Enterprise Web 2.0: IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and SAP
Enterprise 2.0 is a term initially coined by Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee just about one year ago. His definition was much more around things like wikis, blogs and social networking. I personally think Enterprise 2.0 is more fundamentally about user interaction – the interaction among users, data, and media in a business context. Blogs and wikis are only a part of such interactions. There are other more significant and powerful ones, such as the interaction between business users and enterprise data. As a result, I personally prefer the term “Enterprise Web 2.0”, referring to the adoption of web 2.0 technologies and paradigms for enterprises.
(Not surprising, Nexaweb is all about enabling the interaction between users and enterprise data by leveraging web 2.0 technologies such as Ajax, Java, and Rich Internet Applications).
The conference is better attended than I expected, with a total of about 800 attendees. The audience displayed such genuine interest in Enterprise Web 2.0 that quite a few sessions overgrew what the big conference room can accommodate.
I went to keynote sessions given by executives at IBM, Cisco, SAP and Microsoft this morning to get some ideas of how they would talk about Web 2.0 in the enterprise.
Ambuj Goyal, General Manager of Information management at IBM Software Group started by stating Enterprise Web 2.0 is really what IBM has been talking about for years – eBusiness. It is about sharing info with suppliers (what we used to call as “extranet”), doing business with customers (internet) and share info with employees (what we used to call as “intranet”). Web 2.0 is about economy, community and technology, not about bouncing balls and mashups. It encompasses new business designs that address the “Long Tail”, with lighter weight infrastructure and simpler programming models.
His main point then became enabling web 2.0 on existing technologies, such as IBM WebSphere Portal by bringing web 2.0 rich internet applications to Webshpere portal. He also mentioned other IBM offerings: Web 2.0 Theme Pack, IBM Content Management, IBM Webshpere Commerce, WEDWiki, IBM Lotus Connections, and IBM Lotus Quickr.
Marthin De Beer, SVP of Emerging Technologies Group at Cisco, presented “How Video and Web 2.0 Are Changing the Enterprise”. He started by outlining the major transitions: the Workplace in Transition influenced by Google, Wikipedia, SecondLife and WebEx, technology Transition ushered by Web 2.0 (User participants, social networks, programmability, mashups).
The point that he made about “Unique Personas Blending” is interesting:
- Worker, Consumer, application blending into one entity “The User”;
- Working, Relaxing blending into one: Interacting;
- Public Network, private network blending into “The network”;
- “At Work, At Home, in transit” blending into “any time, anywhere”;
- Enterprise Applications and public web applications blending together to provide “any capability”;
- “Creating” and “consuming” blending together into “collaborating and sharing”;
His key point is “Network as the Platform” which connects and enables a wide range of applications such as TelePresence, HD camcorders, Web 2.0 sites, surveillance cameras, cell phones, HD cameras, and P2P applications. He spoke of “Intelligent Video Network” and the significant opportunities associated with it (such as AD insertion). The message that he wants people to take away is:
“Make Video part of Cisco and customer DNA”.
Microsoft and SAP
Derek Burney, GM of SharePoint at Microsoft, spoke of “Amplify the Impact of Your People with Enterprise 2.0 Technologies”. Dennis Moore, GM of Emerging Solutions at SAP, spoke of “Enterprise 2.1”. Dennis brought some much needed humor into the conference.
Both Derek and Dennis are much more focused on the interaction between enterprise data and users, including suppliers, customers, partners and employees. Derek mainly talked about SharePoint. He also mentioned Silverlight, Microsoft’s rich internet application product, and said it has been adopted by CBS, for delivering video and rich content. . This is very interesting. Dennis talked about Duet, NetWeaver, Composite applications as well as the collaborative aspects of SDN. Dennis made a point of calling it “Enterprise 2.1” instead of “enterprise 2.1” to show that enterprise web 2.0 composite applications are extremely relevant in this context, beyond the typical blogs, wikis and social networking.
The big four are all fairly into Enterprise Web 2.0 – very interesting. Among the four, I personally think Cisco is better positioned to take advantage of Web 2.0 while all of the other three are still in early exploration mode. They have added Ajax capabilities to various offerings – but adding Ajax is just the beginning.