Enterprise 2.0 on z/OS

I had the pleasure to attend an IBM enterprise 2.0 workshop yesterday at the Böblingen Labs. Found out about it via Luis Suarez. Well, turned out to be a good idea, not only was I able to experience the extended version of Luis’ “Thinking out of the Inbox”, but also got some insights into IBMs mainframe business as a platform for business-critical applications. And yes, these may well include Enterprisey-2.0 stuff. And while I am still favorable of lightweight deployments, I can see their point, especially when coupled with the overall trends around virtualization, cloud computing etc.

The one day workshop (“Web 2.0 and System z”) – organized by Kevin Keller (kevkeller on Twitter) – both touched upon broad underlying motives, concepts and trends (systematized by Ansgar Schmidt under “Gutenberg 2.0”, I just loved the neologism “social translucence”) and downright IT-technological specifics.

Fot the underlying trends I think that the IBMers got it right, e.g. when pointing out the trend towards decentralized social networks, that are organized and supported by distributed players. Yes, add this to data portability and open standards and we’re on the right track. Besides, I got some nice insights into IBMs enterprise social software ideas, e.g. the internal BeeHive social networking platform (I know who called it a waste of time but am not telling …) – where already thousands of IBM employees “connect and share” and IBMs CatTail document sharing platform.

So, in addition to meeting nice people like Martin Packer, I also learned quite a bit. Yes, this is another one of the reasons why we still want to meet up with people in real-life. As Luis puts it, we want to:
– hear the story behind the argument
– confirm what we think we know (and I would also say put our ideas up for testing and refinement)
– decide what to pay attention to
– keep up with fast changing information
– feel connected

Makes a nice list of arguments for coming to the WikiWednesdayStuttgart this evening, although the planned main event has to be delayed onto the future (no I am not telling) we’ll have a nice group of people with expertise to discuss with …

Wie Blogs und Wikis (@IBM) die Arbeitswelt verändern

Leider nur noch im kostenpflichtigen Archiv der SZ, dieser Artikel zu den Veränderungen innerhalb der IBM durch Social Software: “Im freien Fluss: Wie Blogs und Wiki die Arbeitswelt verändern“. Damals gelesen und gebookmarked, und daran anlässslich der CeBIT erinnert …

Noch gibt es kaum Unternehmen, die Web 2.0 Technologien so intensiv für den internen Informationsaustausch ausnutzen wie IBM. Dass Big Blue als Anbieter von Software für unternehmensinterne Kommunikationsprozesse auf die Technologie setzt, ist aber nur ein Grund für die starke Nutzung von Web 2.0-Technologien. Das Unternehmen wurde im Jahr 2005 vom Management massiv umgebaut und global ausgerichtet. Die dezentrale Vernetzung wurde dadurch Teil der Firmenstrategie. Viele andere Firmen sind zentralistischer organisiert und tun sich schwer damit, die Kontrolle über die internen Kommunikationsprozese aufzugeben.

Nun ja, rückblickend auf die CeBIT hat IBM meiner Meinung nach das Thema “Kollaboration” dieses Mal etwas verschenkt – zumindest wenn man das Engagement der benachbarten DNUG als Maßstab sieht. Ein, zwei kleinere Angebote am Rand des riesigen Messestands, das war es. Vielleicht auch ganz gut so – schließlich hatte ich so Gelegenheit zu einem ausgiebigen Austausch mit den IBM-/Lotus-Beratern rund um Sametime, Quickr und Connections, und speziell zu deren Erfahrungen in Bezug auf Akzeptanz und Einführungspfade in der IBM. Auch intern sicher kein Selbstläufer, wobei durchaus von wachsendem Engagement berichtet wurde.

IBM bringing Web 2.0 to corporate workers

IBM is set today to make a big push into the Web 2.0 world by unveiling a team collaboration product, social computing software and a suite of tools for building Web mashups, see Computerworld’s article here.

[…] unveiling a team collaboration product, social computing software and a suite of tools for building Web mashups.

As part of a new “Web 2.0 Goes to Work” initiative, the IBM tools will bring popular consumer Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis and social networks to the enterprise, […] The new software should help companies more easily brainstorm and collaborate with partners and customers about business content

[…] Lotus Quickr 8 team collaboration tool helps companies use blogs, wikis and team space templates to share business documents and access libraries through plug-ins […]

[…] IBM today also announced that Lotus Connections is now available.

The Connections tool includes Web 2.0 components like bookmarking and support for social communities

[…] In addition, IBM introduced Info 2.0, a new suite of tools for customizing and linking Web and enterprise data into mashups

While one might argue that this portfolio of tools and suites is too complex and thus distracting, I think that it’s more or less a reflection of the impossibility to design “solutions” with “one true architecture”. What’s needed is a toolbox whose contents can be flexibly combined and adapted. IBM’s efforts are no “out of the box solution” anyway, which is basically good news for consultants in the social software space – remember it’s not about technologies or tools, it’s about organizations and people.

More on Lotus Connections …

IBM has released detailed information on Lotus Connections, features, pricing and all, see
here for more, maybe check out my past notes and pointers.

IBM Lotus Connections V1.0 empowers users to share and refine innovative ideas and helps you execute tasks more quickly by using dynamic networks of coworkers, partners, and customers. Lotus Connections delivers the following essential components of social software that meet the security, scalability, and integration requirements of a growing business:

* Profiles enable you to quickly find the people you need by searching across your organization using keywords that help identify expertise or current projects.
* Communities allow you to create, find, join, and work with communities of people who share a common responsibility or area of expertise.
* Blogs help you to present your ideas and receive feedback while learning from the experience of others.
* Dogear allows you to save your bookmarks, either as private or shared, so you and others can quickly find information.
* Activities component empowers you to organize your work, plan next steps, and easily tap your expanding professional network to help execute your everyday deliverables faster.

IBM Lotus Connections Videos on YouTube

Via Luis Suarez two videos on Lotus Connections, and its relation with knowledge management. The second video is a bit fluffy and stylish … but this might be OK, as long as it helps to demonstrate the potential of social software in the enterprise and gets “some discussions going as to where they can prove their own business value to knowledge workers or not”.


In the meantime Luis has shared more information on the workings of IBM Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2 and Lotus Notes 8 Demo (“A Whole Lot More than Just Another E-Mail Client”).