I spent Friday afternoon with an impressive technology crowd that gathered here in Austin from Avenue A | Razorfish. I’ve blogged many times over the past few years about how these Interactive Agencies hold the keys to the kingdom on bringing “sexyback” to the Enterprise. It’s been nearly a few months since the blog/firestorm kicked up starting with Mr. Bill (Gates) fueled by Scobleizer.
What I saw with mine own eyes at the AARF gig was red hot enterprise-worthy sexy stuff– borderline enterprise porn. 🙂 The integration was downright obscene!
One of the highlights of the event for me was meeting Tim Bray, pictured to the right here with me. Tim keynoted the event and was described to me by Shiv Singh as one of the original authors of the XML standard. Readers of this blog know what a geek fangirl I am, so I rushed poor Tim at the evening before’s cocktail party and talked his ear off for about a half-hour with mostly nonsense. He kindly took this photo, so I could post it on the blog.
The next day, Tim showed a slide on PHP referencing integration challenges with WordPress and Drupal. My video interviewing skills are (UM) lacking, but I managed to ask him about it, just in case any Enterprise 2.0 hopefuls were considering PHP as their platform choice… You’ll see Tim is very much the Ruby on Rails fan here.
Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that BSG’s web site and our e.laborate platform is all Rails, baby. It’s times like these that I wish I were more technical, but to hear a guy like Bray gush over the simplicity and ease of agile development with Rails, makes me feel proud of our apps team. I’ve been on many calls with Scott Brittain, our with customers and with industry insiders. I always learn something from Scott and enjoy talking to the “apps guys” whenever I can. We talk a lot about how this so-called revolution is not about technology, but hey, the technology is one heck of an enabler, ain’t it? It’s like trying to imagine the 60s social revolution without electric guitars.
If you can only make one conference for enterprise 2.0 next fall, make this one. The conference will again be held at the St. Regis in San Francisco. Ismael has booked a lot more space in the hotel this time, so there will plenty of room for networking and visiting panels and demos. The conference web site should go up tomorrow at this link as early as tomorrow. Keep checking for it. Oh, you might want to sign up early too. The conference was a huge success last year, and Ismael is intent on keeping it small, so it may sell out. There is also a Facebook event and group for Office 2.0.
The format for the conference will change somewhat this year. There will still be killer demos, jaw-dropping celebs, and investors from the 2.0 insider crowd, but the focus this year will be on customers and real adoption of Office 2.0 tools and technologies.
Regarding enterprise 2.0 specifically, we are interested in showcasing user case studies. If you have a particular user case study you’d like to share with us, please let us know as soon as possible. Frame your pitches in terms of business benefits, or possibly, social benefits that led or will lead to increased business benefits. We’re also interested in security, privacy, governance issues– typical IT issues and how they’re impacting enterprise 2.0 adoption. The stories don’t all have to be positive; if something didn’t work, and we can learn from it, we want to hear that too.
Send any questions or interest in participating on the enterprise 2.0 track to me, Jevon, or Catherine directly. My email address is susan at bsgalliance dot com.
I was going to write a new post, but I didn’t want the headline I feel I must attribute to this acquisition to show up on feeds… which is this:
It’s the People, Stupid. (!)
I haven’t studied the coverage, blogs or commentary on this, but I’m giving you my off the cuff reaction to this acquisition and why I was so excited about it when I first saw it. It’s not how much Microsoft paid for Aquantive, the fact that now Microsoft will get into the advertising game, a revenue play, a beat Google strategy, a grease the skids for Yahoo strategy– none of that analysis is meaningful to me from my perspective. Microsoft IS enterprise 1.0; it still is the evil empire, I suppose. (Just humor me here, please? Here I go mashing up Star Wars with Trekkie zealotry, but like I’ve said before, we’re trying to save the galaxy for geeks of all nations, eh?) To introduce Aquantive to the Microsoft family which owns the #1 worldwide interactive agency in the world– whose median age worker is probably 27? Just a guess, but I’ll confirm… is real progress. With this acquisition comes fresh thinking– new ways of applying web technology to consumers and business. Doesn’t anybody even remember Andrew McAfee’s “Now THAT’s what I’m Talking About!” ?
