The Enterprise 2.0 Conference wrapped up in Boston last week. The key message coming out of this conference? It's not about the deployment of technology, it's about adoption. Along with the chance to see some interesting solutions, there were a number of sessions on getting started with these tools in your organization.

Getting Adoption in Enterprise 2.0

Dion Hinchcliffe is a well known analyst, blogger and consultant on Enterprise 2.0. He did a workshop at the conference that many people wrote about. One of the key principles of Enterprise 2.0 is "harnessing the collective intelligence".

He also said that it was not just about making the connections, but making use of them. This is where alignment between the Enterprise 2.0 strategy and the business strategy are critical.

Hinchcliffe provided a breakdown of where the resources are spent for an Enterprise 2.0 deployment. Here's the breakdown, read the details on the GTEC blog:

  • Tools: 15%
  • Customization and Integration: 25%
  • Community Management: 25%
  • IT Support = 15%
  • Project and Change Management = 20%

There's also an interview with Hinchcliffe available on demand on E2TV. He says that over 50% of organizations today have some form of Enterprise 2.0 solution implemented in the enterprise (up from 25% last year). In that interview, he clearly points out that it is not about the tools, but about the people.

Obviously the strategy of "if you build it they will come" is not going to work here. George Dearing, owner of Dearing Group LLC and a Telligent Evangelist, says in his blog "the biggest challenge has less to do with the technology and tools and more to do with fighting perceptions and change."

Ben Kepes, identifies three keys to adoption in his blog: simplicity, ease of use and engagement.

Mike Gotta, author of the blog Collaborative Thinking, did a session entitled: Getting Started with Enterprise Social Networking. Bill Ives did a good summary of the session which you can read here. Some key points:

  • It's about Adoption, not Deployment
  • The key is to overcoming cultural issues
  • Social Networking does enable adaptive organizations

Measuring ROI

Yes, it is possible to measure the ROI of Enterprise 2.0 implementations. It's not easy, but then as Hinchcliffe points out, measuring ROI in any IT solution is difficult.

Productivity improvements is one type of ROI measure you can have and there are many organizations out there with case studies pointing to positive ROI results. 

Of course the debate on measuring ROI is still raging.

Learning Opportunities

What About the Tools?

Although the focus of the conference was more about adoption and how you achieve it, there were lots of vendors there peddling their wares. We announced a number of updated or new offerings from Socialtext, Telligent, MindTouch and IBM. Alex Dunne provided us with a number of elevator pitches from some of the other vendors, including Tomoye, Box.Net and nGenera.

If you want a detailed review of social software, CMS Watch released the latest version of their report: The Enterprise Social Software and Collaboration Report 2009, during the conference. You can purchase your copy here.

Where's SharePoint in all of This?

In an article on ITWorld, C.G Lynch discusses SharePoint vs Enterprise 2.0 startups such as Jive, Telligent, Socialtext and Atlassian.  While some of these vendors believe their ability to innovate faster and be less expensive to implement than SharePoint will keep them ahead of Microsoft and win them more customers, Michael Sampson, an Industry Analyst and author of SharePoint books also points to "vendor stability, partner ecosystems and appetite for risk as it concerns new technologies" as reasons to select a particular vendor solution.

The question that is on everyone's mind is will SharePoint 2010 deliver on the social computing functionality that current Enterprise 2.0 vendors provide, or will there still be a need for these vendor solutions integrated into SharePoint?

Want to Learn More?

E2TV is still open for business and has not only the keynotes from the Enterprise 2.0 conference, but a number of interviews with vendors demonstrating their solutions.

In addition, a number of Twitter streams were happening during the conference including the key stream #e2conf.  Also, individual sessions were tweeted with the tags #e2conf1 through #e2conf49.

If you didn't get a chance to make it to the Boston conference, the next Enterprise 2.0 conference is planned for San Francisco November 2-5, 2009.