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Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock?

Dennis Howlett thinks so (although he doesn’t say whether his hypothetical crock is full of gold or some other raw material).

I started writing a brief, witty response to his ZDNet post whacking anyone who dare use the term Enterprise 2.0 over the head with his stick of experience (and a touch of hindsight, which as we all know is a wonderful thing). Then I realised it would have to be a more reasoned and tempered response. After posting, I guessed that like most comments on blogs owned by big media it would be unlikely to be seen by many so here it is for your delectation. I’d be interested to know if you agree.

Yes, Enterprise 2.0 is a label. So was Groupware. Remember that? New things will always be given labels by the people trying to educate the market. Get over it.

So is Enterprise 2.0 trying to solve a problem? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it a thing you can go and buy? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it going to change the world? No. Because… you get the idea.

But the tech that sits under this label isn’t just about creating community, as this article seems to be implying. There ARE real business problems that this tech can HELP solve (but like any tech, not solve in itself).

Things like streamlining internal communication in businesses when information overload is the norm – in order to ensure employees are informed, engaged and motivated.

Things like getting sales people to share best practice from the field with the product and marketing people – in order to keep the product line relevant.

Things like improving collaboration amongst people who have never spoken to each other before, or work in different countries, cultures and time zones – in order to secure that vital piece of business.

Things like connecting people with each other and information (answering questions like “do we work with this prospect anywhere else in the world?” that no other piece of tech I have seen can do quite as well), and between information – in order to ensure that the company knows what it knows, what it knows it doesn’t know, and what it doesn’t know it knows.

Should tech vendors in the space start focusing on how their products solve some of these real business problems and stop evangelising Enterprise 2.0 as if it is some kind of panacea to cure all ills? Absolutely.

Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock? No. Because it’s just a label.