Enterprise 2.0 Keynotes on Tuesday

evening in the clouds panel

After Monday night’s Evening in the Cloud (That is me in the middle of the picture during the Evening in the Cloud), Tuesday turned to social media and collaboration in the keynote presentations on the big stage.

It was a mixed bag of presentations. There were glimpses of how organizations can use enterprise 2.0 and web 2.0 tools to further the goals of the organization. What was missing, was the compelling case for adopting the tools and devoting the resources to that adoption. There were a few points from the compliance perspective that popped up in the presentations. I thought I would share some of my thoughts and notes from these presentations.

my.barackobama.com: The Secrets of Obama’s New Media Juggernaut

Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief Technology Officer & Founding Partner, Blue State Digital started off talking about some of the success of the presidential campaign:

  • 1 billion emails to 13 million addresses
  • Over 1 million text message subscribers
  • 200,000 offline events planned through the website
  • 145 YouTube viewing hours
  • Of the $770 million raised, 65% came through the website

Although this presentation was interesting I was hard-pressed to see how the lessons learned from the presidential campaign could be applied to the use of these tools inside an enterprise. (Although the bleeding heart liberal in me enjoyed seeing the great success story.)

He did emphasize the need for measurement, which is dear to the hearts of compliance professionals. They measured everything, tested their assumptions and redesigned the visuals and tools based on the data.

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World

I don’t have much that’s nice to say about this presentation. So I won’t.

Hello from Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen won the Innovation Award from the Open Enterprise 2009. Walton Smith gave his insights on their enterprise 2.0 platform. It looked great! (In the interest of disclosure, Booz Allen is a large tenant in my employer’s portfolio.)

Walton started with the business case. They need ways to better capture the tacit and explicit knowledge in the organization. There is a tremendous need to identify expertise and allow people to find that expertise. They are looking to add thousands of employees over the next few years and need to get those employees up and running quickly. On a typical day, over half of their people are working at client sites. Outlook was their de facto collaboration tool.

They deployed Hello, their enterprise 2.0 tool, to address these concerns. It sounds like a success. Over 40% of the firm has added content. Another 1% to 2% of new users are adding content each week. The technology is mash of technologies, many of which are open source platforms.

Given the short time allotted, we were not able to see much detail about the operations of Hello. From what I saw, it was just what I thought a large professional services firm needed. Walton’s description matched up with the vision I had for the redesign of Goodwin Procter’s iNet (before I left).

Walton did address some of the compliance concerns. In responding to a question about posting inappropriate content, Walton had this great statement: “I can’t prevent you from being stupid, but now I can see how stupid you are.” As to EU data privacy, they had lots of discussions with legal on what people could post about themselves. Legal wanted to exclude all non-US from Hello. They came to a compromise, but I am not sure what it was. For departed employees, they keep the content and the profile. They merely add a banner that the person has left the company. They want to preserve the intellectual capital footprint.

Enterprise 2.0 Reality Check – What’s Working, What’s Not, What’s Next

Matthew Fraser was back to moderate a panel of Christian Finn, Director of SharePoint Product Management, Microsoft, Nate Nash, Senior Manager, BearingPoint, Neil Callahan, Executive Vice President, mktg, and Ross Mayfield, President, Chairman and Co-founder, Socialtext. There was lots of talk of whether enterprise 2.0 was an evolution or revolution. One commenter in the crowd said the panel was an I’m a Mac, I’m a PC ad. There was a fair amount of discussion about the ROI for enterprise. Some panelists and audience members were dismissive of needing a monetary ROI. They likened it to email. Nobody asks for the ROI on email.

I don’t agree with these thoughts. When email was first adopted in the enterprise there was an ROI calculation. It was cheaper and faster to send an email, than to send a message through the post office. There is a reason we get so much spam. It is cheap and easy. Businesses may no longer calculate the ROI, but they did as part of the adoption process. Event though now it is just an assumption that you have email in the business. There was a compelling reason to adopt.

Meeting People

Web 2.0 is not about sitting in your basement. It is about meeting people. Besides the presentations it was able to run into and chat with a bunch of great people. I had a great lunch with David Hobbie of Goodwin Procter and Rachel Happe of The Community Roundtable in the fake Irish restaurant.

It was great to spend some time talking with Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen of Information Architected. Unfortunately, I missed the session but I was able to chat with Jessica Lipnak and Jeff Stamps of NetAge. Alex Howard of Digiphile and SearchCompliance.com was there covering the conference and having great conversations. I apparently got Mark Masterson fired up about compliance because we chatted about it for a while.

I also had some short chats with Luis Suarez of IBM, Joe Wehr of DBMI, and Ming Kwan formerly of nGenera and now at Nokia.

Michael Idinopulos of SocialText gave me a great tour of the latest release of their product. Their new marketing strategy is to offer SocialText free for less than 50 users. Chris McGrath and I talked about Thought Farmer. I kind of beat him up over records management and wikis. Cheryl McKinnon gave me a great presentation on some compelling OpenText products.

I will back on Wednesday for a few sessions and will try to distribute any insights.