Enterprise 2.0 success – it is all about process integration!

By Poul Hebsgaard posted 06-23-2010 15:35



I had an interesting experience at last week’s Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston walking around the expo asking a simple question – “what business problems are you attempting to solve with your E20 solution? “. To me “better collaboration” and “knowledge sharing” are not really good enough to justify the business value of implementing E20 solutions in front of a CFO.

However this year for the first time I heard (a few) people talk about E20 and business process integration in the same sentence and not just list all the technical features that would make their product stand out. Several claimed to have or were working on new APIs for existing enterprise legacy applications like ERP and CRM, but none that I spoke to had actual deliverables (I could be wrong!?).

SAP demonstrated their StreamWork package (cloud based!) integrated with ERP and coming integration with SAP enterprise packages to be announced later this year – see Alexander Wolfe’s writings on this subject for more details.

Salesforce.com was not present with their Chatter product which is billed as an enterprise 2.0 extension to their CRM package and they have launched a “social enterprise app exchange” for this technology. Both Salesforce and SAP are providing tools for third party developers to add functionality to their integrated social media tools.

I hope that next year we will be talking about PROCESS INTEGRATION to a much larger extend.

Bryant Duhon described his take on what he observed this way: “Once you get past the micro-blogging and presence-type technology, a lot of Enterprise 2.0 looks to me like collaboration around documents. The documents might be small, but that’s what they are. They’re going to need to be managed as business records. They’re going to have to live in a repository somewhere.”

Thomas Vander Wal writes about the 5 Enterprise 2.0 myth mantras that must die and among them:

Myth: People are moving to being more openly social as years go by. This is also tied to the youth myth (this combination myth really doesn't hold up at all either).
Reality: In every organization the adoption and broad use of social tools is almost always tied to closed groups, but we know those are problematic as information is shared but it can be nearly impossible to access and use. Right up there is the nearly global understanding that services that are openly shared to all in the organization by default (or only option) have very low adoption. There is no better way to hinder adoption than to opt for all interactions to be openly shared.”

Oliver Marks has some interesting observations about people behavior when it comes to social media interaction inside an organization in his blog post Collaboration 2.0, and I agree totally:

“These are what sell large scale enterprise software: clear solutions to successfully solve known business problems. ‘Adoption’ arguments don’t hold much water for me: business doesn’t typically make expensive decisions to implement equipment because they are impressed by the promise of social movements and ideas. ----- The core problems businesses are interested in solving are fundamentally based on making more money: supposedly altruistic behavior ‘adoption’ is rife with psychological realities and hierarchy challenges which can actually make companies more inefficient. The enabling technologies are the last part of this equation and there is no human change management button in the admin consoles that can make employees break work lifelong habits to stop knowledge hoarding, offline document creation and one to one communication.”

This leads me to some points about why I believe Enterprise 2.0 as a concept must evolve into being an integral part of business process applications to gain widespread adoption and use.

  • Informal “social” interaction in the context of the business process application will replace stick-on notes and handwritten notification on paper documents as a way to move information.
  • A shared digital archive as a live repository will provide transparency for knowledge processes involving structured and unstructured/social interactions as well as facilitate establishing regulatory compliance in terms of defining the rules for information retentions and what constitute a material record. This effort is substantial and should not be underestimated!
  • Email is really not searchable and context is difficult to establish – just ask anybody that has been through a real eDiscovery situation or for case management ask anybody how much time they spend trying to locate whose inbox a case reside in.
  • The trend I think will be to move towards paperless business process management. Information will move between people and desks electronically in a much more transparent way combining structured information flow (ERP, CRM, HR, Case mgmt,….) with back-and-forth unstructured information (integrated social media tools) BUT all in the context of a business process!

I look forward to find out what next year’s Enterprise 2.0 conference will bring!

#KM #privacy #BPM #ERP #E20 #enterprise2.0 #Gov20 #CRM #ECM #ERM #compliance #e-discovery