Mon, 3 September 2007
Intro: Business and Industry continues to implement Web 2.0 technologies to make things run faster and more efficiently. In this podcast we discuss the use of these technologies by various corporations.
Gordon: Mike - you've been doing some reading and poking around in this area over the summer - can you give us a list of some of your favorite references?
Mike: I've been reading Wikinomics by by Don Tapscott (Author), Anthony D. Williams (Author)
Gordon: Mike - can you give any info on specific companies implementing these technologies?
By J. Nicholas Hoover
Business technology execs at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston June 18-21 to explore integrating Web 2.0 technologies into their enterprises. A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble, is pushing improved internal and external collaboration primarily to develop new products faster. Leading this effort is Joe Schueller, innovation manager in P&G's Global Business Services. Schueller makes an interesting observation that email is the biggest barrier to employee use of more interactive and effective tools.
P&G provides a study of how Enterprise 2.0 will take shape given the scope of its project and the way it draws on tools from startups as well as big-name vendors.
Gordon: What kinds of tools and applications are they using?
Mike: Starting in 2005, P&G began a Microsoft-centric collaboration initiative, with
Now moving to offer employees a more diverse toolset.
Gordon: Are they doing any blogging?
Mike: Movable Type blogging software, which employees have used to create hundreds of blogs, including ones
Gordon: How about social networking?
Mike: Plans to launch social networking intended to make it easier to find people with needed expertise.
Gordon: Have they tried any of the integrated
platforms? For example, the first one that comes to my mind is
Microsoft's Community Server - a product that integrates many of the
Web 2.0 based tools into a single platform.
Mike: Companies are finding monolithic solutions/platforms from big players like Microsoft and IBM inadequate, even as they add support for blogs, wikis, and calendar sharing, instead their focus is on modular, flexible solutions and even the openness to IT also needs to learn how to incorporate tools employees bring in themselves, he says.
Gordon: How about enterprise search - Google has their appliance - how is that working?
Mike: Enterprise search - such as Google's search appliance - is another tool companies are using to find and share information - unfortunately, P&G has found this sort of keyword-based search limited. The solution - sharing bookmarks and tagging articles, pages, and documents with descriptive words, using a product from Connectbeam that works with Google's search appliance - integrating tags and bookmarks with Google search results.
Gordon: What else are they doing with their web portal?
Mike: Additionally, their Web portal is being redesigned to include news and business RSS
feeds and allow employees to personalize the portal - future plans
include the ability to suggest feeds for employees based on their roles
and their Web history.
Gordon: We know on the academic side it can be a hard sell to some employees who are pretty fixed in their ways. How are big companies encouraging their employees to use these applications?
Mike: The challenge - getting people to use these tools, that many view as extra work - employees who see anything other than e-mail as an addition to their workloads. The approach is to try to integrate these tools into employees existing workflow, with the goal of simplifying the process.
Gordon: P&G is one big company! Are there others moving in the same direction?
Mike: P&G is not alone - others jumping on the Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon include Bank of America, Boeing, the Central Intelligence Agency, FedEx, Morgan Stanley, and Pfizer. As part of an initiative called Intranet 2.0, Motorola has 4,400 blogs, 4,200 wiki pages, and 2,600 people actively doing content tagging and social bookmarking.
Motorola employees also can more easily find people with experience in specific areas using social networking software from Visible Path or checking author pages on wikis. "It actually lets people see new relationships--to see maps of what smart people and like people have done," says Toby Redshaw, Motorola's VP in charge of Enterprise 2.0 technologies. The result is that the company is building knowledge centers around particular problems and products.
That's the end goal for Schueller--that
employees and partners searching for information on the intranet,
creating profiles, tagging documents, and sharing bookmarks make the
content more valuable.