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    Emerging Trends in Knowledge Management Emerging Trends in Knowledge Management Document Transcript

    • EMERGING TRENDS IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT ( Enterprise 2.0, Google Wave & Micro messaging ) Knowledge Management Term Paper Submitted by Nikesh. N M.Tech 3rd Semester International School of Information Management UNIVERSITY OF MYSORE November 2009
    • Contents 1.0 Enterprise 2.0 ....................................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Introduction Enterprise ....................................................................................................... 4 1.2 The Origins of Enterprise 2.0 ............................................................................................. 4 1.3 Communication & Collaboration : The core of E 2.0 (Fertile land for KM) ........................ 5 1.4 Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0 : Differences in a Nutshell ............................................... 5 1.5 Pillars of Enterprise 2.0 ...................................................................................................... 5 1.5.1 Web 2.0...................................................................................................................... 6 1.5.2 Socialisation of business Applications ......................................................................... 6 1.5.3 Business Cultures ....................................................................................................... 6 1.6 Necessity of Enterprise 2.0 ................................................................................................. 6 1.7 Features of Enterprise 2.0 ................................................................................................... 7 1.8 Benefits of Enterprise 2.0 ................................................................................................... 8 1.9 Enterprise 2.0 in Oracle corporation ................................................................................... 9 1.10 Conclusion : Enterprise 2.0 = Knowledg 2.0? ................................................................... 10 2.0 Google Wave ...................................................................................................................... 11 2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 11 2.2 Google wave layers .......................................................................................................... 11 2.2.1 Product Layer .................................................................................................................. 11 2.2.2 Platform Layer .......................................................................................................... 11 2.2.3 Protocol Layer .......................................................................................................... 11 2.3 How wave technology can assist KM & Enterprise 2.0 ..................................................... 12 2.3.1 Wave: A communication and collaboration mashup ................................................. 12 2.3.3 Enterprise 2.0 is well supported by Google Wave. .................................................... 14
    • 2.4 Conclusion............................................................................................................................. 14 3.0 Micro Messaging ................................................................................................................. 15 3.1 Use of Microblogging in Enterprise ................................................................................... 15 3.1.1 Internal use .............................................................................................................. 15 3.1.2 External use.............................................................................................................. 17 3.2 Key Considerations........................................................................................................... 18 3.3 Current Players ................................................................................................................ 19
    • 1.0 Enterprise 2.0 1.1 Introduction The term ―Enterprise 2.0‖ (E2.0) describes a collection of organizational and information technology (IT) constructs that enable more flexible work models, knowledge sharing, and community building. E2.0 is not something totally new—rather, it represents the evolution and maturation of best practices for collaboration and knowledge management (KM). Realising the strength of Collaboration and participation, today organizations are re- formulizing their strategies to attain distributed, agile and collaborative environment. 1.2 The Origins of Enterprise 2.0 The spring 2006 edition of MIT Sloan Management Review included an article by Professor Andrew McAfee titled, ―Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration.