Upcoming: elfter WikiWednesday Stuttgart

Nachdem der zehnte Jubiläums-WikiWednesday Stuttgart ein Erfolg war (dank der Bühne im Innenhof des H7 wurde niemand wirklich nass …) sollten wir daran gehen den elften WikiWednesday zu organisieren.

Dieses Mail wieder in konventionellem Rahmen, sprich mit Sesssions, Kurzvorträgen und Erlebnisberichten (Wikisym!, Wikimania!, Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston! – es sollte genug Interessantes geben). Ideen und Wünsche wie auch Terminwünsche direkt in die Wave bzw. die darin enthaltene Doodle-Terminabstimmung eintragen):

IOD 2010 – collecting some todos and ideas

I am happily back from the Rome IBM Information on Demand EMEA conference and now collecting the things I want and need to investigate more, now that the fun is over:

Hadoop and IBM big sheets technology
– IBM’s open source contact points and interests like Apache Lucene (is OYE out?)
– The Internet of Things (that think)
– business intelligence metrics and methods apart from Big Data
– ilog, business rules, Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS), Websphere and ECM BPM
– databases aren’t probably as ungeeky as I thought (ok, haven’t checked there since long)
– the book I was kindly given by its authors (got me autographed copy) – “The Art of Enterprise Information Architecture – a systems-based approach for unlocking business insight”

Some of things I need to put some time thinking about include:
– why, where and what for to integrate Cognos and SPSS into Lotus (where does it fit in best? Quickr? Connections?)
– social media analytics vs. social media monitoring (business roles and processes? can we identify best practices? how to integrate and complement human insight with number crunching beasts? …)
– business ecosystem dynamics (partnering & competing & complementing) – covers areas from Sharepoint to Lotus to XYZ, but also overall the consulting landscape. Are there things to learn from these big, hairy projects that can be applied to the sole, geek consultant business as well? More of a business model innovation thing I guess.
– what does it mean if we want to go from “sense and respond” to “anticipate, shape and transform”? What to integrate into enterprise collaboration consulting from the “information on demand” learnings?
– and finally – why I am not seeing more GNU/Linux desktops here – everybody and their dog are using XP et al. – not to speaking of the Office users everywhere. Yuck.

And there’s also a lot to check out that’s coming in via the Google I/O in San Francisco. More cool stuff to geek around with when having not yet a z/OS machine to play around with …

IOD 2010 – day 2 learnings so far

Well, sort of a disclaimer – the wifi down here is spotty (pretty much binary, ie. switches from 0 to 1 to 0 ad infinitum), thus I am hastily posting some notes on the learnings of day 2 morning. I will add more notes on day 1 and its executive meetings and interviews tomorrow when I’m back on a high speed internet access. Then I can also check out the video footage of both days’ keynotes, so I might embed and highlight the interesting stuff.

These minor hassles aside the conference prooves to be interesting and inspiring – and while this event focuses on big data, big customers, big machines, big accounts et al. (you get the idea …), cute research and ideas aren’t absent, the social web and the Lotus ballpark are present too, so there’s enough in it for me. And it’s interesting to meet and talk to people from the EMEA region during the socializing parts (informally talked to customers, partners and IBMers from as exotic places as the Netherlands and Jordania ;). Officially, ie. organized and scheduled I had the opportunity to talk with people like Jeff Schick (yes, collaboration issues, Lotus, Project Vulcan et al.) and a round of other executives. Caught some notes in a mindmap which may get turned into a blogpost.

For now I share some of my combined notes from this mornings main event and a subsequent blogger’s meeting with IBMers (SPSS and Consulting). Aspirations, plans and business muscles were shown, my takes on things:

– I think that it’s showing that IBM is trying very hard to leverage it’s power and widespread expertise and labs

– Mike Rhodin focussed on the frameworks IBM has and is developing for catering for a range of industries (I think these are ranging from stories and “rationales” to blueprints to implementation patterns to out-of-the-box cookie-cutter standard approach and solutions)

– sounds more like strategy consulting – the seek patterns, understand patterns and adapt to those patterns cycle that Gartners Casonato talked is yet an image to simple (adaptiveness and agility are hard to sustain in light of information overload). But yes, making sense of the avalanche and being able to move still is the art that IBM is pushing to be better at (and aims to help customers with)

– I perfectly understand why Cognos and SPSS got acquired – good fit with both Global Business Services and the industry specific teams, a lot of overlapping space with ilog (business rules), Lotus (yesyesyes) – yep, even with Websphere et al.

– Cognos and Business Intelligence are not only for finding a needle in a haystack but also for fundamentals like “How are we doing? Why? and What should we be doing?”

– SPSS and its predictive analysis stuff is aimed at all industry lines, 80/20 rules apply here as does the rationale that innovative ideas can be imported from “foreign” and separated industries. Generic stuff and expertise gets integrated into the Software Group

– Software Group is “vice-presidenting” not only products but also solutions
– Partners got a place in building a solution portfolio, may even be a big slice of the cake. But it depends on what IBM can do inhouse first. Not sure if the priorities are right. Partners I’ve talked to outside and off-protocol were telling stories.

– Talking to “line of business persons” about “technology enabled business model innovation” is much easier when numbers are available, there seems to be a hunger for predictive analysis and derived insight. People seem to be aware that gut-based decision making is coming to an end in times of profound change

That’s it for now, see disclaimer above …

Upcoming: IOD Information on Demand 2010, Rome

I am about to hop into the car, to quickly catch a plane to get to Rome for the IBM Information on Demand EMEA conference – an event focusing on information management and analytics (including a heavy leaning towards Enterprise Content Management and Enterprise 2.0, yes, too).

