I've been pushing the concept of using social technologies for collaboration and connections both inside and outside of business to make companies more effective since early 2006. The naming has changed from web 2.0 to enterprise 2.0 to social business, but the concept is the same. However, when some areas of technology like smart phones or tablets have made such an impact on business in such a short space of time, why is the potential of social media in business, apart from use in external marketing and customer support, still largely unrealized? I believe it's the C word (and that's context). To explain that, three things came together over the last few weeks - a briefing session with Appian
CEO Matthew Calkins
, a blog post from Sigurd Rinde
about the fallacy of the Information Age and the need to move to a better framework, and one from Simon Wardley on flow structures
and what he explains as the move from Pioneer, to Settler, to Town Planner.
First, let me set the scene by reminding you that we've been running businesses with incomplete ERP systems for decades - they usually cover a company's core processes but leave plenty of gaps. I was reminded of some of the ...
Back on 26 April I was asked to present "5 Key Challenges for the ISV CTO and How to Beat Them!" at a Ciklum seminar for ISVs
that intended to deliver a hype-free conversation among CTOs, Chief Technical Architects and other key executives grappling with the journey to the cloud. My slides for the session (see below) are already on Slideshare
, but they are mostly visual, so I decided to do this comprehensive (that means long right? - Ed) blog write up following the slide sequence as a companion piece. I was in good company, because the other speakers were Jimmy Gasteen of Precursive
, Liam Hogan of OpenText
and Melissa di Donato of Salesforce.com
. My pitch was intended to do three things:
- Give my perspective on the current state of the Cloud landscape
- Offer my 5 key challenges for the ISV CTO in moving to the Cloud
- Leave the audience with some practical ideas to take action straight away
The current IT landscape is pretty cloudy. IT providers are branding whatever product they have that happens to run in a datacentre somewhe as "Cloud" ...
Earlier this week I joined a discussion group improvising on a theme around Richard Sennett's book Together
and his recent RSA talk
. I understand the book explores the nature of cooperation, the evolution of cooperative rituals through history and the politics of the tribe versus the complexity of modern society. Haven't read it - it's now on the long list. The Everything Unplugged: Learning Conversation
group meets in London every Wednesday at 10:00 at the RFH
Level 5 to discuss wide ranging topics from creativity to the learning process. This week's discussion on Sennett was titled "In a Dialogic Way
" echoing Miles Davis
. I was intrigued on three counts:
- I miss the kind of wide ranging conversations we used to have several years back at London's CreativeCoffee Club (which I founded with Toby Moores) or when the London Social Media Cafe/Tuttle Club was in its energetic heyday at the Coach and Horses or the ICA.
- The topic of cooperation is vital to the the collaboration solutions I work with and I wanted to learn more about Sennett's take.
- I don't often have philosophical discussions about dialectic argument versus the dialogic ...
After some soul searching I've just started updating my various personal profiles around the web to say I'm a social business evangelist
rather than saying enterprise 2.0
. I've got close to this before
. I wanted to explain why now. For me that terminology change is a big deal because I'm not 100% comfortable with "social business
", but it's not me rather the market that decides. If we move the clock forwards 5 years I'm sure we'll be using different language again, and I believe the way the smart companies use social media and social tools in their businesses today will be as natural and essential to any organisation as a website, email, phones or mobiles (cell phones for my US friends, handys for the Germans - language is so crucial!). I actually prefer the term "amplified enterprise
" because the terms "social business
" (as used by the likes of Dachis
, Altimeter Group
) or "social enterprise
" (as used by Salesforce
) are already occupied by a very different idea. Go ask the average, non-technology oriented bushiness person in the street and see what they say. Actually my perspective on this topic has 4 dimensions:
This week I was invited by IBM
(and Ogilvy PR
) to join in the collaboration debates at the Social Business Expo
, a new strand of the Unified Communications Expo
at Olympia . This is not an event I would normally attend, covering everything from phone handsets through VoIP to tele conferencing, but I'm sure the social business component of ths show will get even bigger next year. The attraction was to be part of what IBM is doing, which moves a long way from your typical steel, white and blue corporate show stand. Their event was themed around recreating the late night downtown diner scene depicted in Edward Hopper
's famous Nighthawks
painting from the 40s. It represents loneliness and alienation. IBM are the sponsor, but their partner Collaboration Matters
came up with the concept, created and hosted the stand. The front of the cafe was peopled with actors who remained in character throughout both days, and who alternated between the original solitary view, and using smart phones, iPads and Macs to collaborate and connect with people. Each character had their own Twitter identity so we could interact and break through the social isolation. ...
