TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society – March 2010 Meeting

February 25, 2010

Burn the Ships! Forging Ahead in the Web 2.0 World.

Registration: goto the TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society Home

Web 2.0 is here to stay, but evolving the Enterprise to respond is no small feat. What can we do to ensure that we’re leveraging the conversation to the best end? Using Ariba, Inc. as a case study, let’s talk about assembling the tools, troops and know-how that will position us as industry leaders and offer the greatest value to our customers. Presentation highlights include:

– Selecting and leveraging the right technologies
– Listening, engaging and facilitating the dialogue
– Addressing resource constraints and IP concerns
– Social Media measurement and ROI

Bio
Elizabeth Hill is director of internet marketing for Ariba, the leading provider of SaaS spend management solutions. She leads the teams responsible for Ariba’s websites, search strategy and Web 2.0 programs. Elizabeth has spent 15 years learning about all facets of doing business on the web. She has extensive experience building and optimizing both consumer and B2B websites and a deep background in SEO and web analytics.

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Application of Social Computing to the Enterprise

October 4, 2008

Initiatives, programs, and day-to-day business operations are critical to the success of the enterprise.  Large companies have invested a significant amount of resources in IT tools, business processes, and technologies to gather critical information from a variety of sources about their business operations and business processes. 

Businesses rely on people to receive and analyze information, make decisions, and initiate and coordinate the appropriate tasks and activities.  Managers are responsible for assimilating information, managing/supporting their key personnel, marshaling resources, making decisions, following up to verify that the appropriate tasks and activities were undertaken, and insuring that objectives and milestones are being meet.

 

Individuals, managers and workers are facing a cognitive overload.  It is estimated that a Sunday newspaper contains more information than the average 17th century citizen encountered in a lifetime. Today, the amount of worldwide information doubles approximately every 1.5 years, and corporate files double every 3 to 4 years.

The one biggest challenges to the enterprise is making better (smarter, faster) use of information about its business processes.  The problem lies in the large volume of information that is presented to managers, the wide range of disparate sources from which it comes, and the fact that it is too often dispersed in ‘information silos’ across the enterprise.  All of this makes it difficult for managers to assimilate information and data, and rapidly make (informed/accurate) decisions.  Also, managers are getting so much ‘information’ that they are having difficulty keeping informed (up to date) about key topics and issues.

 

Information gathering, communication, collaboration and decision making in most companies relies on a ‘conventional’ set of tools and processes: conversations, meeting, emails, voice mails, basic messaging, conferencing, and office documents mailed as attachments. 

In the increasingly rapid pace and the complexity of today’s enterprise, the use of conventional tools and processes leads to inevitable latencies in business processes, activities and decisions.  Delays in communication and decision making and slow response to critical problems and issues can have a significant impact on business performance.

Dependency on Email has put up fences to efficient communication and decision making.  Consider the manager that has hundreds of unread Emails in their InBox; how quickly can they be expected to respond to a request for information, provide guidance and feedback, or make a decision? 

Meeting and conference calls can have less than optimal efficiency – they can create bottlenecks as managers may wait until the meeting to discuss and resolve issues.

Person to person communication can induce latencies.  If the contacted party is busy then the request is put in a queue.  If may people are trying to contact the same person then that person becomes a bottleneck.  How much time, energy and effort are expended (often wasted) playing ‘phone tag’ to get in contact with a key resource to have an important discussion or make a critical decision.

 

A large percentage of business data and business information is stored in ‘information silos’.  In general, these systems cannot exchange information with other related systems within its own organization, or with the management systems of its customers, vendors or business partners. The same can be said of the knowledge and experience of individuals within an organization or an enterprise.  Their knowledge and expertise cannot be easily shared (exchanged) with other individuals within the enterprise or with their partners or vendors. The skills, knowledge and experience cannot be easily shared for a number of reasons.  People have few ways of making their knowledge and experience known outside their peer group, unit or department. And, individuals that have need of specific knowledge and expertise have few channels to find or discover those individuals.  There is no framework for connecting individuals, sharing information and knowledge, managing the utilization of resources, affecting the successful resolution of a problem or issues, and ultimately, successfully completing tasks and projects

 

As the pace of business accelerates, the use of conventional tools and processes are becoming less and less efficient and effective helping business communicate, collaborate and make decisions.

