Tag Archives: enterprise 2.0

Oracle on Enterprise 2.0

In the middle of what has been a mucho busy few weeks, Oracle release a whitepaper titled ‘Enterprise 2.0, Driving Creativity, Productivity and Collaboration‘.  It’s a solid piece of  research with stats and quotes to make any E2.0 evangelist smile.  In fact after being interviewed for the research I get 5 or 6 quotes in the paper which is very nice.

The paper is floated under the view that current “Workplace Technology is Hindering Business Productivity and Collaboration” which after spending some time recently back in big Pharma and seeing how SharePoint is being abused I tend to agree.
Some key points from the research are:
  • The average worker spends over an hour (61.55 minutes) a week locating documents or files either from e-mail, personal folders or in the company / shared file servers
  • People waste 74 minutes a week copying, pasting and re-entering the same information into different documents
  • 80% of workers use their e-mail to store information and files
  • 96% are open to the introduction of new technologies to help make their working practices more efficient
  • In the past, 44% found insufficient training was a barrier to adopting these new technologies, while one third (35%) did not find them simple or intuitive to use
  • 40% of social network users say they are easier to use than workplace software

Download the pdf here.

Social Collation and Annotation of Learning Resources

I’ve posted over at the Whatever Company blog about the social collation and annotation of learning resources. I talk about how I’ve been using web 2.0 tools to prepare for teaching and packaging course content for learners. I even did a bit of wizardry in Keynote in an attempt to visualise what on earth I’m on about.  I also compare our own Knowledge Plaza (because that’s what I have been mainly using for the task this year) with Diigo and Delicious.  Click here or below for the full post. I’d love your comments.

Top 3 Business Benefits of (internal) Enterprise 2.0

I was recently asked what are some of my top business benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0 tools.  Here are three.

1. Personal Information/Knowledge Management

Until recently how did cialis price individuals inside an organization manage their own information and knowledge?  Well without having access to an official KM tool (which most don’t) they use email, their C:\drive and in some cases network file shares.  Now, with many E2.0 offerings the first way a user gets benefit from a tool is to manage their own information.  Think of social bookmarking tools, you first use it to store and retrieve your own bookmarks, then discovering other peoples contributions before finally contributing (with intent) to networks or topics of interest.  The same is true for wikis, and as I saw at Pfizer the first use people get value from is creating pages for projects they are working on to organize their own house before contributing to the community.  When we started selling the solution I part represent we called this ‘Personally Essential, Collectively Critical’, meaning that a tool should first satisfy the need of an individual (which in turn aids adoption) before leveraging network effects to become crucial to the organization.

2. Expertise Identification

One of the top benefits of leveraging E2.0 solutions I often quote is that of finding the experts inside (or external to) the company.  Historically if you worked inside a large organization and wanted to find someone who was an expert in, say, the IT aspect relating to acquisitions, you would first look at the company phone directory or person listing.  You’d try and find someone who indicated they worked in acquisitions or a related department and would have to rely on what their job title says.  Or you might ask around to see if colleagues knew anyone with this particular expertise.  The problem is that a persons job title does not necessarily reflect their real work involvements, expertise or interests.  The same is true for LinkedIn in many respects.  If I wanted to I could change my job title to Technology Director for E2.0 for ACME INC and start fielding inquiries from around the world.  Just because my job title is XYZ it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.  Now enter E2.0 tools for the enterprise and you are quickly able to tie people to content and people to people.  After time you are able to identify people related to a topic or function not by job title alone but by their real life interactions.  Surely this is a BIG reason to implement E2.0 especially for large, diverse organizations.

3. Collective Intelligence

Often misunderstood and sneered at after being a term overused by KM consultants over the years, collective intelligence is my third capability enabled by E2.0.  Collective Intelligence is a product of both personal (but open) information/knowledge management and expertise identification.  By opening up an organization’s content, user defined networks and interactions you get to both feel the pulse of the company knowledge but also access it on demand for specific topics and queries.  All it takes is the correct implementation and integration of the various competence of E2.0 tools to create this ‘virtual brain’ of the company.

There are more, but these are near the top of my list.

How one of the world’s largest consultancies influenced the development of an Enterprise 2.0 product

I gave this presentation at the Online Information show in London, Dec 08. It tells the story of how one of the world’s largest consultancies influenced the development of an Enterprise 2.0 Knowledge Management and Social Search platform.  Unfortunately I can’t say who the consultancy is (although I nearly did in the presentation) until the whitepaper is published.  The product is Knowledge Plaza, who I’ve been involved with since the summer.  Enjoy.