‖8 In the article, McAfee posited that a particular collection of technologies was noteworthy because the technologies appeared to address many of the shortcomings of traditional knowledge worker tools used for communication, information sharing, and collaboration. These new technologies (e.g., blogs and wikis) are more platform centric and are widely available on the Internet. McAfee coined the term ―Enterprise 2.0‖ (E2.0) to call attention to social software and platforms that organizations might deploy to improve the productivity or performance of their knowledge workers. McAfee also argues that E2.0 tools make it easier for knowledge workers to author, link, and tag information without imposing preconceived constructs on those users in terms of formal categorization or structure. The notions of ―emergence,‖ freeform use, and network effects are critical underpinnings of the E2.0 paradigm outlined in the MIT Sloan Management Review article. McAfee goes on to state that these new E2.0 tools augment existing communication, information sharing, and collaboration platforms. The article does not focus only on the technology aspects of E2.0. The need to address cultural dynamics is acknowledged, as is the need to alleviate ―walled gardens‖ created in a political or unilateral manner by management (versus valid barriers erected to support security, identity, compliance, and other business requirements). A Refinement In May 2006, McAfee published a modified version of his E2.0 definition. The exact quote is as follows: “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers. Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities. (Wikipedia's definition.)Platforms are digital environments in which contributions and interactions are globally visible and persistent over time‖ Emergent means that the software is freeform, and that it contains mechanisms to let the patterns and structure inherent in people's interactions become visible over time. Freeform means that the software is most or all of the following:
    • • Optional • Free of up-front workflow • Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities • Accepting of many types of data 1.3 Communication & Collaboration: The core of E 2.0 (Fertile land for KM) The Gist of Enterprise 2.0 is about communication and Collaboration. The premise is that the more easily people can communicate – with other workers, team members, customers, vendors, clients – the less information will be siloed. When information is free, people can get more feedback and input (collaborate), react more quickly (agility), and make better decisions. This is the opportunity inherent in Enterprise 2.0: a more efficient, productive and intelligent workforce. The following discussions and features depict how Enterprise 2.0 is related with knowledge management. 1.4 Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0: Differences in a Nutshell Enterprise 1.0 Enterprise 2.0 Hierarchy Flat Organization Friction Ease of Organization flow Bureaucracy Agility Inflexibility Flexibility IT-driven technology User-driven technology Top down Bottom up Centralized Distributed Teams are in one building/one Time Zone Teams are global Silos and Boundaries Fuzzy boundaries, Open borders Information systems are structured and Information systems are emergent dictated Taxonomies Folksonomies Overly Complex Simple Closed/Proprietary standards Open Scheduled On demand 1.5 Pillars of Enterprise 2.0 The three driving factors of Enterprise 2.0 are 1. Web 2.0 Technologies 2. Socialization of Enterprise Applications 3. Business cultures that enable companies to take full advantage of technology.
    • 1.5.1 Web 2.0 The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications which facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them. The term is closely associated with Tim O'Reilly because of the O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to cumulative changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the Web. Social media are now key pieces of the corporate arsenal – from internal communications to marketing plans. 1.5.2 Socialisation of business Applications Web 2.0 is the main facilitator for socialisation of business applications. That is it moves from data-centric models to people-driven applications. Businesses are realizing the value is not in the data itself but in how people are using it. Social applications are meeting this demand – bringing data to the right people, allowing them to interact with it and helping them understand it. The end result is the ability to make better (and faster) decisions – a key differentiator in a challenging economy. 1.5.3 Business Cultures The third key to Enterprise 2.0 – new business cultures –possibly the most important element. By definition, social applications rely on the people using them. Without changing the way corporations and their people behave, it’s impossible to free workers and information and achieve agility and increased productivity. A major obstacle is that Enterprise 2.0 requires management to give up control. It has become unrealistic for corporate communication departments to dictate employees’ every word to customers when communication is happening in real time on blogs, Twitter and forums. Similarly, managers cannot control what employees say on the corporate wiki. But giving employees the freedom to speak their mind and voice ideas is required for there to be a harnessing of collective intelligence. The employees must adapt as well. If they are given the freedom, but do not feel comfortable Participating and collaborating, social applications can never reach their full potential. 1.6 Necessity of Enterprise 2.0 Most new business models are based on mass customization and customer self- service. Organizations routinely outsource activities and collaborate with partners and customers to innovate.
