Collaborating around data …

… there’s where the value (of Enterprise 2.0) is. See the video by Dennis Howlett of the briefing:

“[…] how Chatter can serve as a platform for collaboration, initially around the sales and service processes upon which Salesforce.com concentrates. As the conversation moved on, he also talked about how simply taking Twitter style feeds of itself is not enough and that that company needs to work on filtering and semantic analysis so that people are receiving the right data. This addresses the key issue of relevance around the infusion of social computing technologies into the more formalized structures of CRM (for example.)”

And on perpetual-beta mode (obvious for a SaaS-company, huh?) – he writes

“Salesforce.com is clearly in ‘thinking’ mode on this topic and will watch how customers use Chatter before making significant development investments.”

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Salesforce Chatter – a “Facebook for the Enterprise”

Hmm, I think this is a smart move by Salesforce. Offering social web functionality in an established (and secure enterprise system) is probably making more inroads for Enterprise 2.0 as a concept and mindset.

Yet, we will see how much of the transformative powers remain after the “corporitization of the social web”. It’s interesting here that at least the evolving nature & perpetual-beta approach to developing ind implementing solutions seems to pull through, see the video with Salesforce’s Parker Harris which I am linking to in an instant 😉

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Update: this is worth of more analysis, this whole area of established enterprise software (be it CRM, ERP, SCM, …) and the interrelations with collaborative-minded Enterprise 2.0. Will see when I get around …

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Project Management Tools – SaaS, Open Source and else

These days, you won’t always have immediate access to everyone who works on a given project. Maybe some aspects are being handled by freelancers. Maybe members of your team work remotely. Maybe you just aren’t in the office today. No matter how your team is distributed, you need to be able to assign tasks, share files, and manage your projects from anywhere. These applications offer the ability to do so from any Internet connection.

Yes, reality not only for distributed workers.

So, while the value of lists like these (10 Best Project Management Tools) can be questioned (hey, who decides what makes them the “Best”? and even “Who says it’s applications to begin with?”) they offer an overview of what’s marketplace norm in terms of functionality.

And yes, it will be interesting to watch the fight between the SaaS offerings and the open source contenders (like in 11 Open source project management tools), especially when we see collaboration as the overall goal. Focussing our views and goals for collaboration on “projects” alone is limiting – hence the best tools are adaptive and offer room for emergent uses.

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Google Sites – wiki without the wiki?

Google Sites ist da, ein “group collaboration service” der sich in die Google Apps Palette einreiht.

Im Mittelpunkt stehen Seiten, die von den Nutzern verändert und erweitert werden können. Die Sites sind dabei wiki-ähnlich und erinnern in vielem an den ehemaligen JotSpot Look-and-feel, verzichten aber u.a. auf Wiki-Markup.

Ob dieser Verzicht auf Wiki-Funktionalität eine breite Akzeptanz fördern kann ist aus meiner Sicht durchaus fraglich. Die manchmal (ob zu Recht oder zu Unrecht) konstatierte Wikiphobie hängt ja letztlich weniger am Naming – die Transparenz und Nachvollziehbarkeit von Änderungen ist meist der eigentliche Grund des Widerstands gegen Wikis, der wiederum häufig intransparent bleibt …

Weitere Informationen zu Google Sites u.a. bei Web Worker Daily, Techcrunch, Business Week, Dan Farber, Dennis Howlett, Shel Holtz und Zoli Erdos, der auch untersucht ob das ganze noch ausreichend “Wikiähnlichkeit” aufweist und zusammenfasst:

Google now has a pretty good and easy web-page creator with some wiki features made user-friendly, and a half-hearted attempt at integrating the rest of the Apps empire using Sites.

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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.

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