The Scoop on Knowledge Plaza

For free access to a special E2.0/KM community instance of Knowledge Plaza please see the end of this post.

As some of you know I spent a large part of the summer working with the guys at Whatever on their product Knowledge Plaza.  I managed the GUI redesign and helped roll in some new features and views to bring the product up to release.  Well I’m proud to say I think we did a great job.  In my biased opinion, we’ve delivered the most exciting Enterprise 2.0 social productivity platform on the market.  And with  new development coming to fruition in the next month it’s just going to get better.

Here’s the Scoop:

Knowledge Plaza has been developed as a Web-based platform for enterprise search, social bookmarking, knowledge management, information brokerage and expert identification.

The platform allows you to add websites, emails, documents, contacts, references and discussions.  Multimedia is on the way.  You can tag, annotate and share anything you add.  Using workspaces, your network and company facets sharing and finding information is at the core of Knowledge Plaza.

Some broad claims there so here’s how it breaks down: (thumbnails go to larger screen shots)

Terminology

Any item in Knowledge Plaza (websites, emails, documents, contacts, references and discussions) is called a Tile.  You can tag, edit, comment on, rate, relate and send tiles from within the application.  You can also group Tiles into a Mosaic.  Apart from that everything else is as you’d expect.

Dashboard

The dashboard aggregates activity and content from people in your network and your workspaces.  In addition there is a visual tab showing clickable images of recent websites and documents.

Dashboard

Dashboard

Plaza

The plaza tab is where you find and browse content.  Quick actions let you tag, rate and bookmark

The Plaza

The Plaza

Clicking on any title takes you to the tile view where you can edit, tag, send, comment or perform other actions.

Tile View

Tile View

Advanced Search and Browse

Within the plaza you can click to combine tags, facets and people into a search string, which is always displayed.

Explain Advanced Searches

Explain Advanced Searches

You can also use the advanced search box (powered by Lucene) with auto complete.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Saving Results

At any point in the application you can save your search or take an RSS feed.  In fact, every aspect, tag and activity gets an RSS feed as standard.  Saving results allows you to save your search strategies.

Save your Search or RSS

Save your Search or RSS

People Search

Finding people, be it Knowledge Plaza members or external contacts is easy.  You just restrict your search to people. This will return those tagged with, have content containing, or have been identified as experts relating to your search.

Find Experts or Contacts

Find Experts or Contacts

Profiles

Every member has a profile page where you can see their network, their activity or leave a comment.

Profiles

Profiles

Using People as Search Engines

This is one of the most exciting features for me.  On every profile, workspace dashboard and saved search, you have to option to use the resource as a search engine.  In the case of a member when you use this feature and select ‘web’ you will perform a live Google search across all the websites the member has bookmarked, rated or commented.  Selecting ‘plaza’ will perform a search inside of knowledge plaza for their matching content.

Experts as Search Engines (EaSE)

Experts as Search Engines (EaSE)

EaSE Results for the Web Search

EaSE Results for the Web Search

The Significance of People as Search Engines

Example: You are in a Pharmaceutical company and need to research the web for Gene Therapy data.  Who’s eyes are better to search through than Ian who’s an expert on Gene Therapy in your company!?  You can instantly use his list of trusted and rated websites to conduct your search.

Workspaces

Each workspace has a dashboard providing quick links to the activity, members and search engine.

Workspace

Workspace

Also, by using a workspace as a search engine you can combine the websites and content of an entire department….so like the example above, that’s the entire Gene Therapy project team.

Using Saved Searches as Search Engines

As already mentioned, saved searches can also be used as search engines.

Saved Search as a Search Engine

Saved Search as a Search Engine

Mosaics

The next really exciting feature for me is the Mosaics.  After creating a Mosaic (as a wrapper) you can add tiles to the Mosaic, either individually or collaboratively.  So essentially this allows you  to create containers of tiles (information resources) on core topics.

In addition you are able to add pages to the Mosaic adding context and annotating the content.

Finally you are able to export the Mosaic at anytime for sharing outside of Knowledge Plaza.  The export creates a PDF of all the pages, indexes the tiles and saves copies of all websites (in PDF), contacts (vcard) and documents in an accompanying zip file.  This is knowledge mobility.

