From Web 2.0 to Enterprise 2.0

Yesterday I was at the first Enterprise 2.0 conference in Holland. One day people from a wide range of enterprises got together and talked about web 2.0 inside the enterprise. Vincent Everts talked us through the day and lively introduced the speakers.

The first speaker was René Jansen who talked about his research with the University of Amsterdam and his company Winkwaves. Web 2.0 according to René is all about connecting people on a common theme. This insight is very meaningful, we should take those theme’s as a starting point for collaboration. While most companies will start with their hierarchy. The important measurement for success being the true interest of people. You should find out whether the passion of my coworkers is in the hierarchy or common theme’s.

IB’M showed us Connections, a Lotus Notes based application that allows the employees to have profile pages, community pages, blogs and dogear. It looked quite nice and this product is for sale right now! The people of IBM are using this product now on the intranet and the usage stats looked very impressive.

An interesting case was made by Frank Smilda on police investigations using web 2.0 tactics. They are giving away information on cold an hot cases, letting civilian investigators join in cracking the case. The results looked very good. They were talking about adding a lot of standard web 2.0 tools to the service. This was actually driven by bloggers who were already using general public to solve crimes.

Off course Micorsoft told us a lot about Sharepoint and their vision about software. It will be on your machine and as a service (SaaS). The question will be if this is true. Today we are more offline than online but this will change and there will come a time that we will always be online! Then SaaS will be the only option, I think.

Wim Scheper talked to us about the repeating facts of history and why enterprise 2.0 is here to stay. When standardization and interchangeability get into play the competition between firms gets going. Enterprise 2.0 is about these two things so they will stay!

The keynote was by Rod Beckstrom, the author of the starfish and the spider. He talked about the decentralization taking place in companies right now to get more flexible and competitive. Enterprise 2.0 is actually a decentralisation thing in IT, no hierarchies should apply in Enterprise 2.0. The power of wiki’s in this movement will be very big. The structured wiki being the top species in wiki-nation (according to wikimatrix) and thus prevailing over other species. Decentralization actually encourages the forming of small world networks in organizations.

So a great day came to end. The thought that stuck the most was the power of communities and the (small world) networks way of organizing your company. I am looking forward to the next enterprise 2.0 conference in Holland!