Lots of companies have an interest in introducing Enterprise 2.0 elements into their business, but struggle on the question of where to start. There’s a mantra that comes with Enterprise 2.0 that you should Think Big – Start Small – Act Fast. That sounds appealing because it implies you don’t have to do everything at once, you can and should take an iterative approach to introducing Enterprise 2.0, but when it comes time to translate interest and excitement about Enterprise 2.0 into long term strategy and tactical application, the answers Think Big – Start Small – Act Fast become the questions “Think Big about what?”, “Start small on what?”, “Act fast on which part of it — what do I prioritize?”.
Enterprise 2.0 has made an interesting shift in the last year that indicates to me it’s entering an ever more practical phase. The possibilities of it get people excited, now we’re entering a phase where companies are putting their minds and their energies into thinking about more than what is possible; they’re tackling the How To question.
One of those companies that wants to give you some guidance on how to introduce Enterprise 2.0 into your company is Microsoft. Microsoft has a platform with Azzure, and Windows Live Services and SharePoint (which is an increasingly viable Enterprise 2.0 tool) on which Enterprise wide 2.0 solutions can be created, but the company acknowledges that some strategic guidance is needed to implement a well-conceived Enterprise 2.0 solution that both addresses the needs of the organization today but also has the ability to scale well into the future.
To address this need, Microsoft has released a resource kit they’re calling Project Kobe.
Microsoft describes Kobe this way: “a getting started resource kit for planning, architecting, and implementing Web 2.0 applications and services using the Microsoft Platform. This resource kit is targeted toward technology decision makers, hands-on solution architects, development managers, and developers in the aspiring web startups community and in enterprises and businesses looking to invest in new Web 2.0 application/service development projects.”
For those familiar with Microsoft’s Northwind database and resource kit: Kobe is Northwind for Enterprise 2.0.
At the heart of Kobe is Planet PPT, a sample Web 2.0 service included in the resource kit that allows you to build an active social community for sharing and collaborating around the creation of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Though Planet PPT is built on the aforementioned Microsoft platform the advice given in the resource kit is truly technology agnostic — the strategy guidance will serve you well whether you choose to build with Microsoft technology or not.
And the social elements active within the Planet PPT sample service are a wonderful guide the kinds of social computing elements that organizations should aspire to if they hope to get the most out of their Enterprise 2.0 investments by truly accessing the long tail of employee expertise within their organization. A look through the 7 minute Planet PPT overview video reveals a handful of the social computing functions that I think should be tactical elements of Enterprise 2.0 solutions no matter what platform they’re built on and regardless of what content you’re featuring (PPT’s, video, blogs, etc). Your tools should highlight:
- Content being actively viewed
- Most downloaded content
- Most popular content all time
- Most popular content of the day
And should allow user control over content by enabling:
- Filtering content using tag clouds
- Pre-filtering content by allowing users to indicate interests during sign up
- Content recommendations from social contacts within the service as well as from the service itself
Kobe’s sample service shows that the real value of an Enterprise 2.0 solution lies in what it can do to increase the discoverability of relevant content and relevant social connections within an organization.
More about Kobe to come in future posts. Are you seeing other companies providing similar guidance tools? If so, what are they?