The question is from Charlie Wood’s entry where he references a couple of reports by James Governor on Traction beating Lotus out at a European pharmaceutical organization, and Movable Type beating Lotus out at Alcatel. There is a free case study written by Suw Charman for the former on her blog.
Socialtext also has some increasingly interesting enterprise apps at e.g., Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Nokia, and has recent investment and a new board member from SAP.
We’ll be looking at some more detail on exactly what organizations like these are doing with blog and wiki tools in a follow-on report to Lauren’s earlier article, so let us know of any interesting case studies.
In answer to Charlie’s question, I would say ‘yes’ to collaboration and ‘partially’ to content management.
Just found this CEO Blogger’s Club group blog. It looks like it is managed by a PR firm, but it has some good stuff on enterprise blogging. For example, the entry on Ten Ideas for Corporate RSS Feeds.
Joe Kraus has a post that applies the now famous long tail argument to software. He admits that the argument applies to software like his own company’s JotSpot, and plugs it in. But if he is right, his argument applies to other products including JotSpot’s competitors.
It is easy to agree with the premises:
- the vast majority of business applications require customization
- most enterprise solutions focus on a few large semi-well-defined application areas because the economics don’t reward small (long tail) opportunity harvesting, and
- there is opportunity here for software entrepreneurs.
Joe argues that a combination of Excel and email are being used to fill the long tail gap, but that they are inadequate. This may be true, but it is a bit of a leap to an implied conclusion that one piece of "blockbuster" software could better meet the needs of the long tail of business requirements in all their diversity.
This is not to say that there won’t be more blockbuster successes that help with long tail business needs — Excel, email, and web browsers are all examples of such a wild horizontal success — and Groove of one that didn’t catch fire (see Bill Trippe’s comment on the Microsoft acquisition), but will some combination of enterprise blog and wiki software be equally successful? Well… maybe. In any case, Joe’s post is thought provoking and his analogy might be richer than he, or any of his commenters to date, realize.
This is becoming a hot topic. Perhaps there should not even be a “?” in the title, but it is still very early in the market and adoption stages. In our newest report Blogs & Wikis: Technologies for Enterprise Applications? Lauren Wood investigates (and finds some happier outcomes than the one mentioned by Leonor!). We’ll also be covering it at our April conference in San Francisco. From our intro to Lauren’s article:
“… Most of the discussion about blogs is centered around their affect on mainstream journalism, their power as a new communication channel and voice of the people, and how this will impact society. All this is interesting, but what does it have to do with implementing content or knowledge management, or enterprise collaboration applications? IT, business managers, and even analysts can be forgiven for thinking “not much”. In fact, we have been skeptical ourselves.
But, being dismissive of blogs and wikis because of how they are most often used, and talked about, today is a mistake (PCs and web browsers weren’t considered as serious enterprise tools at first either). What is important is how they could be used. They are simply tools, and many of you will be surprised to find how much they are already being utilized in business environments. For this issue, Contributor Lauren Wood provides a straightforward explanation of what they are, describes how they compare with content management systems, and reports on some telling examples of how blogs and wikis are currently being successfully used in enterprises.”
There’s been at least one very public war story from the field in terms of enterprise blogging sans corporate policy – and this one has a fatality. Seems that Mark Jen’s foray into blogging on his experiences as a Google employee went awry pretty quickly. Despite a single-day record of 60,000 unique visitors, Google was not amused by the inclusion of “sensitive information about finances and products.” Here’s the full story.
Jen is no longer a Google employee, fired on Jan 28th after 11 days of work. He maintains that Google gave him no reason for the termination. He continues to blog at 99zeros with a subhead of “Life After Google.”
Although many may remain skeptical about blogging’s potential impact on enterprise collaboration and productivity, the evolution of use should spur enterprises to take a look at P&P development sooner, rather than later.
Tim Bray is skeptical of enterprise and/or group blogging. I have also been skeptical, but now think there is something there, though just what remains to be seen. One barrier to enterprise, and group, blogging is the perception that blogging is only for personal journals or a new tool for both professional and amateur journalists. This is understandable given the state of today’s blogosphere, but it is a mistake to conflate the use of a technology with the technology itself. Obviously we think a group blog on business and technology issues is a good idea since we started one, but we also suspect our effort will evolve in unexpected (and some planned) ways.