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Communication and collaboration in the Enterprise 2.0 world

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This white paper examines what Enterprise 2.0 is, how it impacts organizations across the globe and why IT departments and business users should gain an understanding of it to help better enable …

This white paper examines what Enterprise 2.0 is, how it impacts organizations across the globe and why IT departments and business users should gain an understanding of it to help better enable business collaboration. As well as providing real-world examples of how businesses use Enterprise 2.0 collaboration tools and services, this white paper provides advice on how to make the leap and introduce a new stream of work methodologies and cloud collaboration into your organization.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Communication & collaborationin the Enterprise 2.0 world
  • 2. Communication and collaboration inthe Enterprise 2.0 worldTABLE OF CONTENTS1 What is Enterprise 2.0?1 What isn’t Enterprise 2.0?1 Why should you care?2 Making the leap: adoption challenges2 After the ‘disruptive’ technology storm3 Real-world examples of Enterprise 2.03 Connected business in the future3 About Huddle
  • 3. WHAT IS ENTERPRISE 2.0?Let’s start with a definition. We are witnessing an unprecedented upheaval in terms ofthe tools and processes available to us in the workplace, so what do we mean by theterm “Enterprise 2.0” in its contemporary usage? Essentially, we are defining the point atwhich the social media landscape and the business world collide.Remember, web 1.0 was the static Internet. Information was presented in a flat formatwithout the option to interact, comment or use any of the more dynamic elements ofthe web that we now enjoy. So then, we now understand web 2.0 to denote an Internetcharacterized by interoperability, collaboration and user-centric information sharing.From our web 2.0 foundations, we have evolved the Enterprise 2.0 world. A commercialtopography defined by its sophisticated interconnectivity and ability to control andmanage data for new competitive advantages. This reality defines our starting point, howwe exploit these opportunities depends upon our next steps.WHAT ISN’T ENTERPRISE 2.0?Before we move on, it is important to draw a distinction between social media and trueEnterprise 2.0 software. Putting your company’s profile on Twitter or Facebook is notEnterprise 2.0 mechanics in action.There is a fundamental difference between the use of social media services for marketingand customer engagement, and the higher-level enterprise- and process-orientatedsoftware that features in Enterprise 2.0 scenarios.Social software in the workplace is not simply social media shoehorned into the corporateenvironment. It is about taking the interfaces, component parts and application enginesthat drive social media - and then engineering them from the ground up for the enterprise.WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?What we need to realize is that an Enterprise 2.0 approach represents both a breathof fresh air and a democratic leveling system in the corporate workplace. New levelsof interpersonal connectivity are suddenly unlocked and employees start to feel moreempowered.This is because traditional business models, where departmental silos had previouslysegmented workers, now become interconnected. Cross-departmental project workbecomes much more efficient through increased agility and flexibility - and a positiveimpact on revenue and profits naturally results.Not only do employees start to care more about their role in the new Enterprise 2.0‘connected company’, but partners, suppliers and customers start to perceive a moreapproachable ‘corporate personality’ of the company as a whole.Internal and external boundaries start to blur and the Enterprise 2.0 company startsto gain significant competitive advantage over its competitors. Once again, positiveeffects are felt on the bottom line. But how does this so-called competitive advantageopportunity manifest itself in the real world? The answer lies in three words: flexibility,productivity and agility:• Flexibility: Breaking down work elements such as individual tasks, processes, meeting/connection points, delivery deadlines and financial targets into more modular blocks through Enterprise 2.0 controls means greater flexibility throughout the business. If these blocks are properly controlled, a positive business benefit results. 1
  • 4. • Productivity: Process control is a necessary part of team management; the Enterprise 2.0 company works with maximized worker control, but in the most loosely-coupled and transparent way i.e. team controls are set to individual manager AND employee preferences.