Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lunch 2.0 @ Oracle


I'll be doing Lunch 2.0 @ Oracle tomorrow. Will be the first presenter .. so stay tuned and will blog post event to provide more details.

For those who've never heard of Lunch2.0 ... its a community marketing event started by a 2-3 techno marketing savvy guys who are using the organic approach to getting Web 2.0 more mainstream.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Web 2.0 Design Pattern


"Simple and intuitive yet effective and efficient"

The software industry has struggled with this design pattern for a long .. long time and yet these days when I use some Web 2.0 apps. That's all I keep saying to myself!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Web 2.0 commercials and Enterprise Software


It just gets more and more interesting as enterprise software companies use Web 2.0 to their commercial advantage.
Here's a Lawson S/W commercial that is currently doing the rounds. After TIBCO's Greg the Architect series on YT this one seems to be the next one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CRM morphs to Customer Care ... Naah


I recently read this post about CRM 2.0 on Marshall Lager's blog and what we should call CRM in its next generation.

I'm not sure if "Customer Care" works for next generation CRM. To me a "customer" the term "customer care" conjures up images of CRM 1.0 Call Centers that were supposed to be customer care centers but were busy pissing me off with either poor service or upselling calls guised as regular customer health check calls.

What CRM 2.0 brings is more than technology change, just like how Web 2.0 brings more than tech change as well. To me its a behavioral change on how we interact and participate as a society, obviously it wont last forever and when the trend has cooled off we will be looking at getting it out of everywhere.

Plus in Web 2.0 times I'm not sure if customers really need an enterprise to provide it "caaaare". These days customers take care of themselves and their relationship with the enterprise. So Customer Care in Web 2.0 times just sounds too benevolent to me.

But hey its another candidate to add to the list. Hopefully we get CRM 2.0 defined before its done with :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Are Web 2.0 Mashups the next generation of Analytics dashboards


The more I look at Mashups and its application in the enterprise space, the more I feel that we are looking at the next generation of Analytics applications for the enterprise.

So what is a mashup?

To me its a web application that is created by consuming services and content from multiple existing web applications to create a meaningful target web application.

Now as I understand mashups the one premise is that the API's used for creating mashups should be public API's. However not sure if its very applicable in an enterprise.

Here are the 3-4 popular mashup categories or genere's;

- Maps based mashups. The most popular ones being created between Google Maps and real estate websites or crime watch websites. (HousingMaps)
- News or RSS/Atom based mashups. Now I know I'm putting RSS/Atom which is a technology into these category. But if you really look at the News mashups they're mostly using RSS/Atom. (HeadlineMap) ... this ones more like a News + Maps mashup.
- Video, Photo, Music based mashups. This is where actual media content or media listings are then mashed up with other info sources. Like the iTunes and YouTube mashup where the top 10 from iTunes are taken and mashed up with related videos from YT. (YouTubeDigg)

Now most of the mashups in the consumer world or the WWW today rely either on some kind of web page clipping or scraping or leveraging RSS/Atom feeds to combine the content coming from the two source sites.

Companies like Oracle and IBM have now started providing product suites that ease the process of creating mashups within an enterprise. For an enterprise mashup there could be 3 posisble site combination scenarios; internal - internal, internal - external (most likely) or external - external.
If you have any samples of enterprise mashups that you might have created please share them here.

So now here comes my Analytics dashboard analogy. For the longest time Datawarehousing, BI and Analytics vendors had used the route of we capture the data provide it useful meaning and then release it to the rest of the organization. However the more recent and hugely successful category of Analytics/BI applications actually provided a very simple drag and drop kind of interface to end users so they could create their own dashboards, reports and drive their own analysis. This would be done at the individual level for highly trained or technical resources and at the team or departmental level for small to medium teams, where there would be one rep doing this.

Mashups for me are heading into that relam because there have always been times in the past where enterprise users had requests like .. I wish if only data from this site could be merged with data from that site - and IT would give them a 5 year integration and rollout plan. These mashup tools will now provide organizations with the tools and agility to quickly package and rollout these kinds of apps that would help increase the overall efficiency and effectiveness something those pre-mashup days content streams wouldnt have been able to do on their own.

The applications for these kinds of target mashups would be endless ... Sales cycle, Marketing, Project Mgmt, Systems Management and the list goes on. Well actually the value prop gets even more interesting if you start mashing up the existing enterprise Analytics dashboards with other websites.

Aggregate Blog post for Use Cases and Application of Enterprise 2.0


If there are any interesting Enterprise 2.0 use cases or applications that you might have deployed, seen, heard of or even simply thought of, feel free to provide them in the comments here and I will keep aggregating them into the post.

