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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.

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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?

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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?

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