Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Enterprise 2.0 Conference

I had some local commitments so I could not fly up to Boston again (See earlier post on Johnny goes to Harvard) and thought I would miss the Enterprise 2.0 Conference Bummer. Little did I know that these people are trying to practice what they preach. I joined the Twitter stream #e2conf and am getting real-time tweets from all over the conference. Also there is a blog where I can read material from most of the presenters and see the opinions from other attendees.
Finally there is a e2TV video stream of the general sessions and vendor demos.
This morning I participated in the Launchpad contest. Four vendors who were finalists got a chance to do a quick demo for the audience and then the audience voted for a winner via SMS.
The four finalists were:

Bantam Networks - they have a enterprise project workspace that allow team mates to communicate, share info and manage relationships.

Brainpark - they also create a social network for projects. The difference seems to be an engine that suggests to the user people who have skills that might help, docs with info that might help, feeds/links with info that might help.

Manymoon - another social network for developers. This one has a good integration with Google apps and with external participants.

YouCalc - this is a different one... an analytics environment that can pull info from a lot of different sources and present graphic analysis. Also it is a product based on "wikinomics". The apps are created by the user community. If you create an app it must be made publicly available for others to use modify. The data that is analyzed remains private.

So the voting took place (I thought Manymoon was really good) and the winner was YouCalc with 53% of the vote.
As I am finishing up this post I am listening to a demo of Lotus Live from IBM. Last night they won the big Buyers Choice Award for best product of the show. This was a vote by attendees.

This type of virtual conference experience still lacks the level of deal making / networking that can happen in a f2f environment but you can't beat the price (FREE) and not having to sit on an airplane and then that ride in from Logan airport (Ugh).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I attended a Webinar today where IBM discussed their Cloud Computing initiative including their "Cloudburst" offering. David Dworkin of the Tivoli business unit took the audience through
justifications for going to cloud which included a survey conducted last year of companies that had implemented a cloud application. The top three reasons for going to cloud for these companies was:
  1. Innovation
  2. Time to Profitability
  3. Reduced costs
IBM is recommending that companies first move to internal clouds that reside safely inside the corporate firewall but consolidate various departmental applications. They claim such a move will have following benefits:
  • Can reduce IT Labor costs by 50%
  • Can improve capital utilization by 75%
  • Reduce provisioning cycle times from weeks to minutes
  • Can reduce end user IT support costs by 40%
In my opinion it seems Amazon EC2 is more SMB start-ups with quick roll out and low up front costs while IBM is aiming at Fortune 500 with large IT budgets under pressure.

During the webinar the host asked the audience (I did not see how many were attending) a couple of survey questions...

Which best describes your organization's level of adoption of Cloud Computing services?
None, but not evaluating.
None, but currently evaluating one or more services.
Currently getting ready to trial a Cloud Computing service.
Limited trial adoption of one Cloud Computing service.
Currently running one or more crucial set of business tasks through the Cloud.

David thought this was a little surprising compared with survey results IBM sponsored last year. He speculated that companies may be using clouds without being aware of it.

What are the biggest reasons your organization has yet to migrate any services off to the Cloud?
Concerns over security
Need to "own" and manage the data center
Regulatory obstacles
Management does not see the potential for quick ROI
No skepticism, just looking for the right solution

Of course remember that this population had already self selected to having enough of an interest in cloud to invest time in attending the webinar so these answers do not represent the general market.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Web2.0 revisited

On June 4th I presented my Web2.0 briefing to 21 participants representing 17 companies at an event hosted by Matrix Resources. Matrix offers briefings to its customers as a complimentary service and from the comments I heard as people were settling in for my talk it seemed to be a much appreciated program.
During the event I captured some informal statistics from the audience on specific Web2.0 usage patterns.

As a percentage of participants how many:

Use Wikipedia?- 100% as reader. 0% as author.
Author a blog? - 0%
Use Digg? - 10%
Have a LinkedIn Account? - 76%
Have a Facebook Account? - 76%
Have used Craigslist? - 76%
Participate in Second Life? - 0%
Use Twitter? - 24%
Use Ajax to develop apps? - 15%

So what does this mean? Like most statistics with small samples... not much. But I like to ask people and see if any trends are appearing that are different then the official surveys.

Also during the briefing we had a lot of discussion about how companies developing web2.0 apps are realizing revenue. The table below is my analysis of some of the more popular companies I mentioned in the talk.

I have added this table to my Web2.0 presentation page 32. In general I found that the strategy for most of these companies is to give the functionality away for free and rapidly grow a large user base. As the application matures and more users are locked in they obtain revenue streams through a combination of advertising and premium services.