Posts Tagged ‘business’

Apple Entering the Enterprise 2.0 Market?

Last week I was browsing the apple website for software and came across some very interesting features in the new OS X Snow Leopard Server software. It appears apple have have made quite a large contribution to incorporating many collaborative tools into their enterprise product. I then attempted to do some research about how the company have recognised the importance of enterprise 2.0 however the information was very scarce. I couldn’t even find a blogger who has also noted this. So I decided to put it out there as an apple mac user myself to spread the word.

The main collaborative application included in OS X server is titled Wiki server, although contrary to the name suggests it does a lot more then just wiki’s. Apple advertise this simply as “Easy Group Collaboration”. From a collaborative business perspective, they offer the whole shebang. They primarily cater for enterprise level wiki and blog creation. All with fully customizable comments, tags and many other 2.0 goodies. Also they have pushed the idea of sharing information and building your brand by including ‘Podcast Producer’. Which makes recording, editing and publishing podcasts and vodcasts so quick and easy that anyone can do it! Many enterprises can benefit from this software and it is interesting to know the some of the big players are realising the importance of colaboration and including these tools in their enterprise software.

Apple OS X Wiki Server

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Ensuring Successful Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

I have been doing a lot of reding lately about how companies have introduced web 2.0 into their business and the issues that they have come accross. Most seem to have the same types of adoption hurdles that are needed to be overcome. From what I have read I have formed my own opinons about what seems to be the three major issues with enterprise 2.0 adoption:

1. Fear of change

Many people fear change and this becomes especially revelant within the enterprise. incorporating new technologies into existing business processes can be met with resistance from employees and accommodates. Some even regard the switch to Enterprise 2.0 and a culture change within a business.

2. Losing ownership

The concept of creating a collaborative community can sometimes prove to be challenging to some. Personality types that desire to be the ‘head honcho’ especially can be resistant to passing on the ownership of roles to colleagues and others. shifting the responsibility to the whole rather than having the single opinion of a manager of IT department, this does prove to be confronting and can can tie in with the fear of change issue.

3. Privacy Issues

One of the concepts of web 2.0 especially is sharing information in ‘The Cloud’. Many people used to traditional communication tools such as email find this concept intimidating as they are putting themselves out there for everybody to see. Wiki’s, blogs and social networking all focus on sharing your opinions and creating networks between people by sharing information. Especially security conscious companies with confidential information can find it a challenge to maintain their privacy. In my opinion this is the biggest hurdle to overcome when adoption these technologies within the enterprise.

Forrester research produced some very interesting results lately regarding the adoption of E 2.0 within businesses. “90% of surveyed IT professionals and security decision makers reported that they are at the least “very concerned” about related threats and may have made the leap into these technologies without thinking about the security consequences.”

So what are some strategies to overcome these issues with adoption? Yuri Alkin has made some suggestions that I agree with. Knowing which enteprise 2.0 technologies are appropriate for your business is very important. Flooding a company with many new technologies that all do similar things or are unnecessary will be one the the easiest ways for employees to lose interest. He also suggested runing a pilot process to get initial feedback however I believe this should be expanded on by making the pilot an optional task for employees. Initially allowing the people who really want to help contribute, therefore creating a positive and productive community. This will then show the others the benefits and will encourage them to jump on the E2.0 wagon. Finally it is just as important to follow through with projects once they begin. Maintaining and adjusting to the needs of business as time progresses is very important because every business is different and the perfect enterprise solutions for a business can only be achieved over time after many cases of trial and error.

So what do you think are the main issues with Enterprise 2.0 adoption? what strategies can you suggest to help introduce new companies to the concept?

Why You Should Use Producteev

Throughout my blogging I have found many web 2.0 tools being used used in the enterprise and even had a go at using some such a yammer, basecamp etc. Yesterday I stumbled across what i believe to be the best one so far, Producteev. It is an all in one collaborative project management tool with a very nice ‘web 2.0’ look and feel. It’s very user friendly with drag and drop features and very intuitive navigation.

So you create a task that appears as a rounded box in which to can add “To-do’s” inside the task. Within each of these you can set the description of the project or task, and also note the progress that has been made, status deadline and more. Also your colleagues can comment on the task to update progress or ask questions to other member of the team participating in the task.

Add tasks and view current projects in the dashboard

Add tasks and view current projects in the dashboard

All of these tasks are then linked in with the “Time line” widget which integrates with your tasks panel. It has three views, the calendar view(pictured below) which really helped me to organise due dates for my current projects, you can also which to daily or weekly view which can show specific dealines and time and teh progress you have made towards them. I used the daily view at work to schedule my appointments and make sure I had planned the repairs so I didnt run out of time, and it worked really well.

