, aside from its marketing aspects, has made a more enlightened buyer. As such, every customer I encounter has a more open view of what is possible. Also the surge and success of open source sw, system connectors, and open APIs (really) in the market has allowed for a freer thought.

    Few customers I speak with think they need to choose only ONE solution, and most think we can integrate – just need to connect the data.

    Most do not want to completely abort existing systems – and want an evolution of systems, process, and culture, and with integration, they can get that.

    They do not have to settle – they can get what they want, looking and functioning the way they want, taking best of best functions and merging together, and still upgrade without nightmares. It’s possible, while also achieving the reduced silo effect.

    As the year progressed, my customers’ mindsets changed from “Is this possible to create a custom portal to all my apps and search with single sign on to bring all my systems and content together” to “How long will it take, what will it cost, when can we start?” Also, saw alot of people finally GETTING IT on the hosting benefits in very true ROI.

    And I think its only the beginning – an exciting time for E2.0 and the industry!

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  5. I agree with all your points

    – Sharepoint it’s sharepoint and that’s enough to make it a major trend. No one can ignore an elephant coming in the living room 🙂

    – activity specific social applications : because it closes the discussion about solutions looking for problems, it favors adoption (people have to follow the flow instead of being left alone in a borderless social space), it lowers cultural barriers (culture impacts freeform participation but is less impacting with in the flow activities)… the list may be very long. Is value is created through processes, social software has to improve how these processes are delivered in a knowledge intensive context to be a credible option.

    – I also subscribe to Ellen’s point of view : as social solutions won’t replace the whole intranet, as many activity specific solutions may co-exist, as ERPs are gaining social functionalities and as social solutions will be more and more implemented around processes, integration will matter more than ever if we don’t want overlapping to kill some great ideas.

    My own predictions were going more or less in the same direction (

  6. Thanks Ellen! I think making E2.0 “like air” in existing systems can work via intelligent integration. I’d love to see Atlassian’s Confluence wiki integrated in all manner of enterprise apps. You’ll have to let me know what types of integraitons you’re seeing with respect to E2.0.


    • Ellen Feaheny says:

      Hi Hutch – yeah, your #2 “like air” section is indeed bridging that. You are right!

      As for types of apps – maybe I reach a bit on my E2.0 def, but I think ANY collaborative app with multi-contributors is fair game – my favs (so far): Confluence Wiki, SharePoint, JIRA, forums products, internal database implementations of any flavor, any flavor CRMs (, Seibel, etc.), reporting systems, etc.

      .. as well as the apps to combine many variations of these, easier (e.g., single sign-on solutions (like Crowd), integration connectors (i.e., SharePoint Web parts, multi-app connectors, plug-ins, custom connectors), Enterprise RSS (like Attensa) to collate data from many internal and external sources (and also tag, share, collaborate), integrated advanced search solutions (like Thunderstone) and anything else that breaks down the many layer systems and data and allows for a single entry point with a portal.

      The single entry point to “customize” (that we are mostly requested) is indeed Atlassian Confluence portals with the E2.0 pieces linked off, or integrated within, or both (also SharePoint some). As well as “other” spaces of Confluence being used natively as intended – for internal use, or external customer use, or both.

      Hmm – just looking at the Spigit prods – Maybe some of your pieces need to be in our our solution implementations?

      I think I need to look deeper there .. some good synergies discovered… 🙂

  7. Tim says:

    Good Post, All inline. Social has been creeping into Intranet in 2009 but 2010 will see more popularity and improved marketing of it.


  8. harry says:


    This artical is very useful for me. I am a Share Point developer and always looking to learn something new. I would like to introduce another good SharePoint blog, Have a look.

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  11. David says:

    I have to disagree with @fbaud. I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that is deploying SP2010 in 2010 and I believe others will as well.

    Another trend that I am watching and trying to push is the usage of #E20 in those areas of the corporation that aren’t on the cutting edge of technology: procurement, finance, facilities, etc.

  12. Pingback: Three Enterprise 2.0 Themes You Should Be Watching in 2010 | CloudAve

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