Category Archives: IBM

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Opening Session

Updated Feb 2/2/2013: Added recorded video at bottom of post, if you want to see it in complete!


This is the first in a series of notes on IBM Connect 2013.  I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support.  Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012.  These notes are real time so please forgive any typos.

Alistair Rennie, IBM General Manager led the opening session which began with a very loud and good rock band. They said this was the earliest performance in 30 years. The band was They Might Be Giants.

Alistar asked if we were awake after the performance.  This is the twentieth year of Lotusphere.   In the next 20 years IBM is going to focus on how to empower people.  I was at the 2000 Lotusphere with a client presenting one of the first SameTime and Quickplace implementations with Ryder.

He then introduced the actor, Joseph Gordon Levitt who started a web site, HitRecord.org, to promote creativity. You can upload music and videos. Then anyone can download it and build on the creation. This is to promote collaboration.  One of the videos was A man with a turnip for his head.   The moral was live with what you have and do not try to hide it.

They have created a positive community around the site.  This is counter to what happens sometimes in Hollywood.   It was started by Joseph and his brother it started slow and positive.   He rewarded good work, rather than trash stuff.   It makes people feel good and willing to put their art on the site.   He also said much creativity is built on past work.   So people need to let go of their sense of ownership, at HitRecord.org when you upload material,  you give others the non-exclusive right to build on it.   For example, “A man with a turnip for his head” was a poem.   Gary Oldman read the poem and they took audio and put it on the site.

Then he requested the community to make illustrations, then another request was made for an animated film based on the narrative and the winning illustration. Then he asked for music and that was added. 29 different people contributed and they contribute the profits to this group.  They have about 150,000 members. At each step members vote on everything, including how much each contributor should get.

Alistair took a video of the crowd to contribute to HitRecord.org. He said “The site is a great living laboratory for collaboration”.  He then talked about being a member of bike riding community. There is an online community to support their efforts and other riding groups. Looking at what others are doing, encouraging them to start performing better. Community plus competition can drive performance.  Getting everyone involved is key. Connection is key. I would add that application integration is an important part of this connection.

The IBM Social Business Platform is now licensed by 60% of the Fortune 500. This platform was featured next. Sandy Carter and Jeff Schick demonstrated the social platform. Sandy said that social is a life style change.  So IBM did both technology and a methodology.   Now they have introduced a best practice adoption program.

Luis Benitez showed how a sales manager can be supported to run his team. He built a sales hub for his sales team community using out-of-the-box capabilities. Their content “gets social” to obtain the collective wisdom of their group. There is multi-way video for conversations available for laptops and tablets.

Next, an interactive table top by Foresee, where you can see and manipulate the content through multiple means including drawing on the table. You can drag people into the team and then provide them with guidance.

Luis next showed Notes 9.0 Social Edition that combines mail with social. Email messages can be made social. File Sync allows you to integrate with iPad, Mac, Windows, etc. IBM Docs will allow multiple users to edit docs at the same time.

Sandy said that an IBM study found 57% of CEOs believe social is a key driver. One senior exec said social revealed one company’s culture. Connections will have another release, as will SameTime.  Everything will be available in the Cloud. They also have Adoption Services & Strategies along with Customer Council.

Bosch’s use of social was the next topic. Their CIO spoke. Bosch offers automotive, industrial, and consumer products. I had a Bosch dishwasher, washer, and dryer recently and they were the best examples of those appliances I have owned.  They promote collaboration and diversity through a social business strategy. IBM Connections is their platform for this company wide collaboration. They started with pilots, but will open it to everyone soon. Community managers are key to success for this to work.

Craig Hayman next spoke about Steam-punk, a new trend. They found this using social analytics. Customer experience is more important than ever before. You need to turn them into advocates by listening for what they want and then acting on it. For example, 50% of customers are using mobile devices in stores. Social analytics were demonstrated using a climbing gear company, Greenwell Sports, case example. I am very familiar with this space as my daughter is the Editor of Alpinist Magazine. There is a lot of gear talk in this space and much discussion on the Web. The firm using Facebook, Twitter, and other means to link back to the right gear on their site. It has resulted in huge increases in sales. They built a community around canyoneering with Connections.

