![http://www.igniterealtime.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/ent_2_0.gif!Greg] and I were in Boston this week for the Enterprise 2.0 conference. We had a good set of meetings and lots of interesting discussions at the Jive booth. There were some consistent themes to the conversations:
Everyone is interested to see how large deployments of Enterprise 2.0 software will play out. Are cultural changes needed at large companies? When does IT get involved? What metrics will companies use to measure the success of these roll-outs?
A point-solution approach to Enterprise 2.0 doesn't cut it. Social software like wikis, blogs and discussions are meant to break down silos inside companies by eliminating inefficient email exchanges and by giving everyone a voice. But deploying products with narrow sets of functionality just ends up creating a whole new set of silos -- this time around content types. We've heard from people in companies that have gone with the point solution approach that they have go to one wiki instance for one set of information, the blogging engine for other info, and another wiki instance when they want updates about what another team in the company is up to, etc. None of it can be accessed by a single search, and every system has it's own version of social features like tagging and user profiles. One company we've talked to has literally three hundred different wiki instances. Trying to integrate these systems together is expensive and complicated.
Sharepoint is glorified file sharing and pretty universally despised. However, it's still being deployed very widely.
Clearspace is compelling: the fact that it delivers a unified suite of functionality (discussions, wiki documents and blogging) that's easy to use by both users and administrators is a very strong message. That said, getting the word out that Clearspace is even an option is still a challenge since we're a small company. This was especially true in my talks with analysts at the show.
We (Jive) can't boil the ocean and take on every possible feature ourselves. Showing how Clearspace is already able to integrate with existing systems inside companies is important in almost all the conversations we have. We'll need to continue to demonstrate meaningful partnerships with other vendors. A number of people have told us they'd love Clearspace to be able to vacuum up their existing wikis.
Overall, the show reinforced the fact that it's an exciting time for the Enterprise 2.0 space. Companies are moving beyond pilot deployments and are trying to figure out how to make this software practical across their entire user base. I've pretty excited about the role Clearspace will play in that process given everything above.