Schedule tasks and review dealines in the timeline screen

Schedule tasks and review dealines in the timeline screen

The third part of producteev I thought was great was the live feed section. This shows you all the status updates of colleagues on tasks that have been set and also incorporates a micro-blogging concept as well. On top of this the notion of collaboration is reinforced by the option to collaborate and share on all tasks, feeds, posts etc. Integration with twitter and facebook also encourage sharing out public tasks to members of the community to let them know how your progressing on projects.

View status updates and also update your status in with the twitter like micro-blogging feature

View status updates and also update your status in with the twitter like micro-blogging feature

Ontop of all the features I have covered there are still more, such as file upload and sharing, the ability to set public and private tasks, smart filter tasks and more. In my hour or so playing around with this I can only say it was a pleasant experience, it was a little buggy at times but this is only a very new product and can only improve with time. I’ve set up a student based account which allows up to 40 members in a team so if you would like to be invited let me know and we can test it out. There is only a certain amount of testing that can be done by myself. I can highly recommend Producteev as one of the better enterprise 2.0 tools i have experienced so far, with its multiple functions, integration with so many services and ease of use its definitely something to think about in your business or education group.

~Jamie

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Is micro-blogging in big business worth it?

There is a lot of talk going around about micro-blogging being used in the enterprise. I’m not just talking about the generic twitter that pop’s into everyone’s mind at the mention of ‘micro-blogging’. As mentioned in some of my previous posts alternatives exist, that are targeted specifically for use in large scale enterprise such as Yammer. These apps are designed to be used as an informal method for collaboration, eg status updates on projects, ideas or activities. I disscuss the uses in greater detail in my previous post Twitter for Business.  So you know the benefits, but are there any drawbcks? Dave Rosenberg recently decided to trial Yammer in his small business. In his opinion it yielded unsatisfying results. The main difficulty was squeezing what they were trying to communicate into the 140 character limit. It  “sounds like a good idea, until you are forced to spend more time trying to figure out what someone meant in 140 characters” Dave stated. This is a very valid point when attempting to replace previous methods of communication such as email but i do not believe that that is the purpose of micro-blogging.

So this raises the question, is it worth it?

In my opinion it is definitely worth it. However. It can not be expected to replace the current communication such as email and IM alone as Dave attempted to do. These tools needs to be combined with other web 2.0 technologies to reap the complete benefits, for example wikis or blogs can be used to share or collaborate on complex issues. Micro-blogging could compliment this by drawing attention to the key ideas within these blogs and to update on new information. In the very near future I will write a progress report on how the wiki has been adopted in my workplace as i introduced it in So who is using it, maybe there is some potential in my workplace for micro-blogging.

How do you think micro-blogging should be used within organisations and what do you think is the most effective strategy?

~Jamie

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So who is using it?

So far i’ve been talking about what is out there to be used and how it can be used. This week i set out to find who is actually using these technologies, in particular i tried to find some australian examples. To my surpirise i was having some trouble finding information on some large companies using web 2.0 tools regularly but i did find some results.

RaboPlus, an australian bank currently are using web 2 tools such as podcasts and blogs, as a way to communicate with their customers. You can view the community pages at http://www.raboplus.com.au/investor_centre. They use it as a way to communicate with their customers on a regular basis to give them up to date information. (This information was found at OnlineBankingReview).

Another Australian company Chochlear use a wiki internally to spread information to its engeneering team and also to keep staff up to date with current project status.

Cochlear software development manager Victor Rodrigues says it has changed the way the company works.

“People are a lot more aware of things that are happening around them just by the mere fact that anyone can go to a wiki and publish information internally. Its use certainly has picked up.

“Over the past two months, for example, the number of contributors has increased by almost 100 per cent,” Rodrigues says.

(found at australianit.news)

Over the past weeks of researching enterprise 2.0 i have been developing ideas of how this can help me at my workplace and started putting them into action. For those who don’t know i work at forest computers, we deal with apple computers, repairs, web development, networking, voip, security and many more IT related services. This is a small business so i am usually chopping and changing between these areas and it often becomes confusing. So i have created a wiki to be used by the staff. The reason for this was to have a place where all staff can go to reference all the services and processes that need to be done in the business. For example we had a staff member who specialised with dealing with iphones and vodafone contracts. When he left, the rest of the company was left relatively in the dark as to where to pick up where he left off. With the inclusion of a wiki it can be a place where all the processes that need to be done to sign up a customer contract for example could be so we can have access to the information if ever needed. I have spoken my colleuges and they all agree that a wiki would be a great addition to the company and some have already began contributing. I will keep you guys updated as to how the wiki is adopted in the company and my thoughts on its effectiveness but so far so good.

These example show the power and versatility of web 2.0 tools, the same tools can have different applications in different companies and reap many kinds of benefits. In my opinion incorporating enterprise 2.0 in your business means that you are engaging your employees and encouraging them to get involved. Tomorrow i will continue this post by further analysing the use of enterprise 2 by these companies and how these cases relate to patterns developed by Dion Hithcliffe and Andrew McAfee.

Until then, do you know of any other Australian companies embracing web 2.0 tools?

~Jamie