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Enterprise 2.0 in action

After my last post I have decided to take another angle at businesses using enterprise 2.0. In this post I’m going to discuss only one company who has used enterprise 2.0 in their business internally. Why only one? Because there’s a lot to talk about and you don’ t want to be reading this all day.

A company I found that has dived head first into adopting enterprise 2.0 is that of Accenture, a global consulting firm, (Buckler, 2007). The CTO of Accenture, Donald Rippert, sees the future of technology in the enterprise merging with technology in the realm of web 2.0. In 2007, Accenture went live with “a new global employee network that looks much like Facebook,” (Buckler, 2007). After discovering how easy it was to find content on Youtube, no matter how novice or unheard of the content creator, Rippert wondered why finding information on their corporate database and archives was next to impossible. The key to solving the mystery lay in the way social media and web 2.0 applications use and promote tagging of content. So in a similar manner that delicious enables tagging, the idea of users adding value and assisting searches via tags was conceived.

After introducing the online global network within Accenture, the company then introduced several other web 2.0 tools that they transformed/reinvented into their own enterprise 2.0 tools. These include a wiki called Accenturepedia and a video-based knowledge sharing system called AccentureTube (borrowing its name from web 2.0 site YouTube). Accenturepedia runs much like any other wikis allowing employees access to centralised data to which they can contribute themselves. AccentureTube acts as one large internal video database which users can upload work-related content, tag it and share amongst colleagues. The idea was to keep the system familiar (by borrowing ideas from YouTube), to enhance and promote its use, (Neal, 2008).

In terms of the Wikinomics business models (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Globally), Accenture has been able to achieve all of these goals internally. The company was already global so by offering the enterprise 2.0 tools without pressure they fostered and promoted global interactions amongst their employees. This in turn lead to peering, in that the different facets of the company could collaborate, find each other and communicate ideas easily. Although I have not discussed how Accenture reaches out to its community, they are miles ahead in terms of sharing their innovations, reasearch and experiences across a broad range of fields including their adoption of enterprise 2.0 via their website. They are actively being open and sharing their information to the wider community via blogs, podcasts and downloadable documents.

Accenture’s enterprise 2.0 ventures can also be compared to the SLATES paradigm as proposed by Andrew McAfee. Firstly, searching was made easier by the ability for employees to tag media with keywords. Secondly, linking was acceleratd by giving the masses the ability to edit wikis, tag media and so forth hence creating a dense link structure in their intranet. Thirdly, employees were given the ability to author. They can edit, create and contribute to the Accenturepedia wikis. This also steams from the inherent nature of web 2.0 being about collaboration, the network effect and users adding value (some patterns identified by Tim O’Reilly as being at the heart of web 2.0). Tagging was delivered by Accenture as discussed earlier to categorise and give relevance to content so that user could find and gain information more quickly. Extensions come of course with tagging, the AccentureTube if similar to YouTube, would use tags to offer relevant and similar types of video content to the user in a side pane, extending extra content to them. Signalling would be intergrated into their enterprise 2.0 tools to enable users to quickly view what has changed and what content has been added. This could come in the form of RSS feeds or email updates to changes in a wiki they are monitoring.

Finally, how does Accenture’s E2.0 infrastucture address Dion Hinchcliffe’s extension to the SLATES paradigm? Hinchcliffe sights social, emergent, freeform and network-oriented elements as an important part of enterprise 2.0. In my opinion the Accenture infrastucture covers the social, emergent and freeform nature of E2.0 and its fully web-based nature allows information to be addressable and reusable.

For anyone interested, I’ve found a video interview with the director of Fast Innovation and director of innovation, technology and learning at Accenture that might be of interest here. In particular, she briefly mentions how she tried to convince management to get an “avatar”.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ll keep up updated if I find any more interesting news articles on Accenture.

References
Accenture. (2009). Accenture GLobal Research and Insights. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, https://www.accenture.com/Global/Research_and_Insights/default.htm
Buckler, G. (2007). Accenture CTO gets his Web 2.0 on. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=43006
Dawsom, R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0 – Sample Chapter. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://implementingenterprise2.com/IE2_Sample_Chapter_2.pdf
Koser, M. (2009). Accenture gets into Intranet 2.0. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from,  http://www.frogpond.de/index.php/archive/accenture-gets-into-intranet-20/
Neal, D. (2008). Innovation comes as a standard. Retrieved, August 19, from, http://www.computing.co.uk/itweek/analysis/2215255/innovation-comes-standard
Ross, J. (2009). FASTforward’09 Interview: Kirsti Kierulf, Director, The Fast Innovation Center and Director, Innovation, Technology, and Learning, Accenture. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from, http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2009/02/10/fastforward09-interview-kirsti-kierulf-director-the-fast-innovation-center-and-director-innovation-technology-and-learning-accenture/

Enterprise 2.0 to become a multi-billion dollar industry

I’ve just come across this link which says that by 2013, Enterprise 2.0 will be $4.6 Billion by 2013 according to Forrester Research. Of course I can’t access the .pdf document because it is US $1500 to purchase but you can read the blog written about the article here.

Interestingly, the article depicts that web 2.0 tools such as: Blogger, Facebook, NetVibes and Twitter were not Enterprise 2.0 because they had ads and were not design for an enterprise environment. I would argue that this is incorrect; 1. because Twitter doesn’t have any “overly noticeable” ads but also because these tools can still be used by companies if only as a start up tool before they have to purchase an expensive E2.0 tool to better manage the interactions.

The article also discusses that the biggest challenge facing E2.0 in the future is getting past the “IT gatekeepers” of the businesses. That is, trying to convince the older generation to shift their investments into new technology. This is very well said in the article and a very important point. The quicker businesses change their view on social media the faster they can learn and begin to gain the benefits from using it.

Futhermore, some interesting patterns are identified. External marketing is predicted to outweigh the expediture of enterprise 2.0 tools for the business internally this year. Currently the predominant age of social media users is 12-17, but by 2011, the users of web will match the users of web 2.0 tools (overall).

Feel free to read more about the article at the following link: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/enterprise_20_to_become_a_46_billion_industry.php

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