Lucid Imagination and ISYS Search Software announced a strategic partnership. The agreement enables Lucid Imagination to provide solutions that combine its core Lucene and Solr expertise with the ISYS File Readers document filtering technology. The flexibility of the architecture allows enterprises to develop sophisticated purpose-built search solutions. By offering ISYS File Readers as part of its Lucene/Solr solutions, Lucid Imagination gives users and developers out-of-the-box capability to find and extract virtually all of the content and formats that exist in their enterprise environment. Lucid Imagination Web site serves as a knowledge portal for the Lucene community, with wide range of information, resources and information retrieval application, LucidFind to help developers and search professionals get access to the information they need to design, build and deploy Lucene and Solr based solutions. http://www.lucidimagination.com
The Enterprise 2.0 Conference was held last week, in Boston. Prior to the event, I made some predictions as to expected learnings and outcomes from the conference. Today, I will revisit those prognostications to determine their accuracy.
Here is the original list of things that I anticipated encountering at the E2.0 Conference this year. Each prediction is followed by an assessment of the statement’s validity and some explanatory comments:
A few more case studies from end user organizations, but not enough to indicate that we’ve reached a tipping point in the E2.0 market: TRUE The number of case studies presented this year seemed to be roughly the same as last year. That is to say very few. The best one that I heard was a presentation by Lockheed Martin employees, which was an update to their case study presented last year at E2.0 Conference. It was great to hear the progress they had made and the issues with which they have dealt in the last year. However, I was genuinely disappointed by the absence of fresh case studies. Indeed, the lack of new case studies was the number one conference content complaint heard during the event wrap-up session (indeed, throughout the show.)
An acknowledgement that there are still not enough data and case studies to allow us to identify best practices in social software usage: TRUE This turned out to be a huge understatement. There are not even enough publicly available data points and stories to allow us to form a sense of where the Enterprise 2.0 market is in terms of adoption, much less of best practices or common success factors. At this rate, it will be another 12-18 months before we can begin to understand which companies have deployed social software and at what scale, as well as what works and what doesn’t when implementing an E2.0 project.
That entrenched organizational culture remains the single largest obstacle to businesses trying to deploy social software: TRUE The “C” word popped up in every session I attended and usually was heard multiple times per session. The question debated at the conference was a chicken and egg one; must culture change to support adoption of E2.0 practices and tools, or is E2.0 a transformational force capable of reshaping an organization’s culture and behaviors? That question remains unanswered, in part because of the lack of E2.0 case studies. However, historical data and observations on enterprise adoption of previous generations of collaboration technologies tell us that leadership must be willing to change the fundamental values, attitudes, and behaviors of the organization in order to improve collaboration. Grassroots evangelism for, and usage of, collaboration tools is not powerful enough to drive lasting cultural change in the face of resistance from leadership.
A nascent understanding that E2.0 projects must touch specific, cross-organizational business processes in order to drive transformation and provide benefit: TRUE I was very pleased to hear users, vendors, and analysts/consultants singing from the same page in this regard. Everyone I heard at E2.0 Conference understood that it would be difficult to realize and demonstrate benefits from E2.0 initiatives that did not address specific business processes spanning organizational boundaries. The E2.0 movement seems to have moved from speaking about benefits in general, soft terms to groping for how to demonstrate process-based ROI (more on this below.)
A growing realization that the E2.0 adoption will not accelerate meaningfully until more conservative organizations hear and see how other companies have achieved specific business results and return on investment: TRUE Conference attendees were confounded by two related issues; the lack of demonstrative case studies and the absence of a clear, currency-based business case for E2.0 initiatives. More conservative organizations won’t move ahead with E2.0 initiatives until they can see at least one of those things and some will demand both. People from end user organizations attending the conference admitted as much both publicly and privately.
A new awareness that social software and its implementations must include user, process, and tool analytics if we are ever to build a ROI case that is stated in terms of currency, not anecdotes: TRUE Interestingly, the E2.0 software vendors are leading this charge, not their customers. A surprising number of vendors were talking about analytics in meetings and briefings I had at the conference, and many were announcing the current or future addition of those capabilities to their offerings at the show. E2.0 software is increasingly enabling organizations to measure the kinds of metrics that will allow them to build a currency-based business case following a pilot implementation. Even better, some vendors are mining their products’ new analytics capabilities to recommend relevant people and content to system users!