• Agility: Team members are able to share ideas, suggestions, action items and opportunities in a more connected environment. Fast moving web-based information flows can be tapped into and exploited.Beyond the commercial sector, governmental and other public bodies are feeling theeffects of Enterprise 2.0 tools too. The Belgian Federal Public Service Social Securitydeployed Huddle to get ready for the country’s Presidency of the Council of theEuropean Union. The teams used Huddle to provide input for negotiations and organizeconferences and meetings.When the teams involved found that traditional email inboxes could not cope with thevolume of information being exchanged during its planning process; Huddle’s cloud-based backbone was able to shoulder the data support burden. It allowed third partiesto access documents based on agreed policy restrictions due to the sensitive nature ofsome of the materials.So Enterprise 2.0 aware firms (and public bodies) realize that data is now a businessresource and providing quality tools to share, manage and work with data is a businessresponsibility. This means evolving the organization to extend beyond the office wallsand recognize the values of knowledge and expertise held in each employees’ hands.Connected file sharing, integrated document management and meeting organizationtools characterize the kind of business model that will succeed most directly here.MAKING THE LEAP: ADOPTION CHALLENGESNaturally, bringing in a new stream of work methodologies has its challenges.Management is cautiously resistant to ‘change for change’s sake’, especially if newprocesses are not fully justified and quantified in terms of their return on investment.Enterprise 2.0 working methods are not immune from this concern.The business function in any organization is typically going to be focused on threethings: customers, customers and customers. This means that channeling employeefocus away from the core function of the business to learn new IT skills is inevitablygoing to meet with resistance.For the IT department to initiate enterprise-wide IT driven change, a solid commerciallyrelated rationale must be presented to both management and end users.IT managers attempting to roll out Enterprise 2.0 collaboration tools need to first takea basic feature-benefit approach to detailing their worth in front of the board. Cruciallyhere, these tools must be positioned as enabling technologies that will facilitate fasterand more efficient work methods.Remember, initial perceptions may be of additional passwords, additional softwareupgrades and additional security risks. Long-term benefits must be explained from thestart.AFTER THE ‘DISRUPTIVE’ TECHNOLOGY STORMThe best Enterprise 2.0 deployment scenarios will be the ones where new collaborativetechnologies have been implemented from ground zero so-to-speak. If an existingproject isn’t broken, then there is not necessarily any glaring need to try and fix it.So we now sit at a fulcrum point in technological development. In the cloud computing 2
  • 5. powered business world, native desktop application development is overshadowedby online apps and services. In this new world of business technology, the use of 2.0era type technologies, such as online collaboration tools, will have been integrated intoprocesses from the very beginning of the project, or program.These tools then expand and grow as they become a valuable resource for content(both past and present) and sharing knowledge.REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES OF ENTERPRISE 2.0Effective use of web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies in the real world demandsthorough and strategic planning before implementation. Questions you should ask yourEnterprise 2.0 provider should include:• What learning curve will users need to climb to adopt new skills?• Who sets permissions/policies for using discussion boards etc..?• How will new tools actually help workers to be more productive?• When is integrated web/phone better than a meeting?• How are Enterprise 2.0 tools robust and Internet-secure?• Where do we start on day one - how should deployment be managed?If you want the members of your project to use new Enterprise 2.0 tools, it is importantto practice what you preach! Get senior people involved and get them to use the tools.People are more inclined to adopt new technology if they see that the managementteam is using it too.The one sure-fire way to drive your users into your online collaboration tool is to makeit the only place to get the information they need to do their job. In the future, theEnterprise 2.0 driven work process mentality will be as second nature as checking youremail is today.CONNECTED BUSINESS IN THE FUTUREMobile connectivity and the exponentially increasing power of mobile devices is drivingmany of the still-nascent Enterprise 2.0 technologies that are currently being developed.Huddle’s prediction is one of a new working culture across businesses in almost everyvertical industry sector. The true worth of Enterprise 2.0 technologies (aided by theconsumerization of IT) will ultimately help break down corporate resistance to newconnected work practices.More user-centric and user-influenced application development starts to flourish andmore customizable applications result. Deeper adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools thenlogically proliferates, people work smarter, companies operate smarter and long termrewards are reaped. All it takes is one positive step forward.ABOUT HUDDLEEstablished in November 2006 and based in London and San Francisco, Huddle is theleader in Enterprise Collaboration and Content Management in the cloud.With Huddle, you can manage projects, share files and collaborate with people insideand outside of your company, securely. It is available online, on mobile devices, onthe desktop, via Microsoft Office applications, major business social networks and inmultiple languages. Simply: if SharePoint was built today, they would’ve built Huddle. 3