ING is a company that looks at where abandonment occurs and built in remedies. Expedia and Shop.ca, did the same thing. Jeff Bowman from Caterpillar next spoke. Now customers often start online. This undermines their traditional face-to-face selling approach. So now they are adding social online to remain competitive.

Social recruiting was next covered to demonstrate some of the Kenexa capabilities. The applicant starts with an assessment. Then analytics are used to find the best match. Once selected an on-boarding portal streamlines the process. There are collaborative social learning experiences to share expertise. The many resources that are available are easy to find.  Questions can have a video context to better explain what is needed and get better answers.

Mike Rhodin spoke next. He said it is the 11th time he has spoken here. Introducing Neil Armstrong was his best experience.  IBM now works as social enterprise. I have interviewed Mike on a number of occasions and really appreciate his big picture thinking. He said that big data is allowing us to see patterns that were not thought of before. This is allowing businesses to transform and re-invent themselves. They can target individuals rather than simply segments. Mike said that analytics is key and I could not agree more. Social opens up content to be mined through analytics. Mike said analytics is the new language of business and IBM is investing heavily here.

I am about to run out of power so I will post now.  More later.


Updated Feb 2/2/2013: Here’s the video of the Opening Session – Day 1!

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com

AppFusions is Fired Up for IBM Connect 2013 – Bring.It.On.AGAIN

It’s been a great last week, as AppFusions has been closing down on many preparations for the imminent IBM Connect 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida from Jan 27 – Jan 31. We are sponsoring an exhibitors booth at the event, and can’t wait – it’s going to be a great event.

Further, last Wednesday we received a mail notifying us that we’d made the cut for a stage demo at the 2nd annual “App Throwdown” event – an open demo/contest for OpenSocial application integrations into IBM platforms.

Here’s a video of last years, where we were sitting in the audience. Now, maybe we’re app integration geeks or something, not sure — but anyways, for us this event got us into quite a bit of an excited tizzy! It screamed “APPFUSIONS!”

After the session we all mutually agreed: “WE need to be on that stage next year!”

And now we will be! Yay!

==

In the last week, our development team has continued working hard at putting in many last minute polishes to show off IBM and Atlassian software, together, for the following integrations:

  • IBM Sametime in Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Stash, Fisheye, and Bamboo
  • Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, and Stash in IBM Connections

Here’s a preview!

For the IBM Sametime integrations, Atlassian customers running JIRA, Confluence, Stash, FishEye, Bamboo can natively work with an embedded Sametime client available to them in context inside their Atlassian tools.

Wherever a user’s name shows up in the interfaces, presence indicators tell you whether your colleague is available to chat. If green (available), right click on the presence indicator and start a chat on the fly.

Bring in other colleagues for group chat, or if your IBM Sametime subscription allows for video conferences, go ahead — launch into those too — all from right inside your Atlassian tools!

As for the IBM Connections integrations, of course these are a bit different – but also super convenient to bring together platforms, and more, workflows.

Feature highlights include:
  • From IBM Connections, launch the sharebox and log a JIRA issue straight-away from IBM Connections.
  • Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Stash (and Bamboo, coming) activity is pushed continually in real-time into IBM Connections, with:
    • live contextual / actionable links back to your Atlassian systems – or,
    • you can launch a JIRA embedded experience for commenting or status dispositioning, from IBM Connections.
  • Atlassian Confluence is integrated into IBM Connections as the “wiki of choice”. (From the Apps menu, find Atlassian Confluence wiki at your fingertips.)
Finally, if you are one of those mobile types (aren’t we all?!) — we’ve got you covered there too. Directly within IBM Connections’ mobile application, find native JIRA and Confluence application nodes!

As great as all this is – it’s only the beginning!

AppFusions will be continuing to feature develop these integrations throughout 2013.

We can’t wait to see how they evolve, with the help and great ideas of IBM and Atlassian customers who in our experience, like AppFusions, simply want to “bring it together!”

(Keep in touch, if you would like more info!)


So come visit us at the show. We’ll be at booth B57, right on the way into (or out of) the keynotes!

You won’t be able to miss us — we’ll be the ones with the gigantic Atlassian Experts sign, and bright colored AppFusions sign like the one below!

