Thursday, April 20, 2006

Enterprise Web 2.0 - Guerrilla style

There is a lot of talk circling the question of Web 2.0 and how it will play out in the enterprise. I take as my guide the things that pro-active small and medium size businesses do to make themselves more productive. Eventually large enterprises wake up to these tools and pull them in house. However, there is one area where larger enterprises have had an advantage. That is in scheduling. The predominant use of Microsoft Exchange has allowed large organizations to be very effective with planning and scheduling meetings amongst team members. The cost of entry in to this club for smaller businesses is still high. Buying, deploying and supporting Small Business Server is a relatively expensive proposition when viewed on a cost per employee basis. Even then, the smaller the business, the more likely it is that the scheduling challenges come with coordinating meetings with people outside their organization. In this respect Exchange offers limited help. This situation is going to prompt potential Small Business Server prospects to consider web-based email and calendaring solutions as a real alternative. Smaller businesses also make heavy use of Instant Messaging to keep team members in touch. IM has proven to be a highly effective tool to reduce telephone tag. I believe that presence-related technologies, such as IM and calendaring are two of the most likely web 2.0 oriented technologies to permeate larger enterprises. One reason behind this is the fact that many people in larger enterprises are too busy just doing their jobs to sit down and create the user-generated content that is the trademark of the Web 2.0 world. As a consequence of this the technologies that are most likely to succeed are those that provide productivity improvements or that automatically generate content by virtue of their use. In a future article I will address one of the other important factors behind the likely success of web 2.0 style calendaring in the enterprise. That is the challenge we all face in managing our different personae.

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