    • Demographics have changed. Customers are very comfortable with technology and are ―always on.‖ Moreover, a new generation of people—one that has never not been connected to the internet—is entering the workforce and moving into management positions. Technologies are open and collaborative in nature; so that end users can combine various tools can by assembling, disassembling and reassembling applications. Across the organization, people want to participate in corporate decisions and prefer to be intensely involved in any form of organizational change. Demographic changes and innovation in business models are highly interconnected. The manager as a digital consumer, the growing importance of information, and the rise of contingent workers are driving businesses to adopt new models. When generated from customers and shared with them, information and instant feedback allows businesses to get the most from their customer relationships. Feedback and information sharing become loyalty instruments, key channels for gathering business intelligence, and new ways for engaging with—rather than simply selling to—the customer. The next-generation enterprise is an extended enterprise, where multiple stakeholders collaborate to deliver results to a shared target audience— the consumers Customers are effectively directing the organization’s processes. They choose which customer contact channel is used at each process step, and they execute those tasks at a convenient time for them Information must not be exclusive to management, but should be seen as a factor of production that provides the glue for a complete and competent performance network. Hierarchical communication of essential business information is no longer effective or efficient. Instead, existing technology should be leveraged to make relevant information available so that all workers who need the information can consume, modify, and replicate it. 1.7 Features of Enterprise 2.0 An Enterprise 2.0 technology strategy combines the different aspects of Web 2.0 capabilities into a secure and comprehensive platform where business conversations and tasks are executed in the context of business goals. The successful Enterprise 2.0 platform is modular in its architecture so companies can add the components, resources, and services that are required as the business evolves and grows. The rich Enterprise 2.0 platform must enable enterprise applications to participate in the business conversation In addition to higher productivity, providing information within its context leads to increased worker participation. That, in turn, generates a richer, improved context for others users to leverage in their work conversations.
    • 1.8 Benefits of Enterprise 2.0 The above figure describes the potential benefits of enterprise 2.0 to an organization. It envisions a bottom up approach where individual worker gets more freedom to express his thought and getting a chance to circulate among his colleagues. A word of appreciation or
    • usage of his content would really encourage him for further collaboration. Areas are wide open and no boundary is fixed on one’s thought. While the chain of command is still relevant for managing people and setting strategic direction, it does not work for optimizing business results and solving problems. The current generation of professionals and managers use social networks within the organization to accomplish tasks and achieve their goals. By their nature, these tools don't involve complex deployment and maintenance. You may be able to install pieces incrementally, starting small with an internal program before opening it up to outside participation. The tools are generally easy enough to use that they require little or no training. Unlike desktop deployments, using the Web to deploy enterprise tools means employees can access their critical data-whether that's documents, RSS feeds, bookmarks or whatever-wherever they are, so long as they have Internet access. Enterprise 2.0 also provides new avenues to open up a conversation with partners, suppliers or customers. Communication flows both ways, enabling you to share information and ideas. With these technologies, you could ask customers for pictures or videos using your products in interesting ways (and thus build brand equity with your customer base). Or you could share information with partners who are working on a project with your company. You can easily start a blog or wiki for a specific product category, enabling a small niche of your market to communicate, a process that would have been much more difficult and expensive using earlier Web tools. Following activities describe how knowledge is captured, stored and disseminated within an organizational setup. Eg: How social software helps in administering a project in an organization a. Collect and prioritize requirements in to wiki b. Post status reports and minutes on the Blog c. Communicate within the team via microblogging d. Remain up to date via RSS Social software facilitates in all domains like process Management, team organization, Documentation, project Management as discussed above, requirement management, platform for posting ideas and innovation etc. Thus sharing knowledge become the side effect of one’s work. 1.9 Enterprise 2.0 in Oracle Corporation Oracle addresses this market need with an Enterprise 2.0 platform that provides the industry’s most complete, open, and manageable portfolio of Web 2.0 and user-interaction capabilities. The platform includes rich Web 2.0 services for communication, collaboration, structured and unstructured information management, and social networking. These Web 2.0 services power
    • Enterprise 2.0-enabled applications that spur knowledge workers to greater productivity and innovation in the workplace. 1.10 Conclusion: Enterprise 2.0 = Knowledge 2.0? Enterprise 2.0 is the perfect environment where Knowledge Management system can run smoothly. With Enterprise 2.0 much of knowledge capture happens as a by product of using transparent searchable tools for common workflow and collaboration tasks. These tools enable employees to give and take information and the flexibility of the tool allows for very dynamic usage. So it can be say that Enterprise 2.0 strategy is a twin brother of KM strategy or Enterprise 2.0= Knowledge 2.0.
