It was the bus ride home from the analyst/blogger dinner that pulled this gargantuan Search Lovefest together for me. I sat next to an American product manager who lives in Oslo (FAST’s headquarters) who said, “Without search, there is no web 2.0.” I thought about that and realized, maybe he’s right. Even in Enterprise 2.0, “S” is the first letter in McAfee’s mnemonic, SLATES. The connection between the pricey marketing extravaganza FAST is putting on here and (what most of us know and write about) Enterprise 2.0 had not been clear to me until that bus ride.
Last night, Andrew McAfee kicked off the festivities and our man Don (Tapscott) did a great job presenting the Wikinomics story. Sandy Kemsley is here and she blogged the informational piece of both keynotes last night. What stood out for me was McAfee’s claim, “I haven’t seen a deal killer yet.” By this he meant, there hasn’t been a single instance of profound Enterprise 2.0 failure in the companies he’s talked to over the year. But he did highlight that although executives are fairly familiar with the phenomenon, the larger question is now, “How do you do this, rather than the why and the what.” McAfee also talked about providing soft incentives for adoption, such as including collaboration in performance reviews and employee evaluations. At first I thought that was interesting, but before I could mull it over too long, I realized that thinking really flies in the face of everything that is 2.0 for the enterprise. It’s imposing structure on something that is supposed to be freeform and emergent. My impression of these tools is that they ARE easy to use, ARE a major leap forward, DO encourage innovation and collaboration, and WILL spread virally thoughout an organization once users get a taste of them.
Regarding FAST, I’m still a little uncertain what specific knowledge of Enterprise 2.0 the 1200 folks who are here have, but it’s a wonderful introduction for them. FAST has really put together a world-class customer/partner event. It’s similar to what I would expect from a Microsoft or an SAP. The photo to the left is of a sort of performance art routine that kicked-off the theme of the conference: The User Revolution.
I find myself wondering about users in departmental silos. Is it simply a matter of awareness that they’re not gravitating on their own toward Enterprise 2.0 tools? Judging from all we’ve heard about the next generation influx of GenXers, Yers, and Millenials who will be flooding the market, it seems to me, it is only a matter of time.
The FAST bloggers are doing a terrific job of reporting on the leading speakers that spoke today including John Hagel, David Weinberger, and Mr. Enterprise 2.0- downer himself, Tom Davenport. Check out the FAST blog for all the copious reporting. I will say on Davenport’s behalf, he stands on pretty firm ground when he talks about Business Analytics. He succeeds where the Enterprise 2.0 community has failed (with any convincing success) and that is to produce business and game-changing case studies of measurable business improvement. Maybe the case studies are out there, but they have not yet emerged. I’m on the hunt for them.