Note: AppFusions’ Bill Ives will also be covering the event daily on this blog beginning Jan. 28. Hope to see you there!

Get excited – 5 days left!

Look out for our new banner !!

Social Business – What Works and How: Highlights of IBM 2012 Social Technologies Study

The Business of Social Business Report: What Works and How It’s Done

IBM has released a new report, “The Business of Social Business: What Works and How It’s Done” based on their survey of 1,160 business and IT professionals.  In it, it concludes that companies at the forefront of the new connected enterprise movement are:

… doing more than developing a presence on major social platforms.

A social business embeds social technologies into core business processes, and then applies the technologies to drive customer-facing activities such as lead generation, sales and post-sales service.

I could not agree more (see for example, Integrating the Interactions with the Transactions). For social business to truly be an enterprise operation, it needs to take in the old with the new. In today’s world, “rip and replace” is not always the right solution for many reasons, especially since it may not be cost-effective or practical given the current state of the business.

Instead, companies need to think beyond the “buy new” solution only – and complement it so that transactions and the interactions around them are simply “connected”. Application integration is a key to achieving this goal (on a related note: The Business Value of Application Connectors).

The integration of social capabilities in applications has been a key component of IBM’s business strategy and I, and of course AppFusions, are very supportive of this effort (see for example, Talking About Social Business with IBM at SXSW).

What’s key is that you’ve got to get the systems of engagement (the social business) talking to the systems of record (the enterprise applications). With social technologies you have to be aligned with a business problem. I never saw a knowledge management system that was not business process aligned succeed.

You’ve got to be able to align the enterprise social business tools with a business process and business process tools. They must all work together. They must have value, they must be able to solve a business problem, and this is tactic that IBM has taken.

IBM found that while 46% of the surveyed organizations increased their investments in social technologies in 2012, only 22% believed that managers are prepared to incorporate social tools and approaches into their daily practices. In addition, over 60% of respondents were not sure they sufficiently understood the impact that social technologies would have on their organizations over the next three years.

Kevin Curtis, Vice President and Global Leader Social Business and Mobility Services, IBM Global Business Services is quoted:

Businesses are struggling to make sense of the vast amount of data generated from social networks. To transform a vision into a reality, executive leadership must guide middle management on the value of being a social business, and build company-wide support for the use of social practices across organizational functions.

IBM offers a plan to overcome the concerns about engagement and return on investment they found.

First, there must be an infrastructure for engagement including activity streams, forums, team-rooms and collaborative spaces. Once these capabilities are in place, social practices should be integrated into day-to-day work activities. This is key.

Next, the organization must also create the capability to understand where and how data generation could benefit the enterprise.

Finally, employees need to be taught how to collaborate effectively with individuals outside of the organization’s boundaries, using social business methods and tools. As McKinsey noted, higher operating margins than competitors correlated with a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.

IBM concludes that a properly executed social business plan can lead to significant benefits. Organizations will be able to integrate and analyze massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors. Then they can more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions. Finally, by:

gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees’ sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions.

There is a big pay off here.

This year McKinsey projected that effective use of social technologies in the coming years could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value just across the four sectors of consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional service. (Download report.)

More value lies elsewhere. It is an exciting time to involved in social technologies. Making this potential happen is the challenge and the IBM study offers some very useful guidance. For more information on IBM’s Study, or to review the related webinar on demand, go here.


AppFusions is exhibiting/demoing our new Atlassian to IBM integrations with IBM Connections and IBM Sametime at IBM Connect 2013 (Jan. 27 – Jan. 31, 2013). We will also be covering the event daily on this blog beginning Jan. 28. Hope to see you there!

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Tuesday Keynote

I am pleased to attend Enterprise 2.0 Innovate on the West Coast for the first time. It is occurring November 12 – 15 in Santa Clara Convention Center. Here my notes from this year’s Enterprise 2.0 2012 conference in Boston. Here are my notes from the Tuesday Keynote. It consisted of a series of discussions.

