Enterprise 2.0, Day 2, Morning

Music before we begin: Daft Punk, of course.

The morning is going to be one big session with a succession of speakers. I’ll take notes and make salty comments as we go.

Opening comments by Steve Wylie

“I’m most excited that there are many more case studies this year than last year.”

Rob Carter, CIO of FedEx (!)

“I want to talk about changing what’s possible via connectedness.” He’s talking about networks. Distribution, electrical, telecommunications. Pretty fancy presentation, with! animation! I’m guessing he didn’t throw this together in the hotel room last night.

Talks briefly about internet connectedness. “This network is NOT finished. Viable networks always expand. There’s a big world out there that remains unconnected, and these networks have much, much room to grow.”

Comments that the fed ex physical network plus people network work hand in hand. Digital connections give us the ability to go out into the marketplace. (Also mentions eBay, which, by the way, generates HUGE business for FedEx.) Goes on to comment about how the network enables FedEx quickprint, print online, etc. Fair enough, this technology enables value creation by pushing production off to consumers. Waiting for some Big Thoughts.

Inside FedEx: 15 wikis, 80 blogs, Facebook Launch a Package, eBay ShipRush. Facebook app: just as lame as all the other Facebook apps. “Our enterprise walls are coming down. Make customer connections stand out.” And that’s it. Fairly innocuous presentation.

From the Bottom-Up: Building the 21st Century Intelligence Community*
-Sean Dennehy, Intellipedia Evangelist, CIA
-Don Burke, Intellipedia Doyen, CIA

“Those are our real names.” Chuckles from the audience.

Shares a document they stumbled across: Does your org have the following characteristics?

  • Insist on doing everything through “channels” Etc.

Doc is from the OSS! How to thwart and slow down an organization. Ha.

CIA has implemented Intellipedia to try to create more shortcuts, break down barriers, etc. Joke about wikipedia: “It doesn’t work in theory, it only works in practice.” Ha.

They investigated wikis…hey, discussions show give and take. And History tab shows the history of the doc. Hmm, that’s pretty great. It can answer the question: What did you know, and when did you know it.

Intellipedia has become the brand name around with the CIA’s social media efforts have arisen. They’re sharing blogs, videos, tags, chat (built on jabber! go security!), RSS, etc. Pretty impressive. DNI has provided these tools, so they are agency-agnostic.

Differences from Wikipedia: All edits are attributable. Not limited to being an encyclopedia. Many contributors from different agencies. When we get conflicting reports, let’s put it up on a page and debate it. Note that we’re still in the early adopter phase.

My take: As soon as this system produces intel that disagrees with the administration’s desired political goal, it will be crushed like a bug. Bush has been esp. aggressive in this regard, but molding inteligence to further political goals is as old as the CIA itself. Am I too old school?

In fact, as they tried to roll it out, the reactions were very negative. You’re traitors, you’re gonna get people killed, etc. Here’s what they tried to do to allay concerns:

  • Work at broadest audience possible
  • Think topically, not organizationally
  • Replace existing business processes

Hm, okay, fair enough, but I’m not sure this would convince most of our clients, let alone CIA people. I guess they pulled it off somehow.

Interesting talk. Grab the presentation here: http://community.e2conf.com/community/sessions/tuesday/gs03?view=all

Words I never thought I’d hear a CIA analyst say: “I’d like to give a shout out to….”

Aside: My old bones creak and crack now. Also: My mac is filthy, and I’m kind of embarrassed.

Working in the Cloud: How Cloud Computing is Reshaping Enterprise Technology*
-Rishi Chandra, Product Manager, Google Enterprise

Rishi is responsible for Google Apps.

Talk: A cloudy future for enterprise computing. “Google WILL have a very relevant place in this market.”

Trends in enterprise computing:

Consumer-Driven Innovation Will Set the Pace

Ooh, yes. Agreed. You’re seeing that now. Social networking started in consumer, now moving into enterprise. So, why is consumer stuff setting the pace? Because the consumer world is more Darwinian than enterprise world. Business buyers don’t understand needs of the end user. In the consumer world, of course, the end user goes to any vendor they choose.

Biggest lesson for Google in the consumer world: Simplicity wins. (Obligatory shot of Google homepage.)

Rise of the Power Collaborator

Employees no longer work as individuals: they work across departments, geographies, and even across companies. But the tools are still built for the power user (obligatory screenshot of incomprehensible Windows dialog box.)

The cloud and collaborating: multiple people work on same stuff. OS, language, etc…all that should be irrelevant. The cloud is THE right platform for this. Allows people everywhere to work and share.

Economics of IT are Changing

Storage needs exploding, etc. Scale will drive costs to zero. So he’s making the argument that economics of cloud computing will force companies to move to cloud computing rather than internally installed. “IT person: Think about a world where you did not have to worry about scalabliity?” Compelling…but who owns the data? Huh?

“We actually don’t know where this is going to go but we think the opportunity is huge.”

Barriers to Entry for Cloud Computing are Falling Away

Connectivity is better.

User experience: of web applications is much better. Browser is getting better all the time. Will enable better and more useful experiences.

Reliability: reliability of Web apps is much better now. With gmail we are pushing to have FAR MORE reliability than you could ever have installed.

Offline Access: desktop apps are getting better. (Google has Gears for offline experience in the browser.)

Security: We fully acknowledge that. We need to prove to you that it will be strong. So let’s dig into security.

Security holes: he’s pointing out that laptops are very dangerous security holes. Assume he’ll make a comparative case. And, in the cloud, all the data is off in the cloud! Not on a laptop.

Okay sure. But what about OWNERSHIP and USE of data? Ominous statement: He shows a bunch of logos and says “All these companies have data flowing through google data centers.”

Closing thoughts: On-premise software is not going away. But we do believe that all innovation will happen in the cloud. Market will have a lot of competitors. The next generation is the cloud generation. Their expectations is that they’ll have the same abilities in business as they did at home and in college. And yes, we, Google, need to earn your trust.

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