Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration – Skip the Separate Investment

By Kent Cunningham posted 05-25-2010 14:34

  

Huh?  Isn’t this blog about Web 2.o?  Who does this guy think he is?  All good questions…please allow me a moment to explain.

No one reading this blog needs me to explain the benefits of Social Collaboration, the demand for enabling the workforce to become more self-sufficient, or the drive toward seamless mobility.  However, the question which I routinely hear in the field continues to be, “How do I justify the Separate Investment?” 

My advice: Don’t invest separately at all.  Compelling and effective social interactions are rarely created by bolt-on solutions or via any systems which are not natively integrated within your workspace environment.  Therefore, making a separate investment in detached Web 2.0 tools is rarely the optimal path to success, and often leads to dust-ware.  If we truly hope to engage our employees, customers, and communities, then shouldn't collaboration & sharing capabilities be core components of the productivity platform?

The new efficiency of Web 2.0 is realized where cost savings, innovation and productivity come together through IT to deliver operational improvements while amplifying the impact of your people.  None of us need more applications to manage in the datacenter, nor on our desktops…so this is perhaps one of the few areas where consumers and IT departments can agree.  Less is more.  Native and natural integration is a must for a successful Web 2.0 collaboration campaign.

These tools must be integrated into the platforms which already supervise your tasks, provide your workflows, and manage your customer relationships before they resolve to gain considerable traction and be genuinely effective.  Otherwise, we are likely to find ourselves making some tough and unfortunate decisions regarding the justification of allocating IT budgets and employee time to participate in the Web 2.0 market effectively.    Let’s be honest: No one is really happy carrying & charging two cell phones, and no one really wants to enter redundant data into separate systems either.  At the same time, a Web 2.0 program that requires more time and money somewhat defeats the original purpose doesn’t it?

My second question posted above was “who is this guy”?  Since this is my first post for AIIM, I will cover this quickly as I sincerely hope to be hearing from you all in the future.  My name is Kent Cunningham and I have spent roughly 22 years in various technology fields ranging from IP networking to telephony, global call centers to CRM, and most recently I have been focused on the evolving markets of Enterprise Social Collaboration beyond email and instant messaging.  Through my role at Microsoft in our Applied Innovation division for Public Sector, I am challenged with delivering Social Collaboration solutions which provide vertical relevance and social collaboration components to support our customer base.  This means that I help customers design and deploy solutions that they can really use, and which truly deliver a tangible, measurable business impact.

I am also married with two kids, and like many of you I generally follow a routine which gets me through the week; even though I would like to think that I am much less predictable than history suggests.  Each morning I wake up and almost immediately check email and my calendar (just after reading the phone label in the hotel to determine my location).  I then look at headlines, share a few notes on social networks, and jump right into a day of conferences, meetings, and GPS-guided drives to the next event.  There is very little time in my day for YACK (yet another collaboration kit), and even if I were provided with such a tool, the chances that I would use any shiny new icon on the desktop would be directly proportional to how many of my other applications which this new-fangled tool would replace.  For me, like many corporate consumers, adoption is all about efficiency, simplicity of the user interface, and the speed at which I can move from acquiring information to acting on that information and sharing with others. 

Put more granularly, I believe that the tool which I leverage for messaging should also allow me to share socially, and seamlessly interact with blogs & wikis,…or chances are that I will not do any of these things once my day becomes entrenched in the “routine”.   Additionally, the tool that a user leverages for placing customer orders should also enable them to collaborate with those customers, participate in their processes, and recommend new solutions based on their needs. 

None of us need more applications to manage in the datacenter, nor on our desktops…so this is perhaps one of the few areas where consumers and IT departments can agree.  Less is more.  Native and natural integration is a must for a successful Web 2.0 collaboration campaign, and this concept will be the basis for my future posts here with AIIM. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.



#social #Collaboration #investment #justification
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