First, Google on Google was presented by Ben Fried, CIO, Google. Ben began by asking about how many are in IT and most raised their hands and the rest where likely checking their email. He said two factors are driving technology today: the rise of the global scale of consumer Web services and second, the rise of a tech savvy workforce. He mentioned how he learned about this. A new employee brought in a better computer that Google offered and never interacted with Google’s technology, but went directly to the Web. He became the top rated intern.

He said that transparency and respect for the user is a key goal at Google. For example, you can get any tech stuff, you can just go to a shelf and take it and then scan your badge. He said the employees are empowered to decide what they need. The bins are often more full at the end of the day as people return stuff they do not need.

The social contract between IT and users needs to change. IT has been treating users as the non-knowing and making decisions for them. Now workers are often more knowledgeable than IT. At Google you get to choose your devices and your software from a variety of choices. There is no standard requirement. People are shown the cost of the tools they are using and how your peers are doing in the same regard. You can change your devices and apps. Once they started this they got back over $400,000 of not needed stuff in the first few hours.

Google has learned that providing choices has resulted in a lower support costs. He said that they respect their users and users can take a more active role in supporting themselves.  They also hire very smart support people so issues are often resolved right away. This approach has allowed Google to grow quickly. The support staff ratio to workers has shrunk every year as the support staff has increased its efficiency and people also help themselves in this environment of trust.

People can choose their own tools. They found that people were sending more links to Google apps than using attachments. This helps version control among other things. It has also increased their collaboration speed.

An office phone is optional at Google and most people do not have one. However, real time video conferencing is expected and wide spread.

Respect for users matters. Google assumes that people know what technology is best for them.  I would certainly agree with this approach and it should be a model for enterprise IT services. Google also builds its own tech systems to support their culture and they are all cloud based. This takes much of the worry out of the picture so IT people can focus on innovation rather than operations. The CIO only pays for usage so there is much cost savings.

Ben concluded with the point that the world is truly changing. There are great opportunities for cost savings and users are very tech smart. IT is not longer the holder of all tech knowledge. It has to change and adapt to the new possibilities and the new reality.

Second, the Next Generation Enterprise Platform was presented by Michael Fauscette, Group VP of Software Business Solutions, IDC.  Michael began by saying that we are in the middle of a major transformation in tech and work. Today looks a lot like the transformation from farms to factories in terms of magnitude. With factories, people moved from the country to the city. There was a requirement for physical presence. Now connectivity changes everything. I know this as I have worked from multiple locations, including a Greek island, Samos, over the past year. I recently moved back to my hometown, New Orleans, because I can work from anywhere there is wifi and that is almost everywhere.

In the old school there was hierarchy and knowledge was considered power. Businesses were built on stable processes and did not want to change. Now change is the norm and a requirement for success. New competitors can emerge overnight. Startups can begin with only 5 or 6 people and drive millions in revenue in the first year.

Now knowledge sharing is power. Trust and transparency is key. Employees want a place were they are respected and there is culture of trust. Engagement on a common goal is a requirement.

In the 90s we built transaction systems around rigid processes. Now most problems and issues occur outside the rigid systems.  The systems for transaction are still needed but there is more. We now need to have systems for decision. We also need systems for relationships to enable collaboration.

Companies are faced with aging systems of record. But they cannot afford to replace them. To make it new, you can add a social layer on top of the old school stuff. You can have a social layer that becomes the new user interface. You can add new apps but they need to be integrated with the old apps.

The next generation software is being offered in smaller components. Vendors are going away from rip and replace to adding stuff on to the existing. Again, integration is key.  There is social and decision support. It is context aware and there is intelligent filtering to counter the information overload issue. The more your system can filter, the more efficient you can become.

Apps need to be simple in the UX with the complexity behind the scenes. The apps need to be ad hoc and work on any device, any time. We will stop talking about social apps as all apps will be social.

Then, Moving from Notification to Participation with Activity Streams was presented by Kevin Cavanaugh, VP of Business and Technical Strategy for IBM Collaboration Services.  Kevin started by noting that workforce challenges are changing. The nature of connectivity is changing as well. There are now skill shortages and changing demographics. At the same time technology is changing the way people work, collaborate, and socialize.

