Where are the users!?!?! No, seriously. There have been a few guys on stage presenting their companies’ Enterprise 2.0 strategies. Some are very interesting. Some, not so much. But I thought this was the big year. So how come I’ve got one vendor complaining to me that he got one lead yesterday. He needs something like five to seal the deal. I ran into a guy from Florida this morning who is looking for a social networking platform for his company. He hasn’t found one he liked, though. Everybody else is just like me, which is to say they’re here to write and talk about Enterprise 2.0, not to use it.
Speaking of, can you imagine a conference show full of vendors with no one to sell to? I’m imagining some no-rules Lord of the Flies thing, where they all pitch to each other while trying to knock their brethren off their booths. It’s madness down there.
FedEx Corp. CIO Rob Carter opens with a zinger: “I think if we did this conference where I’m from [Memphis] people would still be stumbling in from Beale Street right about now.” Actually, Rob, if they did this conference in Memphis, I’d just stay on Beale Street and deal with the consequences later. It’s Memphis. It’s awesome. End of story.
Carter jets for early Sox game, moved up to accommodate one-two punch with Celtics. All of Boston expected to be stumbling.
The fact that the CIA is managing an intelligence community version of Wikipedia is so cool I can barely stand it. Intellipedia leaders Don Burke and Sean Dennehy demo the unclassified version, which began with a page collecting government acronyms. Can we get the top-secret version into the next Bourne movie? Thanks.
Enterprise 2.0 is all about collaboration, and Dennehy uses this to pull off the rare IT conference joke that is actually funny. Describing the in-agency resistance to Intellipedia, he remarks: “In the intelligence community, we still call spies collaborators.”
Actually, this whole thing doesn’t really feel like an IT conference. It feels more like an insular group of startups, marketers, press and general ‘in’ folk. That’s fine. But it speaks to the infancy of the idea of Enterprise 2.0. There are no naysayers here. Everybody’s on board with the idea, and they’re trying to make it work.
You know how else I know this isn’t an IT conference? There are women here. Not as many as there are men, but the scales are certainly tipped a bit more toward equality.
Oh, and I can’t let this one go: All morning we heard about connectivity, collaboration and the cloud. We heard about all the great things businesses can do on the Web. And the Westin hotel’s Wi-Fi was acting up. Hey, I’m all for Enterprise 2.0. But it’s no good to me without an Internet connection.
Anyway, one guy wrote to me and pointed out that I neglected to mention Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
He’s got a point. Although the story didn’t need to bring up SharePoint, it probably should have. He referred me to a Forrester Research Inc. report that claims Sharepoint will “steamroll the market.”
Well, yes, I suppose it pretty much has and pretty much will. I went back to the notes I took when speaking with Joshua Holbrook, director of enterprise research at Yankee Group Research Inc.
Here’s Holbrook on SharePoint: “The one that certainly gets the most hype is Microsoft SharePoint.”
And: “They’re essentially giving it away for free … to large enterprises.”
I’m not convinced I was exactly derelict when I skipped over SharePoint in that story. But in the interest of mending fences, I’ll gladly mention here that Microsoft this morning announced a bunch of new SharePoint partners.
I’m a little bit 1984ed by blueKiwi Software’s promise to provide an “aggregated view of all conversations happening across the entire enterprise.” (According to Microsoft’s press release).
The other partnerships all seem reasonable and useful.
Microsoft’s other SharePoint news today is the release of the PKS (Podcasting Kit for SharePoint). This is part of Microsoft’s “commitment to bring the latest innovating trends of social networking technologies to its customers and partners.” I especially like Microsoft’s insistence that the PKS works on “[Microsoft} Zune [MP3 player] devices” and “any other devices that play podcasts.” What, there’s no major player in the MP3 game?
Did tech news seem a little bit quiet last week? Is this what summer brings us, a struggle to find big stories? Still, what was going on is worth reading. Highlights from the ink-and-paper set below.
Not to be so simplistic, but could we say that Intel actually has a monopoly on computing in general?
They haven’t tried to hire me yet, so Google is probably still in OK shape.
Free broadband from the feds. Not gonna happen.
We’ve all read this one, but still, just pause and reflect on the concept of an activist investor.
What we did this week:
Built a killer SaaS application. Sold it to the midmarket. Made bank. Well, that was the plan, at least.
Hopping on the T to head over to the Enterprise 2.0 conference.
Made a note to haul along our brand-new Enterprise 2.0 definition.
Took our new compliance quiz. Didn’t do so well.
What we’re doing this weekend:
Refilling our Xanax prescriptions for the Celtics-Lakers series.
Just a quick note that we’ve climbed the mountain, seen the top and come back down exhausted but holding tight to the elusive definition of Enterprise 2.0.
Honestly, when it comes to defining anything 2.0, you’re pretty much in for a head-wrenching good time.
I took on this little task at a barbecue last month. You know, the kind near the beginning of the summer when everything seems good and you casually agree to write definitions for WhatIs.com? It was one of those.
Anyway, I dug in for the bulk of a day researching the handful of decent definition attempts already out there, and then read and talked about Enterprise 2.0 as much as I could with just about anyone who would chat.
Another afternoon of writing and I had a first draft. I can’t say it was great, but I can say it was good enough that WhatIs.com Assistant Editor Alexander B. Howard beat up on it a little bit and came out with something that really works.
Alright, long enough. Here she be: Enterprise 2.0 definition.
So let’s get this straight. Nobody has any money. Yet Dell is managing to get more?
A telecommuting how-to. All the better to keep employees from bugging you in person.
Oh look, something good about Yahoo. That’s new.
Startup looks to replace Bluetooth with Wi-Fi. Won’t stop everyone from fumbling for that earpiece.
What we did this week:
Tested enough virtualization software to build a single-server data center.
Squirreled away cash in the budget for that extra Microsoft Excel license someone will undoubtedly bug us for.
Cleaned our closets. And yours.
What we’re doing this weekend:
Nothing, really. Think we’ve got a BBQ or something. Celtics? Lord, we hope so.
Tech things in the papers last week:
Slate: Microsoft’s search discount doesn’t really work if stuff is still cheaper elsewhere.
NYT: You guys heard about this Firefox browser? Pretty sweet.
Boston Globe: Sometimes it’s OK to make a joke in a headline. Sometimes it’s not.
With-it farmers: She thinks my tractor’s techy.
Sarah Lacy, author of Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0, has blogged about me blogging about her book.
So I feel compelled to respond. That, and I’m sitting in my kitchen, listening to Old 97’s and a bit bored on account of everyone I would be interviewing taking an early weekend. Can’t blame them. Weather’s stunning here in Boston.