Coopetition in “as a service”: Enterprise Content Management …

Mike Gotta thinks that Salesforce’s Koral move (Apex Content) puts them in competition with Cisco that recently acquired WebEx:

At some point, Salesforce needed to respond to the productivity, content and collaboration platform Cisco can exploit given WebEx WebOffice and WebEx Connect.

I would add that Salesforce clearly moves to take a stance against other collaboration and content management players like e.g. Microsofts Sharepoint or Google (as Nick Carr notes), while it validates the increasing importance of “as a service”-offerings. Hence, its position in the SaaS-landscape is a hybrid one: While offerings like Google Apps are competitors in some ways, they are good competitors because they strengthen the SaaS-model as a whole, heck – they might even collaborate in expanding this market, and they will stay friends quite some time.

Digital business podcast

Looks interesting, this new podcast by Financial Times digital business team (here the mp3), all about collaboration and web 2.0 in the enterprise:

Polycom CEO Bob Hagerty weighs the merits of videoconferencing versus ‘physical relationships’; Nicholas Carr introduces Internet 2.0; columnist and author Ade McCormack begins a new regular feature demystifying complex IT topics; and Alan Cane asks Andy Mulholland of Capgemini what corporate mash-ups are all about.

One Reason Why Knowledge Management Fails

Well, comes at no surprise, via Mike Gotta:

[…] blogs, wikis, social networking – none of this matters if companies treat people poorly and worse – institutionalize such actions.


With all the talk about Enterprise 2.0 and the resurgence of knowledge management, we tend to forget that employees are influenced (in terms of attitude, behavior, engagement) by both the macro messages that a company sends to its workers as well as the micro messages that come from a worker’s day-to-day management channel.

Yes, clearly not all organizations are ready for the roll-out of social software of any kind. So techno-crazy-high-flying expectations about social softwares impact on organizations should be seen critically, as Tom Davenport rightfully notes.

Then, knowledge cannot be conscripted, it can only be volunteered, and people know more than they can say. So caring and thinking about change management and ways of implementation is really essential … ever considered “adding” (social software sphere) change management consultants like me to your implementation efforts?

Interview with Ross Mayfield

Paul Dunay interviewed Ross Mayfield on wikis and published it as a podcast. You can’t download the audio file, but you can listen to it via a flash player.

I like this way of presentation, as it shows the cut marks of the recording and allows to skip forward and backward in the TOC:

Start podcast 00:00:00
Enterprise 2.0 defined 00:00:28
First Enterprise 2.0 deployment 00:02:07
How to Implement a Wiki 00:02:46
SAP’s Wiki implementaion 00:04:55
External marketing Wiki example 00:06:06
The Best Way to rollout a Wiki 00:08:13
How to build Adoption of your Wiki 00:11:55
What is the typical first project to start a Wiki? 00:14:59
How to get more info on Wikis 00:15:48

This interview touches also a lot of stuff that I layed out in my presentation here. No wonder I recommend both to anyone interested in social software for the enterprise …


In my presentation I shortly introduced BEAs initiative, i.e. launching three Web 2.0 style applications for their enterprise customers:

  • Ensemble (for mashups)
  • Pages (drag-and-drop collaborative workspaces)
  • Pathways (an information discovery tool)

Well, more (product) information at of course, Dana Gardner has info on the background of these offerings here, Chris Bucchere has more insight into the value proposition, the concepts behind this move and its overall position in the uptaking of the enterprise 2.0 theme. I would argue that this strengthens and validates the overall trend that incumbent enterprise software shops are incorporating web 2.0 features into their products (and business models).

And this move also reflects the findings of several enterprise 2.0 studies (like those by Forrester and McKinsey) on which I plan to blog about over the coming easter holidays … let’s see how this pulls all together.

Emergent wiki uses in organization

Chris Fletcher on pragmatic wiki adoption, adding to Bill Ives take (“Creating Successful Niche Content Spaces on the Web“):

[wikis] work best when there is a specific business need – getting teams to collaborate around a specific business issue or building community around a service offering is a great way to get individuals to start to experiment with how the wiki can be used

Straight to the point. He also argues against big bang approaches of wiki deployment, something that I can understand very well, and argue for all the time. In fact one big advantage of wikis is their capacity for emergence, i.e. letting patterns of usage evolve over time, which is not really leveraged when we install wikis in a pre-defined top-down way. Interestingly, betting on emergence does not collide with the demand for “specific business needs”, when these

  • only define a starting point for wiki usage
  • don’t restrict extensions and cross-theme wiki-linking
  • are (constantly) evaluated and adapted