That more software vendors that have entered the E2.0 market, attracted by the size of the business opportunity around social software: TRUE I haven’t counted and compared the number of vendors in Gartner’s E2.0 Magic Quadrant from last year and this year, but I can definitely tell you that the number of vendors in this market has increased. This could be the subject of another blog post, and I won’t go into great detail here. There are a few new entrants that are offering E2.0 suites or platforms (most notably Open Text). Additionally, the entrenchment of SharePoint 2007 in the market has spawned many small startup vendors adding social capabilities on top of SharePoint. The proliferation of these vendors underscores the current state of dissatisfaction with SharePoint 2007 as an E2.0 platform. It also foreshadows a large market shakeout that will likely occur when Microsoft releases SharePoint 2010.
A poor opinion of, and potentially some backlash against, Microsoft SharePoint as the foundation of an E2.0 solution; this will be tempered, however, by a belief that SharePoint 2010 will be a game changer and upset the current dynamics of the social software market: TRUE Yes, there are many SharePoint critics out there and they tend to be more vocal than those who are satisfied with their SharePoint deployment. The anti-SharePoint t-shirts given away by Box.net at the conference sum up the attitude very well. Yet most critics seem to realize that the next release of SharePoint will address many of their current complaints. I heard more than one E2.0 conference attendee speculate on the ability of the startup vendors in the SharePoint ecosystem to survive when Microsoft releases SharePoint 2010.
An absence of understanding that social interactions are content-centric and, therefore, that user generated content must be managed in much the same manner as more formal documents: FALSE Happily, I was wrong on this one. There was much discussion about user generated content at the conference, as well as talk about potential compliance issues surrounding E2.0 software. It seems that awareness of the importance of content in social systems is quite high among vendors and early adopters. The next step will be to translate that awareness into content management features and processes. That work has begun and should accelerate, judging by what I heard and
saw at the conference.
So there are the results. I batted .888! If you attended the conference, I’d appreciate your comments on my perceptions of the event. Did you hear and see the same things, or did the intense after hours drinking and major sleep deficit of last week cause me to hallucinate? I’d appreciate your comments even if you weren’t able to be at E2.0 Conference, but have been following the market with some regularity.
I hope this post has given you a decent sense of the current state of the Enterprise 2.0 market. More importantly, I believe that this information can help us focus our efforts to drive the E2.0 movement forward in the coming year. We can and should work together to best these challenges and make the most of these opportunities.
SDL announced the acquisition of XyEnterprise, a provider of XML Component Content Management (CCM) and Dynamic Publishing solutions. The acquisition of XyEnterprise builds on SDL’s earlier acquisition of Trisoft in 2008. Since that acquisition, SDL has seen a growing demand for technologies that manage, reuse and deliver product information across a company’s base of global customers, including everything from service manuals to user documentation. Moving into XML standards such as DITA and S1000D, companies are seeking ways to create, translate and publish structured content once and share that information across their global organizations and customer base. With the acquisition of XyEnterprise, SDL significantly expands its CCM and publishing product offerings and technical capabilities. XyEnterprise brings to the SDL portfolio both XML publishing products (XPP – XML Professional Publisher and LiveContent, an intelligent interactive delivery solution), as well as a new XML standard (S1000D) with XyEnterprise’s Contenta content management software. In addition, XyEnterprise brings mature R&D, professional services and support teams into the larger SDL Group. With the XyEnterprise acquisition, SDL PLC, a UK-based company, is creating a merged business unit of XyEnterprise and SDL Trisoft that will be branded SDL XySoft. XyEnterprise Inc., the legal entity, will continue to do business as a US-based, Delaware company. SDL XySoft will have a combined management team from the SDL Trisoft and XyEnterprise organizations, with Kevin Duffy, President and CEO of XyEnterprise, as CEO of the newly combined business unit, reporting to Mark Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of SDL. SDL will continue to support both XyEnterprise and SDL Trisoft customers and products as the R&D organization moves to a shared component development model. http://www.sdl.com, http://www.xyenterprise.com, http://www.sdltrisoft.com
Syncro Soft Ltd has announced the availability of version 10.3 of its XML Editor and XML Author. Oxygen combines content author features like the CSS driven Visual XML editor with a fully featured XML development environment. It has ready to use support for the main document frameworks DITA, DocBook, TEI and XHTML and also includes support for all XML Schema languages, XSLT/XQuery Debuggers, WSDL analyzer, XML Databases, XML Diff and Merge, Subversion client and more. Version 10.3 of Oxygen XML Editor improves both the XML Authoring and the XML Development capabilities. As a result of user feedback the Oxygen XML Author API was reorganized and extended with additional functionality. There are various improvements to the existing frameworks (DITA, DocBook, TEI, etc.) like automatic ID generation or DITA aware search and replace. A new XML development feature is the Component Dependencies View that presents a tree of component dependencies starting with a specified component for XSLT, XML Schema, Relax NG and NVDL. The new version also integrates the Saxon SA XQuery Update functionality and updates a number of components to their latest versions. http://www.oxygenxml.com/
CFO Magazine has an article online today about XBRL early filers, and Gilbane’s Neal Hannon is quoted at length.
