Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Enterprise Social Computing

My last blog posting was "The problem with Social Networking", and I should have realized that there were smart people already working on the problem. I quote from my last blog:- "Instead of a social network home page, what I would like to see is the intersection of SOA (service-oriented architecture) and social networking". It appears the solution is Enterprise Social Computing.

I attended today the first-ever Alfresco User Conference in New York, Kaplan is a recent customer using their WCM platform. While I could only stay for the morning, I had the privilege of attending Alfresco CTO John Newton's presentation on their product roadmap. He started with a description of his conversion into an open source vendor (John is formerly from Documentum), and how open source is changing market dynamics. John talked about current trends, my favorite quote is "Web 2.0 is right-brain", meaning it is about people, concepts and creativity.

Further into the presentation (and where I got truly excited), he described how enterprise employees use both internal tools like email, MS office, intranet, CRM, etc, and external tools like google search, linkedin, wikipedia, google maps, etc to perform their jobs, and that these tools should be integrated together in an Enterprise Social Computing platform. Yes!!

John went on to describe what enterprises needed:- Facebook-in-a-box. He described how Alfresco had integrated itself into the Facebook api in 3 days, and productized the results in 3 weeks. This was music to my ears, and exactly along the lines of what I believe to be the right solution for corporations.

Enough of facebook, time for me to get some of that facebook-in-a-box (or linkedin-in-a-box) John was talking about. Maybe email will finally start to go the way of the fax and memo?

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