Shake. Rattle. And Roll.
The evangelist in me sees a potential cometojesus awakening at Microsoft through the eyes of these nextgeners… yet, the old analyst in me fears my friends at AA|RF will sit in endless meetings much like canaries in a coal mine. But, I’m a glass is half full person– I gotta believe. Time. It’s on our side.
Thanks to my new friend Brian, I found out that Nike has dumped (WSJ – requires registration) its longstanding Advertising agency relationship in search of a partner with more digital expertise. This may be the seminal event/wake-up call that will rattle the cages for marketers everywhere.
Interactive Agencies are the game changers in the new marketing economy. Young, digital zealots pumped up on Red Bull, what’s not to love?
I’ve been having mash-up fantasies lately (it’s a middle age thing). I went to Barnes & Noble last night and wished there was a simple mash-up that would match ISBN numbers of the books I was interested in to a map of the store. That way, I would not have had to spend a half hour trying to find a human to lead me around to find what I came there for. Phil Wainewright is apparently having mash-up middle-aged fantasies too, but thanks to Yahoo Pipes, he was able to realize some of his. Phil did an excellent job of explaining how to roll your own RSS mash-up here check it out.
Along those lines, the Jeff and Rod show have opened up free trials of Teqlo for everyone. I signed up yesterday. It seems easy enough, but like I told Rod, now we’ll know if it’s truly idiot proof.
Here’s a screen shot for Teqlo. Sign up for the trial. It’s free.
Had an excellent chat this week with Narinder Singh, founder of Appirio based in San Francisco. Singh and his colleagues started up Appirio to take advantage of the next wave in enterprise adoption of SaaS applications such as Salesforce.com and SuccessFactors. With backgrounds from SAP, Webmethods, Borland, and Accenture, Singh and his colleagues know the enterprise market cold.
His predictions for the disruption of the enterprise app ecosystem were particularly interesting to me. Singh feels today’s enterprise vendors are falling into the classic trap of the innovator’s dilemma— how do you serve two masters– move to embrace disruptive technology while preserving your existing base? Further, he feels traditional, large SIs are also hooked on the enterprise drug with revenues pushing toward $10B for Accenture and IBM alone in enterprise app implementation and support services. On-demand also affects ISVs in that changes Oracle or SAP make in their core products won’t affect an ISV until maybe a year or so because of the complexity of the cycle in upgrades, etc. “In the on-demand model, if Salesforce innovates in an area where you [the ISV] have previously created some value add, over night their entire customer base has access to that innovation,” says Singh. The model of on-demand forces everyone to stay on their toes, and Singh believes this is good for customers.
He also sees his firm and firms like his as playing a unique role in helping enterprises with the SaaS (r)evolution. He sees a wide open opportunity to “bring the customer back to the center of innovation.” For instance, he’s working with a client to mesh their HR data (SuccessFactors) with their sales data (Salesforce) to deliver a strategic view on how to manage sales performance by increasing quality and reducing ramp-up time. The opportunity to observe, assemble and rapidly deliver new solutions is unique to this era of systems integration. The role of the SaaS-savvy services provider is more of an emissary than vendor, too. The business units are rapidly adopting SaaS under the radar of the CIO. Singh feels his firm is a natural to rationalize the SaaS silos within an enterprise and to help the CIO embrace the new technology, rather than resist it. By the same token, he feels the more successful and comfortable CIOs become with leveraging SaaS and web 2.0 solutions in the enterprise, the greater the disruption will become for the enterprise eco-system.
The following is a chart from a paper from Appirio entitled Services 2.0. It’s a good read for IT Services fans and enterprise app stalwarts alike.
Another interesting paper in the IT Services sector was recently published by the Outsourcing Institute. If you want to know more about Outsourcing 2.0, you can download the paper here.