Reflections from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference (E2Conf) in Boston
By: Steve Robins
Solutions 2.0? As a solution marketer, I’m always looking for trends that will affect our field. Web 2.0 and social media technologies have been broadly embraced outside the corporation. Based on many of the same concepts, Enterprise 2.0 technologies — and solutions — are bound to have an effect on the enterprise and on all aspects of software marketing, including solution marketing. The big question is how much? That’s why I attended the Enterprise 2.0 Conference (E2Conf) last week in Boston.
Defining Enterprise 2.0. The conference’s organizers used a familiar definition for Enterprise 2.0 (new or rehash? -more on that in a forthcoming E2.0/E1.x post):
Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility. Read more.
Hobnobbing with “E2ati” The conference was great and we all came away with a lot. For E2.0 “believers” and skeptics alike, the conference was well-run, lively and even entertaining.
The “conference ” even included the E2Open “unconference,” — is that actually possible? And like most conferences nowadays, E2 Conf was Web 2.0-ized — er, E2.0-ized — with #e2conf Twitter hash tags (is that redundant?), enough tweets to potentially shut down Twitter (as if that was hard), a blog, a wiki of course (hosted by who else but SocialText) and a lot more. Oh, and did I forget power strips accessible to any seat (!) in the keynote room? OK, so the wireless was uneven. But in some ways, I thought I’d jumped ten years into the future: I’d introduce myself to an attendee and then they’d do a quick, covert Google search, so they could share what they’d just learned about me.
A feast of dog food. Oh yeah, we weren’t just eating our own dog food; we were feasting on it! This was “Conference 2.0” at its best (dang – someone else already invented that moniker). For kicks, see Gil Yehuda’s logistics for E2 Conf. As you can see, my writing has even been E2-ized (although I refuse to keep to 140-character micro-thoughts).
On a more serious note, the conference was indeed thought provoking for all attendees. Some of the big issues and questions included:
- Are we seeing game-changing Enterprise 2.0 strategies or is this just the latest version of Enterprise 1.0?
- Web 2.0 has had a significant impact outside the enterprise – will Enterprise 2.0 have a similar impact as well?
- What about governance and management in Enterprise 2.0? Is it possible – and does it even matter?
- How can you justify 2.0? What’s the ROI?
Future posts will cover each of these topics in more detail.
Also, here are a few other perspectives on E2.0:
- Enterprise 2.0 conference impressions, Oliver Marks in ZDNet Collaboration 2.0
- It all Came Down to CIT, Information Architected Blog
- Post-E2Conf Thoughts, Gil Yehuda.com