Mosaic - Collating Knowledge

Mosaic - Collating Knowledge

Mosaic Wiki Pages

Mosaic Wiki Pages

Mosaic Wiki Pages

Example Mosaic Export

Mosaic Export (without files)

Mosaic Export (without files)

The Significance of Mosaics

I’m going to save most of this for another post but let’s say you compile some research for one of your internal customers.  You can do this within a Mosaic, perhaps with the help of others, then export it for sending to the customer.  Whether or not an internal charge is put in place for this is open to discussion, but effectively the Mosaic puts a value and mobility on your knowledge.

Access Knowledge Plaza for Free

As mentioned earlier, the guys at Knowledge Plaza have released an invite only community instance to be used by (YOU!) knowledge professionals, evangelists, industry consultants and basically anyone else who’s interesting.  This is called Knowledge Heroes.

The platform is currently only available within company firewalls, so this is the only way you will get a look until the public version is released.

You can use the platform to collate your knowledge, bookmarks, sources etc with the rest of the community.  The team at Knowledge Plaza will post some of this content to the public blog, Knowledge Heroes so everyone else can benefit form a cross section of the content.

If you want access or a demo just let me know.

Enterprise 2.0 & Blogs – First Mover Advantage

It’s something I’ve seen a few times now. If you’re the or one of the first people in your organisation to start an internal blog, you can leverage much more influence than if you’re late to the party.

I’ve seen people get the ear of the board, senior Vice Presidents, influence company policy, gain exciting projects and become promoted to official ‘2.0’ ambassador both within and outside of IT lines. How and why? They have been quick to leverage one of the most powerful communication channels emerging inside the firewall. They’ve also realised that getting in early, before it gets ‘noisy’ is key to success.

First a word of caution. If you really are the very first person to set-up an internal blog you are going to be subject to scrutiny, risk being shut down and might be disappointed if your efforts go nowhere. This is especially true in large bureaucratic organisations.

Now the good news. Being the very first (or one of just a few) puts you in an influential position. People will sit up and take notice. Here are some reasons you’ll attract attention:

  1. Senior management will want to know who you are and what you are saying. Are you a threat or an innovative individual who’s willing to share his thoughts in a public forum?
  2. The first blog is like a when a new kid starts school. People want to know who you are, what you are like and what you have to say. Whether they take to you after this is another matter and is up to you.
  3. It can feel like a new era has dawned on your company. This is especially true if the blog originates outside of a technical IT line. Such a simple thing as a blog can make people feel like the company is moving with the times both culturally and technically.
  4. You are doing something new that others wish they had the courage to do, so they’ll take notice and champion your efforts.
  5. You’ll be seen as a risk talker and innovator. In many companies this is a good thing.

So now you have this attention, what are you going to do with it? Well, I’d steer clear from being too hard-line about anything or controversial to begin with. Remember that by becoming the first blogger you have the unofficial job of setting a precedent, theme and image of blogging in general. If you start off ranting and raving about why the company is in a bad way, then you’ll just give blogs a bad name and represent yourself in a negative light.

Here are some way’s to get started:

  1. Speak on behalf of a interest group or project. This gives you a hook, subject matter and identity.
  2. Brand You. Brand yourself, give the blog and by association yourself an identifiable image. I mean logos, tag lines and aesthetics as well as your writing style.
  3. Be consistent. Get a post out on a regular basis.
  4. If supported, allow people to subscribe to your blog.
  5. Promote the blog in your email signature.

I’d suggest you start off by posting material with broad appeal. Whether it’s something like reporting on developments in a certain area/interest, or discussing an important project, this is your hook to gain readership.

So now you you’re up and running and have an audience how do you up your game and get some of that influence?

  1. Challenge the status quo. If there’s some stupid stuff going on or out of date practices in your company why not question them? Don’t come across as negative; instead offer to be part of the solution. Solicit ideas for how improvements might be made.
  2. Establish an unofficial interest group via the blog. This should be on something important to the company goals, industry or playing on trends on the outside, such as online collaboration.
  3. Be true to yourself. If you’re just playing the game and doing this just for a promotion then people will see through it and you’ll lose respect.
  4. Been seen to facilitate discussions and keep comments and content appropriate. By this I mean keep the language clean and be grown up with what you are saying and allowing others to say. If someone starts an inappropriate rant on your blog, then politely bring them back in line or filter the content. This will establish you and blogging in general as a mature communication medium.

I’m not saying any old Joe can achieve great things just by blogging. However if you really are great, and have great ideas and interesting things to say, then step up and get noticed.

These are just some of my ideas and observations over the last few years. Many factors are at play when it comes to elevating yourself to an influential position. Being first to set up a blog could be one way to gain advantage.

 

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