To me this is one thing that sorely lacking in all the Enterprise, CRM, Sales, ABC 2.0 discussions and posts.

Recently ran into this site thats doing the exact same thing I was intending on doing here in a more primitive fashion. So wanted to update the post. Cases 2.0 is aiming to be the repository for Enterprise2.0 scenarios and use cases. Great idea.

Oracle highlights Enterprise 2.0 efforts


This article posted on InfoWorld highlights the fact that large enterprise S/W vendors like Oracle and (IBM Previews Suite of Web 2.0 Mashup Technologies for Businesses) have started seeing the value of providing products/capabilities that allow the Web 2.0 paradigm to easily enter the enterprise arena. To me its a no brainer, Web 2.0 is all about agility, efficiency, power of human interaction and networking, end user gaining control and hence a prime candidate for enterprise adoption where these capabilities can ultimately provide organizations a competitive edge to out-do the rest and make more moolah either through the topline or the bottomline. (now now .. lets not be naive .. in the enterprise its always about doing more business)

What's been eluding a lot of folks is the application of Web 2.0 in the enterprise and their deployment challenges. I'm going to start a running post that aggregates these use cases, so if you have any to contribute post them here.

Oracle officials during a Web conference Tuesday cited collaborative benefits of Enterprise 2.0 and cast the company's WebCenter platform as its product offering in this space.
Enterprise 2.0 from Oracle's perspective brings the benefits of Web 2.0-style collaboration to the enterprise. Other elements include the ability to build mashup applications. While there has been confusion as to what exactly Web 2.0 really is, it has been equated to blogging, AJAX-style development, and even Google, said Sonny Singh, senior vice president of the Industries Business Unit at Oracle.
"The truth of the matter is there are probably as many definitions of Web 2.0 as there are technologies associated with it," Singh said.
"[Web 2.0 is] really about how users can connect and work with each other through the Internet," said Thomas Kurian, Oracle senior vice president of Server Technologies Development. "It's fundamentally about users sharing information with each other, using Web-based social software technology to fundamentally transform how they get access to information and how they work with each other."
But Oracle is looking at Web 2.0's relevance and benefits in the enterprise world, which formed the basis for discussion on Enterprise 2.0 during the Web conference.
"Enterprise 2.0 is basically integrating these Web 2.0 technologies and capabilities with enterprise information systems and applications to transform how we work within the enterprise, as well as across enterprises and with people outside the enterprise," Kurian said.
"For me, Enterprise 2.0 is the use of freeform social software inside organizations," said Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and a featured presenter wired into the Oracle event. Rather than being concerned with how software is developed, Enterprise 2.0 is about how software gets used, he said.
Enterprise 2.0 brings new modes of collaboration, McAfee said.
Oracle's strategy for the new generation of Internet computing is to fuse Enterprise 2.0 capabilities into Oracle products, Kurian said. The Oracle WebCenter platform takes center stage in the company's Enterprise 2.0 strategy.
Part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform, WebCenter integrates enterprise services in providing a context-aware Web application. Featured capabilities include mashups, tagging, RSS, wiki, VoIP, and discussions; search and community components are offered as well.
One of the basic beliefs around WebCenter, Kurian said, is that the way to build an enterprise application, portal, and Web site is converging. The line between what is a Web site, an enterprise application, or a transaction system is gone, he said. WebCenter provides a standards-based framework and integrates into an application development framework.
Oracle also is bringing Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to its On Demand applications. Information such as what a customer has purchased can be shared with a network of salespersons and others, he said. Also, the next version of Oracle's collaboration suite will include Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 capabilities, Kurian said.
To drive home its point about Internet-based computing, Oracle showed a video of a company using a mashup to compare worldwide shipping costs of FOLED (flexible OLED) systems.
Oracle competitors also are latching onto concepts such as Web 2.0. BEA Systems, for example, offers a social computing suite for ad hoc collaboration and participation-based experiences.
Putting a damper on Oracle's festivities, however, was a questioner in the audience who said Oracle needs to update its existing "Web 1.0-based" licensing model. Oracle currently bases its licensing on the per-processor or named user methods.
"We have certainly had discussions on that," Kurian responded. The company is trying to gauge interest from the user community about this issue, he said.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Corporate Social Network Design Council and Inaugural Sales 2.0 Conference


This is going to be interesting. What I'd like to see coming out of this is less talk and more information about specific applications and use cases where Web 2.0 can be directly applied to the Enterprise, CRM or Sales processes.

Visible Path, a leading provider of online business networking solutions, will lead a corporate social NETWORK design council on Monday, October 29th from 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m just prior to the kick-off of the Sales 2.0 Conference at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA. The design council discussion will enable participants to share goals and challenges and pose questions to Enterprise 2.0 industry experts as they look to bring social networks into their own corporate environments.

