Blogger: Mike Gotta
Last week was a busy one on my Collaborative Thinking blog. ESME, a micro-blogging tool for the enterprise continues to mature. Knowledge Management is surfacing again (often as part of a social computing discussion). Oracle is beginning to talk much more openly about its perspective and approach towards Enterprise 2.0. Cisco announced Eos, its play in the community and social network arena. And Microsoft offered up some predictions on the future of UC for 2009. Below, I've provided a quick summary of the posts with links to the full articles:
Collaborative Thinking: Why History Is Relevant To The Future Of Collaboration
As I read this post by Dick Hirsch on the ESME blog, it reminded me how important it is to put technology into an historical context at times. The quote "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" seems relevant. Far too often, when I read lofty articles on the current crop of "right answers" (blogs, wikis, social networks), it get the impression that people are unaware of the history being collaboration tools - we tend to focus on "the shiney new thing". Sometimes, you get the impression that collaboration tools are either something new (they're not), or that past attempt to improve collaboration via e-mail, forums, etc were failures (which is an over-simplistic argument - at the time, these tools garnered similar praise as today's 2.0 tools). A decade from now we might look at wikis with the same disdain as we do today with email.
Collaborative Thinking: Circling Around To KM
Many of the failures of the KM hype of the nineties were a result of the exuberant belief that KM was a tooling problem (e.g., search, content management, portals... the list goes on and on). Clearly technology has a role - a vital role in many situations. I am not anti-technology when it comes to KM - it's just that almost all my conversations with clients over the years have been anchored to a tooling discussion. It began with search and content management systems, then portals, and now it's rooted in social software (if one limits social software to blogs, wikis, tags/bookmarks, feeds and social networking). Technology helps people discover, filter, aggregate, connect and so on. Arraying technology in a poor fashion can undermine KM efforts. If arrayed effectively, technology can have a tremendous positive influence on KM efforts. But even if you execute well on the technology side of the equation, tools are still only enablers to help people and organizations attain the goals of KM that they have defined for themselves (e.g., at a personal, group or enterprise level).
Collaborative Thinking: Oracle's View On Enterprise 2.0
When conversations on Enterprise 2.0 turn to vendors, most of the time you will hear a list of small vendors (e.g., Atlassian, Connectbeam, Jive, Socialtext, Telligent, etc) as well as traditional collaboration and content platform players (e.g., IBM, Microsoft) and some potential new entrants (perhaps Cisco or Google). Rarely does Oracle come up in those conversations. That will change in 2009 - in part because Oracle's E2.0 portfolio is becoming more cohesive - but also because economic conditions will likely persuade many organizations that sticking with large platform vendors is a safer bet.
Collaborative Thinking: Cisco, The Social Experience Company? (Eos Announcement)
From a technology perspective, there are lots of options in this space (in alpha order: Awareness, Communispace, HiveLive, Leverage, Lithium, Mzinga, Sparta and many more). Just having the technology is merely "ante into the game". Building out the surrounding professional consulting services (e.g., marketing, relationship/community management, app dev, and internal activities that include content, collaboration, communication, process, and analytics) will take time and Cisco will need to demonstrate the necessary non-technology competencies soon. Then there is the question of how this relates to other Cisco SaaS/Cloud initiatives (e.g., WebEx Connect).
Collaborative Thinking: Microsoft's Unified Communications Predictions
I thought I would offer some comments on some UC predictions offered by Gurdeep Singh Pall, who heads Microsoft's UC group:
Collaborative Thinking: Defining Enterprise 2.0: Less Is More
Einstein once said, "It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience." The reason this quote came to mind was the result of a recent blog post Oracle's View On Enterprise 2.0 where Billy Cripe from Oracle and Susan Scrupskie from nGenera offered some additional comments to the post. [Note: I'll address those comments in another post this week.]
Collaborative Thinking: Oracle's View On Enterprise 2.0 (Part Two)
On January, 7 I posted my thoughts on an article Oracle contributed to Enterprise Systems Journal (Oracle's View On Enterprise 2.0). One of the Oracle authors (Billy Cripe is the director of product management, Enterprise 2.0 and ECM) was kind enough to notice and post a reply, Dialoguing with Mike Gotta of Burton Group on Enterprise 2.0.