Percussion Software announced the release of CM System 6.7. This release provides partners, enterprises, institutions and organizations the ability to package and deploy the CM System capabilities they create. Percussion’s packaging tool also offers an upgrade capability. Percussion CM System 6.7 helps organizations keep pace with changes by making it possible to encapsulate custom CMS application functionality into modular, upgradeable packages, which can be configured and reused standalone or in concert with other packages, allowing a building-block approach to the web content management system. When unanticipated needs arise, packages can be updated and re-deployed to extend the life of the development investment by allowing multiple, iterative changes to existing components. Percussion plans to sponsor an open exchange whereby customers and partners can swap, sell or buy application packages. The exchange leverages the open source model by bringing together the unbridled thinking of the Percussion community and the of the Percussion CM System. CM System 6.7 is available for immediate delivery. http://www.percussion.com
Bluenog announced the availability of Bluenog ICE 4.5, an Enterprise 2.0 application development platform built on pre-integrated open source collaboration, content management, presentation and reporting projects. ICE 4.5’s Integrated Collaborative Environment of content management, portal, and business intelligence software now includes an Enterprise Wiki, secure group calendaring features and enhanced centralized administration. ICE 4.5 aggregates functionality from over a dozen open source projects into a single commercial product, with additional integration and features, all supported by Bluenog. This pre-integration helps eliminate the need for developers to manually code features such as security permissions and access to legacy systems across all their applications. Based on the JSPWiki open source project, ICE 4.5 allows users to create and share content through a portal interface. Stored in a secure, enterprise-wide repository, all Wiki pages can be searched, with access permissions defined at the Wiki and page level. ICE 4.5 also introduces an enterprise group calendaring application based on the open source project, Bedework. Bluenog has extended Bedework with secure, restricted access to calendars based on user, group and role. Another feature introduced in ICE 4.5 is ICE Central. This Central Administrative Console includes an improved interface for handling user groups and permissions across ICE’s CMS and Portal components. Additionally, its propagation tool enables bulk import/export of ICE CMS Content Types and Content Data assets. The new release extends ICE’s CMS functionality with an enhanced rich text editor and configurable HTML cleaner. These new features allow for a more customizable, browser friendly Ajax-compatible style. Bluenog ICE 4.5 will be generally available June 30, 2009. Bluenog ICE 4.5 is available via annual subscription and includes 9×5 support. Priced per-server rather than per-CPU or per-user. http://www.bluenog.com/
SimpleFeed, Inc. announced customers can now publish any content in SimpleFeed into their Twitter accounts. Customers and prospects increasingly want to subscribe to news, offers and other information via Twitter. SimpleFeed creates, manages and measures syndicated content for large corporations. To create feeds for its customers, SimpleFeed integrates with many sources of content – republishing of existing RSS Feeds, content management system integrations, web services integrations, data feed integrations, HTML scraping and manual content entry. SimpleFeed Enterprise Twitter publishing enables marketers to publish any of this content into their Twitter streams. Features of SimpleFeed Enterprise publishing include:Publish any content in SimpleFeed to multiple Twitter accounts; Publish to specific Twitter accounts based on content tagging; Control of the publishing process via the SimpleFeed User Management System; Publish once to everywhere – Feeds, Twitter, Web Sites; Custom publish content (not just title and link); Support for tinyurl and bit.ly; and Enterprise level support. http://www.simplefeed.com/twitter.htm