I am pleased to be back for my sixth Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. Here is a link to a summary of last year’s notes. This is another of my notes for this year. There will be more to follow. I attended session - Designing Social Applications " a panel session led by David F. Carr, Editor, The BrainYard. The panel included: Ellen Feaheny, CEO, AppFusions, Mark Weitzel, Director, Platform & Ecosystem; President, OpenSocial Foundation, Jive Software, and Michael Weir, CEO, Sparqlight. Here is the session description:
“Part of becoming a social enterprise is understanding what makes social applications work, both for purposes of selecting commercial applications and for designing their own. Most organizations will adopt a commercial or open source enterprise social platform rather than trying to create their own, but they still will face the challenge of adapting it to their environment and integrating applications that predate the social software era.”
David started the panel and set the vocabulary for the conversation. They talked about applications beyond marketing and inside the enterprise. They also talked about apps embedded in the enterprise or apps embedded in a public social network. They discussed what makes app social? Embedding an app in an iFrame doesn’t make it social. What business apps are the best situations that can work in a social context?
Ellen discussed a chart on common need use case integrations driving platform E2.0 adoption. There are many system platform types, many E20 system flavors, and common needs/use case integrations. Ellen started AppFusions from the business use case perspective. They have been building integrations for common use cases that can be reused to cut costs.
Brian said Sparqlight wraps social software around workflows. He is the principal author and the CEO. It brings in Yammer, Google apps and other tools. His tool allows you to understand a person’s work behavior and what they excel at, etc.
Mark works for Jive and is President of Open Social Foundation. One of the key things they recognized early on is the need for a real component model for the delivery of SaaS based apps. He feels that Open Social is the best thing out there for this purpose. It is standards based. They put a market infrastructure around this so you can pick an app and get it installed right away like an iPhone app. But it also allows for IT controls in case you need to take out an app that is a problem. Mark said they wanted to invoke apps within Jive in an easy way wherever you are and put it into the flow within the activity stream. Open Social is now in the cloud version of Jive and will be coming to the on premise version by the end of the year.
Brian said that enterprise apps used to be isolated compared to social apps. Ellen said that want makes an app social is the notifications and things that bring your attention. She is working with Atlassian and IBM on social integration. She found common use cases so decided to build reusable integrations to cover these cases. This is good idea and should save a lot of time and money in implementations.
Mark said a good social app connects people and supports collaboration. You can understand the details within workflow so disconnected people can connect around common issues. It brings a new level of agility. You get dynamic realignments based on the transparency within the social apps. You need backend intelligence to leverage an understanding of what is happening within an organization.
Ellen said the old world contained file servers and documents that were passed around. This is still the case for many organizations. To have the documents embedded in the workflow and activity stream puts them in your face. Things are done much faster and no one can hide and documents do not get hidden.
David asked how many in the audience are in IT. The answer was around 50%. The rest were in scattered areas. Ellen mentioned how Jive can use LinkedIn for directory updates and that is a good use case for public and enterprise apps. Mark said you want transparency so setting up private groups in Facebook does not solve this issue. Ellen added that Facebook is minimal in collaboration versus an enterprise app.
Mark said Open Social was started in 2008 for the consumer world by Google, MySpace and others. At the same time enterprise vendors like Jive looked at this effort and adopted it as a means for delivery. They added capability for enterprise use. Since it evolved in the consumer space it is more like an open source effort. This was an interesting panel that discussed a critical issue.