    • 2.0 Google Wave 2.1 Introduction Google Wave is a real-time communication and collaboration platform that incorporates several types of web technologies, including email, instant messaging (IM), wiki, online documents, and gadgets. Google Wave itself represents a new approach aimed at improving communication and collaboration through the use of a combination of established and emerging web technologies. Google generally describes Google Wave as a platform, and in a broader context, as a set of three interdependent layers: 2.2Google wave layers 2.2.1 Product Layer The Google Wave product is the web application people use to access and edit waves. It's an HTML 5 application, built on Google Web Toolkit. It includes a rich text editor and other functions like desktop drag-and-drop (which, for example, lets you drag a set of photos right into a wave). Most people using Google Wave during the public preview will be accessing the product layer. Throughout the remainder of the article I will refer to this product as the Google Wave Client. 2.2.2 Platform Layer Google Wave can also be considered a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services, and to build new extensions that work inside waves. 2.2.3 Protocol Layer The Google Wave protocol is the underlying format for storing and the means of sharing waves, and includes the ―live‖ concurrency control, which allows edits to be reflected instantly across users and services. The protocol is designed for open federation, such that anyone's Wave services can interoperate with each other and with the Google Wave service. To encourage adoption of the protocol, Google has made the code behind Google Wave open source. The combination of these three layers represents a fairly comprehensive offering that is readily accessible to a large number of users with varying degrees of technical proficiency.
    • Figure shows how each layer is represented and the likely audience that will utilize each layer. 2.3 How wave technology can assist KM & Enterprise 2.0 Wave’s relevance to the enterprise might seem premature with so many of the early and current Web 2.0 applications (blogs, wikis, social networks, Twitter-style social messaging, mashups, etc.) still — often arduously — making their way into the workplace years after their inception. The real question is whether there are really such significant gaps in the current state of Web-based communication that we need something new like Wave. 2.3.1 Wave: A communication and collaboration mashup Google Wave itself consists of a dynamic mix of conversation models and highly interactive document creation via the browser. Using simple, open Web technologies (Google makes much of the fact that most of Google Wave is a open set of formats and architectures that is jointly developed with the Web community) Wave combines many of the key features of e- mail, instant messaging, media sharing, and social networking into a seamless experience and data set that are eponymously known as waves. All of this is opened up to developers via the Google Wave API. The demonstration at the introduction of Google Wave showed how users can interact in real- time, collaboratively creating structured conversations that contain rich media, instant notifications, simultaneous user editing of the conversation, and live integration with server- side resources such as spell-checking and language translation. Most interestingly, while waves are relatively self-contained and use their own types of servers and data formats, they are easy to embed elsewhere or to build extensions for, enabling virtually infinite options for distribution over the Web or within the firewall, as well as rapid integration with existing applications and data. In fact, a wave is almost a form of social glue between people and the
    • information they care about. And as we’ll see, this has implications for the enterprise world, not only with SOA but also with social communication in general as well as Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management specifically. An enterprise perspective of Google Wave Let’s take a closer look at what enterprises need to know about Google Wave: 2.3.2 Google Wave largely complements and doesn’t replace existing communication and collaborative applications. Google Wave creates a healthy synthesis of existing application types by providing integration across channels already in place. The early demos in fact showed how Twitter and existing social networks can play very well with Google Wave, enhancing the experience and allowing broader participation in a wave through other applications. Google Wave won’t (necessarily) replace existing apps like e-mail, IM, blogs, or wikis, and can actually make the latter two stronger through embedding. Groupware and other simultaneously collaborative apps, however, are more at risk of displacement.
