At Enterprise 2.0: A Maze of Vendors, All Alike

After the keynotes, the Enterprise 2.0 Demo Pavilion opened. While wandering around, I was struck by how few of the stands stood out. (Perhaps I shouldn’t be, since it’s hard to imagine a crowd in which every member stands out.)

The typical vendor had a catchy name, and sometimes a tagline. But the typical tagline translated fairly directly to “Enterprise 2.0,” and that’s what we all, vendors and otherwise, were there for. Then again, maybe the purpose of a stand is to make yourself available to people who already know about you, and decided to visit you before they got to the conference.

If I had any brilliant and original ideas about demo stands, I’d put them here. But I can only remark that a large, prominently-placed stand and the chance to get or win some stuff usually works well, and that Microsoft were ahead of me on that one.

The title of this post contains a reference to Colossal Cave Adventure, the text-based game. I point this out because I probably have readers who have never played it or any other text-based game, and who have never been in “a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.”

I’m not implying that the vendors were all twisty and little. If you followed the link in the first paragraph, you’ll see that they included some rather large organizations. As for twisty, the point of this post is that few of them managed to make clear their distinctive twist on Enterprise 2.0.

Keynotes 2.0: AIIM

Being too lazy to type in the details of every speaker, I’ll link to the conference Keynotes and General Sessions page. It’s time for us to hear about the state of the industry from a couple of guys from AIIM.

They started off with a hokey sketch about the stereotypical differences between generations. Apparently, as far as E2 goes, age matters hardly at all. Organizational culture matters much more. KM inclination is positively associated with E2 adoption. It is also associated with the strategic, rather than ad-hoc, pursuit of E2.

There are some interesting contrasts with Google guy’s points. When I came in, and before I started writing, he was arguing that the consumer market is more Darwinian than the enterprise market, since there are no management and IT staff layers between the vendor and the user. I wonder if “strategic” means that these layers are present, while “ad-hoc” adoption within the enterprise means that these layers are absent.

At Enterprise 2.0, But Barely on the Web

Let me try to paste and post the following while I have a connection…

The “free Public Access” network doesn’t seem to be working. As I type that, a guy from Google is telling us that, when he goes somewhere and can’t get web access, he gets pissed off. His point is that, five years ago, he was pleased when he could connect. Well, I’m not pleased.

He’s talking about barriers to use of cloud applications, and of course asserting that connectivity is far less of a problem. Now he’s talking about offline access. Well, I started trying to use Google Docs/Gears to write this, but that didn’t work. So here I am in the old warhorse, MS Notepad.

He also addressed security. He emphasized the dangers of data being kept on laptops, which are often stolen. Isn’t it more secure, he asked, to keep data in a cloud managed by Google?

I just found out about another network. It’s so slow that I suspect many others found out about it at the same time. I’m typing this as I wait for the WordPress Write page, having given up on my nice rich Google start page.