If you are a technology, human resources or sales executive interested in the intersection between business and social networking and would like to attend please visit or contact Kathleen Bruno at

Those attending the design council will hear from industry leading panelists Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst of Social Computing and Web 2.0, Forrester Research, ROSS Mayfield, CEO and Co-Founder of SocialText, and Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, ORACLE CRM on Demand as they share valuable information in a panel on ?How to Apply Social Networks in the Enterprise.? Visible Path Co-founder Antony Brydon and Bruno will also participate in the event throughout the day.

Following the design council, Visible Path, in collaboration with, Oracle, Cisco, WebEx, InsideView, Landslide Technologies and dozens of other industry leading companies is sponsoring the inaugural Sales 2.0 conference at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco October 29-30, 2007. The conference will demonstrate how combining next-generation Web technologies such as web conferencing, social networking, prospect databases and web site monitoring services with innovative sales processes can dramatically accelerate the sales cycle.
Bruno will take the stage at Sales 2.0 on Tuesday, October 30th at 1:30p.m. and participate in a panel on ?Lead Qualification and Cultivation.? ?I am really looking forward to participating in the inaugural Sales 2.0 Conference,? said Bruno. ?Sales executives are always looking for ways to increase visibility into new relationships and Visible Path lets them do this in a way that leverages the power of social networking.?

The Sales 2.0 event will address industry trends and key topics such as: The ?MySpace Generation? meets the Workplace, Volume Selling in an On-Demand World, Integrating On-line and Relationship Selling, and Making E-Mail Marketing Work for Your Sales Organization. The conference will feature thought leaders including Geoffrey Moore, best-selling author of ?Crossing the Chasm?; Michael Bosworth, Founder of Solution Selling and author of ?Customer Centric Selling?; Joe Galvin, vice president of SIRIUS Decisions; and David Berman, President of Worldwide Sales at WebEx Communications (now CISCO WebEx).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What does SaaS Really bring to market?


To understand what role SaaS will really play in the Web2.0 generation I decided to try and deconstruct exactly what it brings to customers.

So zooming back in time a little bit I would say that the emergence of SaaS was closely tied to the failure of on premise (desktop, 3-tier, client server) software to control the cost of ownership. Now in some ways SaaS is a redux of the mainframe - green screen model. But we all agree that the current version of SaaS has much more to offer than that.

According to me the two main things that SaaS offers to its customers is agility and abstraction.

Now both of these perceived benefits that SaaS brings have boundaries and many customers have discovered that they are kind of brick walls at times as well.

Imagine if you were an army of one and wanted to address a business issue by deploying an application. SaaS provides the agility to do that. In the on premise world the work on this kind of an initiative would have been significant and to a large extent the same whether it was an army of one or a legion of consultants. But then again, I would like to reemphasize the boundaries. As many SaaS initiatives have discovered once you take SaaS deployments to a large scale you start hitting some of the same real world problems on premise products have hit in the past where the products are too generic and requirements too varied, so it leads down the road of custom solutions and all the TCO related items that ride a custom solution.

However its the second value that is of greater interest to me. "Abstraction", software vendors have grappled with this issue for a while now and miraculously SaaS seems to provide a solution for this to a great extent. Now I say "seems to" because folks can argue against it and in reality even the SaaS vendors are not there yet. But to me the ability for a SaaS initiative to abstract or layer the "data" from the "application metadata" from the "business logic" from the "UI" is sort of the leading edge. A number of vendors have claimed this and tried delivering S/W based on these designs but you just have to go through an exercise of upgrading that software to its next version or build complex business requirements into it to realize how intertwined things can get. This leads to management issues and application of more resources which ultimately leads to huge costs and the thread goes on.
To customers SaaS seems to offer that promise that they wouldn't have to worry about these inner wiring's so to speak and just deal with their business application from an application perspective. So if the SaaS vendors pushes out a new release or updates a particular component or feature the customer is insulated (or to a large extent they are).

So then to me the question would be why stop at that. Why not have the cake and eat it too. Would it be whacky to think of a SaaS evolutionary stage where the service delivers the software artifacts from the cloud but the data, business logic and all other components remain local. Now I can already hear the SaaS purists crying foul. But to me coming from the enterprise S/W world like most of the large customers and sitting in front of this paradigm change its a valid thought.

What if my data, application metadata, business logic and UI were abstracted completely from each other such that it wouldnt matter to me if the vendor used a SaaS service behind the scenes to manage, modify or replace it. Maybe that's nirvana, maybe its a bunch of BS.

However it already sowed the seed for my next post. How does SOA play into all this is it the super glue or modelling clay that holds this together.