    • 2.3.3 Enterprise 2.0 is well supported by Google Wave. The general capabilities of FLATNESSES, my mnemonic for all the things that a capable Enterprise 2.0 platform should do, is well embodied in Google Wave. While blogs and wikis are the fundamental Enterprise 2.0 platforms, the basic capabilities of social interaction, emergence, and freeformedness are all there, though a wave presupposes a bit more structure and situated use than the more tabula rasa blog or wiki. Some of the possible applications areas are Project Waves: Bridge the gap between under-used project wiki page and the day-to- day email and IM traffic among the project team. Get new project team members up to speed quickly by having them “playback” the critical waves in the project workspace. Sales Waves: Collaborate on deals in an environment rich with context from CRM system, embedded as gadgets within the wave. Turn everyone in an organization into a member of a virtual account team that contributes ideas on how to do more business with most important accounts. Support Waves: Instead of customer support email, it is possible to make engage customers in a wave that evolves as their needs change. Resolve their issue faster, and create reusable waves for customers with similar problems. 2.4 Conclusion Wave Technology, an open source technology developed by Google with enhanced social software capabilities will surely make waves in Information Management and collaboration arena. Many believes Wave technology will surely help KM wave.
    • 3.0 Micro Messaging After Twitter showed wild success on the Web, a number of firms, produced micro- messaging tools for the enterprise. Also many enterprise collaboration suites are integrating micro-messaging into their platforms They have made micro-messaging a feature rather than a product. Now experts in the social media space have been thinking about how businesses might adopt enterprise micro blogging tools in Knowledge Management Arena . 3.1 Use of Enterprise microblogging . 3.1.1 Internal use Internal Use means using micro blogging platforms in a closed system within organization.Enterprise knowledge management activities that can be managed using micro messaging tools are as follows Emergency Broadcast System: First and foremost, any company needs a way to reach all of its employees quickly and efficiently. E-mail is obviously one way to do this but increasingly, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. With many folks receiving hundreds of e-mails a day, it can take minutes if not hours before we get to an e-mail from the CEO. Knowledge sharing : Here’s where things get interesting. One of the biggest failings of many companies is the fact that they trap their intellectual property in Powerpoints, spreadsheets and Word documents and store them on shared drives and e-mail inboxes. Once the creator of that content walks out the door, the odds of their years of work finding its way into anyone else’s life are slim. As companies start uploading more and more content onto wikis, or central file repositories, these files can be linked to and indexed by conversational tools like micro blogs. Training: Any company that has gone on a hiring binge quickly realizes how painful it is to train new employees. If a formal training program exists, the materials are often outdated almost as soon as they are created. By identifying a few key influencers and allowing new employees to see their daily ―streaming,‖ information and best practices can be shared more easily and in real time with little burden on the ―trainer.‖ Expert Identification: Another area that many larger companies fall down is in making their resident experts easily findable. If you can see your company’s employees talking (possibly segmented by business unit or group within an organization), it wouldn’t take long to figure out who knows what about whom.
    • Seeing the Connectors: Good companies spend a lot of time on succession planning. Unfortunately, most companies don’t have a good handle on who the true connectors are within their organization. By analyzing conversations and watching the conversations of employees, senior managers can easily identify who these connectors are and then ensure these employees compensation and titles match their internal value AND start to add additional connectors if too much information is flowing through any one individual. Social networking Especially in huge enterprises the question who is the right contact person for a special topic is not answered easily. The problem: There are many experts but nobody knows them. Conversation by micro blogging could be read company-wide. Thus you will quickly recognize which employee is the right one for a specific topic. Short internal notes In every company there are short notes for the staff. Micro messaging is the best way to circulate short internal notes within organization Reporting Since many microblogging platforms can be accessed via mobile phones you can report from all over the world. Imagine a worker who is visiting a fair, joining a meeting or is sitting in a conference. By using a mobile device news from events can be published for the colleague in the office. Distribute corporate culture Can be used for orientation to new employees. Newcomers have a lot of questions. By using micro blogging, Questions reaches a bigger audience and questions and answers stay alive in the digital archive. Future newcomers can access this FAQ catalog too. With every question asked this catalog will grow in a dynamical way. Personal conversation (even with a micro blogging tool) makes employees familiar and connected with their company. By doing so micro blogging helps employees to internalize and to actively shape corporate culture. Project management Microblogging cannot substitute a project plan. But it can complement it. Each team member can inform about the project’s progress without any technical barriers. Achieved milestones can be reported as well as moved deadlines or unexpected incidents. With a short status update everybody can indicate that the timetable is exposed. Suggestion scheme Micro blogging can be used to collect suggestions from everywhere. Quick, compact and straightforward.