This changes the definition of social. It goes beyond notification to engagement. The richer nature of social business requirements goes across the enterprise. They you measure the value of the social tools by changes in the process they are embedded within.

He gave the example of CEMEX. This is company I did some work for it the early 2000s as a consultant in Monterrey. It was technically advanced then and is even more so now.  Now they are using social software in all of their processes. This allows them to spread their tech expertise on a global basis.

TD Bank transformed its retail banking culture using social software to have their branches operate as a local bank. They foster open communication and openly recognize their employees. They also get employee engagement in new moves like having Sunday retail bank hours. Pepsi created an open collaboration system for their employees and partners to spread new ideas.

He discussed what is new with IBM Connections 4. I recently did an interview with Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections, on this topic. Here are my notes – IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities.  They use analytics more to filter content for greater efficiency. They also allow for conversations inside and outside the organization. This allows them to share their knowledge with the outside world after it is refined through internal conversations. McKinsey has found that companies than form communities with their partners have higher operating margins.  With social embedded into key processes you get engagement and usage.

 

IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities

With the latest release, IBM Connections 4.0 continues its movement from providing a suite of applications to becoming a comprehensive social business platform with tighter integration.

Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager, IBM Social Software

I recently spoke with Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections on the 4.0 release. I have covered Connections a number of times before (see for example, Review of IBM Connections 3.0 and IBM Connections: Analytics + Social). Suzanne and I discussed several enhanced capabilities within Connections 4.0.

First, IBM expanded Activity Streams to include 3rd party applications and “embedded experiences”, a new OpenSocial API to allow for tight integration with other special purpose business applications.

This feature allows the user to not only receive updates from a variety of enterprise apps through the Connections Activity Stream, but also it allows them to take action (e.g., approvals, changes) on these updates directly without going to the originating app.

The Activity Stream is the event listing (“for example, Bill commented on your request for approval”) and the embedded experience is the mini-view that lets you interact with the app. Both the Activity Stream and the Embedded Apps enable 3rd party integration.

Connections 4.0 aggregates Activity Streams that are customized for your context and you can further enhance this contextualization through following or unfollowing items, groups, people, etc. This filtering allows for more relevant content and reduces the potential for fire hosing the user.

I think this is huge and a potentially transformative step toward better enabling the connected enterprise. Connections can become the hub of this connected enterprise, by not only introducing more social features into enterprise apps, but also by establishing greater integration between the apps, the tasks, and the people within the enterprise.

Suzanne said that this is part of IBM’s goal to transform business processes and I certainly agree with this direction.

This embedded experience feature is built on Open Social, a set of standards that IBM and other firms such as Jive Software, Atlassian, Microsoft, and Google have collaboratively developed or utilized.

IBM has turned its contribution into the Open Social Foundation, allowing third-party vendors to make better use of the embedded feature capabilities within Connections for even more robust integrations.

SugarCRM, the leading open source CRM, is one example of a firm that has taken this step. Suzanne said that we will continue to see even tighter integrations moving forward.

AppFusions is actively working on such integrations with Immersive for Atlassian, for IBM Connections, integrating the “Atlassian Suite” to bring business and engineering users and functional system access together.

In IBM Connections – Coming Q1, 2013 firm.

With a target release at IBM Connect 2013, AppFusions will unveil native integration with Atlassian JIRA (issue tracking), Confluence (enterprise wiki), Fisheye (source code viewer, etc.), Crucible (peer code reviews), Stash (enterprise Git), and Bamboo (continuous integration server).

Suzanne next covered upgrades to email usage within Connections 4.0. Now you can work on your email within Connections, without having to go to the email client. They have this feature for both IBM Domino and MS Exchange (Outlook), hitting the vast majority of business email.

Not only can you respond to emails within Connections, but you can also easily share social content. In addition, access to calendaring is provided. This gives you access to the major collaborative capabilities within one environment.

You can have this email access anywhere within Connections and “click to share” updates within your Activity Stream, including adding hashtags and images with these updates.

You can then look for trending topics within related hashtags to follow the flow of relevant conversations by those people you are interested in.

You can also drill down through filters to see more detail and obtain greater focus.

Connections 4.0 also provides expanded metrics. There are now tools to make use of available analytic data and create custom reports. For example, you can track adoption across the enterprise and create reports on this activity.