The agenda is clear: Detailing information strategies that bring or sustain competitive advantage.

Yes, providing just the right information timely and accurately (well, I expect to hear about business intelligence, reporting, decision support systems, management information systems et al.) to provide business insight and wisdom (how do we get from data to information to knowledge to “I know and know how to act and decide”). Collaboration is essential here – it’s got a place in adding meaning, insight, experience and eventually connected, shared understanding to information. While this “socially intermediated knowledge” may be more tacit and fuzzy (mustn’t be a bad thing) it’s also potentially quite trustable (a whole bunch of interesting questions are popping up here, ie. how do we tell which source of infomation is trustworthy? how do we evaluate, tag and classify our social sources? does social proximity mean more than perceived level of expertise? on and on …)

I am really happy to be able to participate in this event*, and the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Magnus Lindkvist:

[who] will address the challenge of having too much information, suggest new filters to extract useful information, and explore new lenses with which to see the world that, in turn, can be used to go above and beyond market expectations.

Hmm, new lenses sounds interesting – I assume this will mean a combination of principles, methods and tools, of which the tools are probably the most easy to grasp (not to say that the Cognos Business Intelligence cloud doesn’t sound impressive)? Applications and processes are another perspective to check out, and I think that’s where the conference is kicking in, ie. exploring “independent foundational information tools”, “enterprise information plans and roadmaps”, how to leverage “industry specific expertise and assets for rapid time to value” (sic!), “centralizing best practices by establishing competency centers” and all in all “getting [us all] started on [our] information-led transformation journey”. All “quotes” were snipped from the information agenda obviously:

What is the information agenda?
IBM’s Information Agenda approach has a proven track record of helping companies in your size and industry respond and adapt quickly to unpredictable, up-to-the-minute changes in information, whether it’s on a global level, or the next cube over.
Utilizing IBM’s best-in-class software and consulting services, this approach is designed to help your business develop a customized implementation roadmap in a matter of weeks. What’s more, our solutions can also help you reduce IT spending by leveraging existing investments.

And there’s also a part on social media, I guess here we’ll explore the relations between internal social media, konowledge and innovation management and the tweaking of business models (by leveraging cute technologies). And that’s exactly my cup of tea, so I am looking forward to joining the discussions:

Social media are platforms for interaction and relationships, and have the potential and power to affect everyone in your business – sales, marketing and technical employees – as well as your customers, investors, analysts and the press. Meet some of the social media experts from IBM at IOD EMEA 2010 who can help you better understand social media, decide whether or not it’s appropriate to use in your business model, and if so, how to get started using key tools to grow your business.

So follow the official blogger blog, search for the hashtag #iod2010,  watch the livestream of general sessions and keynote speakers and if you’re there don’t hesitate to stop and say hello. I am not sure what and when I can share stuff, obviously the wifi needs some kind words.

* Disclaimer and disclosure – 1. IBM invited me to the event and covers T&E 2. I know and like both geeks and suits at IBM – trust me, I will disclose if it’s important for you to know …

APIs are the sex organs of business evolution

Well, nice presentation, found via Aaron Fulkerson, respective the MindTouch corporate blog – reminded me of Lee Bryant’s take on APIs (quoted here), actively pursuing business model innovation design vs. allowing for emergence, overall the evolutionary pressures on business models on macro- and micro-scales (yay, how we can hack our understanding of “the ways business and managing are done” – this is essential and I am glad that the social web scene is becoming an integral part of the discussion).

Posted via web from stirring the frogpond

Construction time again (and counting the pillars of implementing)

Helping with implementation – all in all getting projects up in the aír is what makes me tick as a consultant, and is what I deeply care about. So this quote disturbed me a bit:

[…] Often, just a great tool alone is not sufficient to achieve sustainable usage. I would even say that the technology, the tool itself, is only 20% of the business. The other 80% is convincing, promotion, and making the users aware of your solution.

A while ago, somebody showed me the results of a study on: what are the critical factors to make Knowledge Management initiatives successful? […] Anyhow, the two key drivers were identified as:

  • perceived usefulness [for users]
  • perceived management support (via)

<rant>Two key drivers? Both with a heavy focus on people aspects. Nothing else? Nothing valuable to be found in and about strategyculturestructures and systems? I am perfectly sure that it’s necessary to provide more pillars to both Knowledge Management and #e20 initiatives. That is, if you want to have a sound foundation (whoa, funny metaphors have no limits for me today, yes).

Now, one could place people at the center of actions and reasoning (after all, it’s called social web for a reason, this arena is inhabited by complex adaptive systems aka humans) but at least Enterprise 2.0 initiatives comprise a lot more pillars, with changing importance and relevance (dependent on the actual context, actual phase of implementation etc.). So focusing on the people side of things (and yes, I know, managers are people too) can become dangerous, ie. when it neglects other factors, thus risking the balance of the construction site. I thought this to be common knowledge.</rant>

PS. Somebody from my #e20 Twitter list recommended the quoted blog post on Twitter – and now you see me ranting about it. I have growing doubts whether twitter is a viable tool for recommendation and link sharing. It’s way too easy to RT on Twitter without actually reading the albeit short blog post. Yes, too much fluff, too little thought on Twitter these days. But I wouldn’t have written that post if the reasoning inside it didn’t bother me, so some thanks go to Twitter for disturbing my calm.

PPS. CC image by Jakob Montrasio – a two-pillars construction-site that’s actually working.