    • 3.1.2 External use Inclusion of External Stakeholders: Back in the early 2000’s, extranets were all the rage. There would finally be a way for companies to include partners, investors and even certain customers in their daily conversations. Portals obviously began to fill this roll to a degree but none were ever truly conversational. Enter enterprise microblogging with the ability to include these aforementioned stakeholders in the mix. It is a very good tool to meet customers in web 2.0. with react to criticism, questions and problems. Marketing Twitter (or other microblogging systems) gives you a great chance to present your business to customers. You can inform about new products, publish corporate news or emphasize cross media campaigns. Monitoring/market research Another benefit Twitter brings along is market research. Several services like search.twitter.com, tweetbeep or TweetAlert give you the opportunity to see how customers are thinking about your brand. Watch the microblogging cosmos to identify critical and positive opinions about your products, services or campaign. Crisis management If a crisis occurs a company must have a plan to react quick and effective. Sales Earn money via Twitter? Dell shows that it is possible. At http://twitter.com/DellOutlet the hardware manufacture uses the microblogging platform as an outlet store. This use case shows that you can convert 140 characters into real money. In 2008 Dell made public that they earned 1.000.000 Dollar using Twitter. Consequently Dell Outlet is not the only account used by Dell. A total of 34 Twitter accounts is being used for digital marketing according to Dell’s homepage. Recruiting/human resources (HR) The personnel department can offer jobs at microblogging platforms. You can also refer to fairs or other events where candidates can get in touch with your company. On the other hand HR departments can search for experts who recommend them self by expert posts.
    • 3.2 Key Considerations Enterprises considering microblogging as an internal function will have some common requirements. Here is our take on several areas that corporations tend to look at when they are considering a new technology: Single Sign-On (SSO): A growing problem in the social media world right now is identity proliferation. With some notable exceptions that accept OpenID, most sites still require you to create yet another account in their system (or identity domain). In most enterprises, a fair amount of effort has already been expended on establishing single sign-on through the intranets’ LDAP registry. It would be highly desirable to leverage this capability to enroll employees in the microblogging system. So, an enterprise microblogging solution must have flexibility in adapting to existing ID and sign-on registries. Reliability: Initially, microblogging may seem like a non-essential, nice-to-have kind of tool, but our bet is that most businesses will find it very quickly becomes indispensable for keeping important lines of communication open. People, on their own, will invent many different uses for such a simple tool, as they have with Twitter. In a large corporation with geographically distributed sites, it would be best to have a solution that allows each campus to run its own server and not be dependent on a remote centralized service. These distributed servers would exchange data to unify the system as a whole. See Distribution below. Analytics: Businesses will eventually want to analyze the traffic on their microblogging sites. They’ll want to know who follows who, who posts the most and to who and most importantly, a feature I’d love to have in Twitter, the ability to see and search all my posts and other posts selectively for important information, just like we can search our G-mail accounts now. Security: This will probably be of paramount concern at least initially in most businesses. Most corporations are very aware of keeping internal communications safe from prying outside eyes. An enterprise microblogging solution must provide for fine-grained authorization and trustworthy security of communications. Management, through the IT department will want to be able to restrict who can see certain posts. Scalability: The word Enterprise covers a huge spectrum of organizations. An enterprise microblogging solution should be scalable from less than 100 users to tens or even hundreds of thousands of