There are many use cases for this new capability.You could use Connections to roll out a new HR policy and then track who reads it, who shared it, and what they said about it to get a better picture of how it is being received.

Communities are becoming a major use case for Connections and these analytic capabilities are proving very useful to community managers. They can see the most valued content, the top contributors, and other ways the community is performing. They can make adjustments to the community interface and track responses to these changes.

To further support communities, Connections is making it easier to tie different communities together, even those in separate spaces, or inside and outside the enterprise. This latter feature is important as McKinsey has shown that higher enterprise operating margins correlated with the “a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.”

Now one central community can be used to track what is going on in several related communities, becoming the hub for connected conversations. Activity Streams with embedded experiences can be used to facilitate these cross-community conversations.

Suzanne said they are also facilitating the use of public domain content within the communities. She gave an example of using a blog post, such as this one, to spark a conversation within a community.

  • The community manager can ask for responses to the post or comments on it from the community.
  • The manager can also use the post content to spark conversations about product improvements or enhancements to customer service.
  • The community’s reaction can then go directly back into the blog as a response to the post.

They are also allowing for other public domain content from such sources as LinkedIn or Quora, as well as other internal communities, to used by the community.

Connections 4.0 also includes mobile support for iOS, Andriod, and Blackberry. It provides devices specific enhancements such as using the browsing capabilities specific to tablets versus smart phones.

In addition, you can add geolocation to your status updates directly from your mobile device and even upload photos for your network or communities to view.

Collectively, these enhancements are making Connections into a hub for the connected, social enterprise and should greatly extend its adoption and use.

IBM’s 2012 CEO Survey revealed that 57 percent of CEO’s identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data. The new capabilities within Connections support both of these findings.

Where AppFusions Fits – Connecting the Enterprise

Before we describe the place of AppFusions in the new world of Enterprise 2.0, it is useful to go back to look at the Enterprise 1.0 world which is still current for many.

Enterprise 1.0 – “A Single System For All”

In the Enterprise 1.0 world, large ERP systems claiming to be  a “single system for all” integrated many (if not all) departments and functions across a company into a single computer system.  They attempted to serve all the different department needs, running the business, successfully in some places, and not so successfully in others. These systems bridged the needs of products, customers, employees, and suppliers. (Below image from this excellent slideshare by Samuel Driessen.)

Credits: Samuel Driessen

For many years, this cross-functional single-uber-system was thought to be the ultimate glue to solve all problems: the silver bullet solution to propel corporations fast forward in their business success.

However, despite best intentions, these lofty goals were hard ones to meet in a single system, given many mixed audiences and purposes between departments.

  • Cross-functionally, departments wanted to control (customize) their workflow.
  • While ERP systems were configurable out of the box – to a point – in most cases, they required costly customization SLAs to develop or configure the workflow exactly how a department wanted it.
  • Data integrations to other systems were extremely expensive ($50K – $200K+), given the reliance on niche technical knowledge in closed systems.
  • All integrations were like “black magic”, requiring ongoing support and vendor reliance without a natural support path.
  • Integrations where time-consuming and costs could be as much five times the software fees.
  • Over time, specialty purpose-driven or “rogue” systems crept into organizations (large or small), as department heads rebelled against the rigid IT uber-system, and shopped for their own systems to meet their department needs.

For the companies that succeeded in their ERP deployments, they paid dearly in implementation costs, yet also they got bigger and faster with these large system infrastructures. For a while, they enjoyed a competitive edge in their locked-down systems.

Credits: Bertrand Duperrin

In such organizations [2], the general top-down management attitude was:

  • this is how it will be,
  • we do not really want to hear your opinion, and,
  • no, you cannot change the process or system (without an enormous amount of additional churn, cost, pain – to which we have no more money to expend).

Employees were forced to adopt the new inflexible systems, a change that often felt like steps back even from their slower, yet functional desktop processes.

Compounded with normal human resistance to change, the new systems were not always warmly received. People had to conform to rigid systems, rather than having flexible systems built around how people worked best.