I just want warn the Internet and social media addicts everywhere that I will be back blogging again on a more regular basis from today. I've left a big gap since my last post although I've carried on tweeting and RTing snippets and the good stuff - the Twitter community that I follow still gives me the best, filtered access to quality content and ideas from out there. I've been addicted to Twitter
since 14 February 2007 - It seems appropriate that our 5 year love affair started on Valentine's Day!
I haven't been completely absent from publishing blogs as Cloud Advocates
started a regular email newsletter called Cloud means Business
over on Fresh Business Thinking
. The newsletter goes out to over 70,000 subscribers, and each post goes up on the FBT site too. I write 2 of the 4 posts each month, and we are just about to publish the 8th edition. I'll repost some or all of those 16 articles here in the coming weeks, and I'll add links in a side column soon. As well as that I have half a dozen draft posts languishing in Evernote ready to be completed. Thank heavens it isn't a blank page....
The thing that finally spurred me back to action was contributing to the ...
Two weeks ago I was part of a modest International stream as part of Twinfield
's very impressive National Accountancy Day in The Netherlands. They have been running this Annual event for 6 years and it has grown from 30 attendees back in 2005 to 500 last year, and well over 600 attendees this time, along with an exhibition area where around 40 companies showed their Twinfield connected applications and services. There was a buzz of excitement, and a feelgood vibe you might expect from a Salesforce event, but not necessarily with a collection of mostly accountants as the audience.
The event was significant, both because of the size and the fact that this was the first event following Wolters Kluwer
's takeover of Twinfield
earlier this year. It gave me a chance to gauge the progress they've made and judge how well Twinfield will thrive under their new parent's regime. The initial indications are very positive.
The International stream was attended by UK customers like Goodman Jones
, CWM, and Wingrave Yeats
. Twinfield's Irish partner presented their Ezora reporting
explained their document scanning solution that is now live linking purchase invoice scans ...
Last month I did a guest article
for Jemima Gibbons
monthly newsletter on Freshbusinessthinking.com
about Social Media Monitoring and Analytics
. In that same newsletter Nikki Pilkington
argued why WordPress is a good choice for your website
. I decided I wanted to argue, passionately, the opposite, and my article has just been published there this month. Here is the BTZ version. First I need to disclose that I'm a stakeholder in a particular CMS/Platform developer (author of WordFrame and PageTypes). However, I'll try and explain my case as objectively as possible.
The first thing to say is that Nikki's article starts with a vital, core truth - whether your website is created by you, some experts in your team, website developers you've hired or an external agency, it needs a content management system (CMS) at its heart. You need to be in control of the content without needing technical expertise. You shouldn't be paying an agency or a developer every time you want to change a word, add a page, or move a menu option. But is WordPress the right CMS for your website? It's a blogging tool, not a CMS
WordPress is great ...
Last Thursday I sampled the latest incarnation of the London Bloggers Meetup, as organized by Andy Bargery and friends. This meetup has been running for years, but it was my first time. What sparked my interest was a combination of meeting Andy at a Social Medial Week London event in January, the sheer numbers that had signed up (167 at the time I booked on), and the chance to hear how Leo Babauta grew his Zen Habits blog to a readership of over 200,000. I think the other reason I went along is that I'm trying to find the atmosphere and energy of ideas in the melting pot that I used to feel way back in 2007 at OpenCoffee Club when it ran at a Starbucks Regent Street and then Waterstones, Piccadilly, or at The Tuttle Club from it's start early in 2008 and well in to 2010. I felt the same thing at CreativeCoffee Club sessions - where has it migrated to?
Although over 100 people packed in to the basement of The Long Acre for a noisy, lively event, that particular spark I'm looking for wasn't there at LBM. I saw but didn't get a chance to speak to a smattering of longstanding bloggers like Judith Lewis (@JudithLewis
on Twitter), Rachel Clarke ( . ...