    • users, spread across the globe. The ability to distribute and federate many local servers on the corporate intranet will help to satisfy this need. Groups: Enterprises comprise many different groups within their walls. Not just departments, but project teams, ad hoc work groups, common interests, etc. An enterprise microblogging solution must provide for the easy definition of groups or tags, where any employee user can belong to many groups. Distribution: This requirement has been touched on already, but it should be mentioned again because of its importance to other requirements. It refers to the ability of the enterprise microblogging solution to be decentralized, spread out across wide geographic areas, and hence to become fault tolerant, so the failure of any one node does not cause a failure of the whole system. Interoperability: Clearly a distributable enterprise microblogging solution would require its various nodes to federate and interoperate, but a corporation wishing to allow interaction with its customer base outside its walls would require a solution that interoperates with other microblogging solutions that may exist, yet allows only some posts to be seen outside the corporate firewall. 3.3 Current Players Until recently, most vendors in the community or social media space have either focused on delivering microblogging tools to the public while software providers that focused on the enterprise tools busied themselves with delivering better wikis and other collaboration tools. Not anymore. A slew of start-ups (and one or two more tenured companies) have now turned their attention to the less sexy but immediately more profitable enterprise microblogging space. List of some of the major players in this space along with a quick description, pros and cons of each are given below. Yammer (from TradeVibes) Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: ―What are you working on?‖ PROS: Easy to turn on and screens out folks outside of the corporate domain. These guys have obviously learned a thing or two from where some of the existing microblogging tools fall down.
    • CONS: No single sign-on functionality (at least not that we could see). Tricky to add other ―partners/contractors‖ that don’t have e-mail addresses matching the corporate domain. Hosted by outside company, can’t be deployed inside the firewall. Laconi.ca An open source microblogging tool written in PHP that implements the Open Micro Blogging standard. Laconica was created as an open source, distributed alternative to Twitter, and was originally used by the identi.ca microblogging service. PROS: Built on open source software so it’s completely customizable. It also integrates with well-known Twitter client, Twhirl giving power users the ability to manage external and internal facing microblogging activity in a seem less fashion. It is based on the Open Microblogging protocol specification, so other implementations are possible. CONS: As is the case with any open source application, its greatest asset (flexibility) is also its biggest weakness (not super user-friendly out of the box). Scaling, federation and interoperation have yet to be seriously tested. Utterli (from Utterli.com) Utterli helps you create and follow discussions with friends or new people with similar interests. You can create or join a discussion from any mobile phone or computer. Utters are cool because they can be audio, video, pictures and text, and it’s really easy to post to your other online profile pages. PROS: Utterli’s two biggest strengths are easily its multi-media and mobile capabilities. It’s fairly easy to create a ―group‖ on the fly and coming soon will be enterprise-friendly SSO and security capabilities. Stay tuned for more on this front. CONS: The least ―Twitter-like‖ out of any of the existing enterprise micro bloggers. We’re not completely sure that’s actually a weakness. Conclusion Microblogging can find its place in business environment both for internal and external use. Currently the number of users are still small. But a growth of 1382% in the last 12 month (February 2008 to February 2009) shows that microblogging is rising quickly.
    • References: 1. F indings from the NASAsphere Pilot http://socialcast.s3.amazonaws.com/corporate/downloads/NASAsphereReportPublic.pdf 2. Making micro blogging a feature in your enterprise http://www.enterprisemessagingnews.com/enterprisemessagingnews-79- 20090827MakingMicroMessagingAFeatureInYourEnterprise.html 3. Is your Enterprize ready for Microblogging tools like twitter http://mashable.com/2008/09/30/enterprise-microblogging/ 4. What is enterprise 2.0 www.e2conf.com/about/what-is-enterprise2.0.php 5. Enterprise 2.0= knowledge 2.0 http://www.slideshare.net/dan.keldsen/enterprise-20-knowledge-management-20 6. About google wave www.wave.google.com/help/wave/about.html 7. www.wave.google.com 8. Google Wave : a complete Guide mashable.com/2009/05/28/google-wave-guide