We need to enhance the competiveness and responsiveness of the enterprise by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise all levels:

 

Connections and Communication

More efficient communication – finding and connecting to the ‘best resource’ (most appropriate & most available) to address our problems and/or issues. 

Targeted Collaboration

Creation, sharing and utilization of business knowledge and expertise.  Leverage internal and external knowledge and expertise.  More effective utilization of enterprise resources. 

Knowledge Access

Timely and universal access to resources, information, knowledge and solutions (from both internal and external sources).

Organization, Visibility and Management

Single location (space) where information associated with task, project, or program can be viewed and managed.  Provide a framework for the management of tasks/projects

Responsiveness and Resolution

Faster and more productive response to problems & issues.  Better (more accurate/informed) decision making and problem resolution.  Link people processes to business processes. Sustaining progress; drive tasks and projects toward completion.

Accountability

Link business decisions and actions to work flow and processes.


Enterprise 2.0 vs SOA

September 2, 2008

A number of years ago Dion Hinchcliffe wrote on his blog “Is Web 2.0 actually the most massive instance possible of service-oriented architecture, realized on a worldwide scale and sprawling across the Web”.

 

That statement would indicate that Dion believes that Web 2.0 is a massive instance of SOA. However, before we engage in this discussion we need to agree on what we are talking about.  I agree with Bhupinder’s observation that ‘we need to have a clear definition of SOA and Web 2.0’.  The problem here is that there are any number of definitions of SOA, and an abundance of definitions/descriptions of what Web 2.0 is and/or means.   

 

From my point of view, Web 2.0 is used to describe the changing trends (evolution) in the development and use of Web technologies.  If you agree with that, then definition of Web 2.0 that Tim O’Reilly attempted to ‘clarify’ back in 2005 will be different than ‘the current definitions/descriptions’, and those definitions will be different than the ones that will be in vogue three to five years from now.   

Today, when I think about Web 2.0 the following concepts and ideas come to mind (in no particular order of importance):

        Collaboration and utilizing collective intelligence

        Communication and connections

        Virtual communities and worlds

        Tagging of content (folksonomy) and search

        Social software and social media

        Universal (wide spread) access to and ownership of data and information

        RIAs and rich user experiences

        Innovation in assemble – Mashups

        Lightweight programming models and services

        Convergence – device independent access to content

        Decentralization – distribution of content and control throughout the network

 

I am sure that if you ask ten different people for their definition of Web 2.0 you will get ten [significantly] different lists/descriptions.

 

With all due respect to Dion (and many other Web 2.0 experts – who have more knowledge and experience that I have) I truly believe that SOA is a different animal.   It may be my many years of software development, but I think that SOA is much less of a ‘moving target’ than Web 2.0.  And, I think that you can come up with definitions that most people would ‘mostly’ agree with.  One definition that I like is: the elements of SOA are generally regarded to be a methodology (set of processes) for system and software architecture & integration where the functionality is organized around a set of business processes or tasks and delivered as a set of services that can be discovered and executed.

  

One could argue that the (above) definition of SOA is not much different than that of Web 2.0, but I would disagree.  The following are characteristics of SOA services that are not always found in Web 2.0 components:  service discoverability – services are exposed so that they can be discovered and utilized by other services/components, service autonomy – the service has control over all of the functionality that it provides, and service abstraction/encapsulation – like classes, services do not expose internal logic and functionality.

 

At a high very level you could think of Web 2.0 as an instance of SOA.  However, when you get down into the details of SOA, then it seems to me that one should view SOA as one of a number of methodologies that provides services to support Web 2.0 applications.