The enormous level of cross-functional process coordination upfront, as well as the long term support for these systems, was often more crippling than helping. The systems had the potential to control corporate data in a better/faster way than previous manual ways, but it held employees hostage in so many other ways, and caused new problems organizationally.

Politics and internal fights evolved to ever high levels as employees felt duped when the new systems didn’t really do everything that they thought it would, and no customizations were allowed. If a department absolutely required customizations, they’d have to take the heavy cost hit in their departmental budget (not ITs), let alone the time-hit to implement (e.g., another 6 months often, assuming it got done before some other organizational crisis hit).

Companies would endure the growth of excessive politics, mistrust, and infighting causing systematic morale issues and lower productivity. Employee dissatisfaction grew at a higher than normal rate, as well as distrust for management who forced the new monster system on them in the first place (even if it was justified at the time given where technology was at).

In short – it was a vicious and often ugly cycle, especially for large corporations enduring these growing pains.

Outside the Enterprise 1.0 World, the Beginnings of Enterprise 2.0 Technology Moved Forward

Meanwhile, the open source movement had gained “officialness” in 1998 thanks to Netscape (Mozilla), and during the 2000s, the open source trend and collaborative engineering mindset grew more popular with the growth of Linux, further proving the value of both iterative agile engineering, open APIs, rapid development methodologies, and at the communications level – transparent collaboration.

Concurrently, the Internet was taking off well beyond the Silicon Valley, thanks to Yahoo! (1995), Google (1998) going big/global (as well as Microsoft with Internet Explorer). For the Enterprise, early pioneers Jive Software, SocialText, and Atlassian Software were founded in 2001 and 2002, respectively – three corps that would become pioneers in the Enterprise collaboration tools space in the years to come.

Atlassian also would become a leader in many of the open source stirred trends, namely agile development, ALM, engineering tools, and issue tracking, while boldly treading on common industries lead by big heavyweights like IBM, HP, and Microsoft, among others.

Overall – the timing of these new Enterprise collaboration businesses couldn’t have been better, overlapping with early social sites like MySpace (2003), Delicious (2003), Facebook (2004), Digg (2005), Twitter (2006), FriendFeed (2007), and a strong new-way-to-business Millenials culture pushing into industry with all their might.

The collective force was a perfect storm, landing down on a smug and controlling decades old proprietary industry and decades old command-and-control management styles.

By late 2009, open collaboration and social networking was no longer an idle idea.

It was a fast moving trend and way of the future, that had proven the beginnings of enormous business value for getting things done faster in the Enterprise. Concrete data began to emerge on the quantified value of these new approaches (see The Business Value of Application Connectors).

However, to be successful in the new world, people-centered Enterprise 2.0 apps need to connect with the old world transactional-centered Enterprise 1.0 systems. They needed to connect to each other to avoid establishing even more silos within organizations.

While AppFusions does not really believe in the legacy gigantic one-size-fits-all system ideal, at the same time we know that in most cases, these systems are largely not going away.

The new social systems of engagement still need to connect to the old world transaction systems to get work done.

AppFusions Bridges the Gap with Enterprise 2.0 Content Management Integration Connectors

We believe that business information and process management should be handled by a collection of systems that make up a whole. To make this happen, connectivity is the key driver. It is the glue that makes real work happen. It brings the benefits of social systems to work processes.

Modular system architectures in the Enterprise – from the same vendor or many vendors – provide greater flexibility, while also allowing organizations to pick and choose the best-of-breed systems for their purposes.

There are reasons for purpose-built systems, and a collection of many we feel is stronger than a single rigid system, especially if you can connect the strengths (data and workflows) of the different systems with common use case connectors vs. getting on an endless customization path.

Our integration connectors (current and future) bring together workflows, data files, and information between Enterprise systems for your collective purpose-built Enterprise 2.0 corporate solution of many systems. They allow companies to quickly and cost-effectuvely create the needed connectivity without going through the old-world pain of massive, costly, and time consuming integration efforts.

These connectors provide the means to close the gap between old and new, enabling the promise and opportunity within the capabilities of the new people-centered, social systems.

This blog will become the vehicle to tell this story and provide use cases demonstrating the essential nature of connectors.

Post by Ellen Feaheny, CEO of AppFusions