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ENTERPRISE 2.0 CONFERENCE, June 9-12, 2008, Boston
Review by Daniel P. Dern
TechWeb Live Events  ISBN/ITEM#: 0806ENT2PT0
Date: 13 June 2008

Links: Enterprise 2.0 Website /

"Two point oh" technology and methodologies are no longer just for "consumers." A growing number of enterprises and small-to-medium size companies, along with government, education and non-profit organizations are either implementing or considering these -- and, not surprisingly, the world of live events offers dedicated events for this space.

I spent about half of yesterday at Enterprise 2.0 2008, being held June 9 through 12 in Boston, and even just by spending a few hours on the show floor, came away with a much better sense of what it's all about.

According to the conference's web site, topics they're covering include:

  • Social Networking in Business
  • Social Networks as New Media
  • Microblogging & Twitter
  • Enterprise Mash-ups
  • Enterprise RSS & Syndication
  • Developing a Next Generation Workforce
  • Socializing Search
  • Software as a Service
  • Office 2.0
  • Presence

E.g., Instant Messaging, collaboration, blogs, wikis, social networking, (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, et cetera-type information/interactions), online file storage/sharing, and alternatives/competition to Microsoft Office Live and GoogleDocs.

The exhibitor area had some 60 exhibitors -- up healthily from last year, according to comments I heard, and refreshingly, unlike all too many events I've been to lately, all seemed a fit for the topic turf.

Exhibitors included big, established names from the general computer/network arenas -- Alcatel-Lucent, EMC, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and Sun -- as well as 2.0/Saas players like OpenText, Jive, NewsGator, and dozens of smaller, newer, lesser-known (depending on how well you do/don't know the space) and other players.

Offerings ranged from "add-Internet-community" and "add-internal-community" tools to web-based apps, services and add-ons, content management, video, and more. Not surprisingly, it felt like there was a LOT of overlap -- this segment is clearly in the still-early-growth, pre-shake-out stage.

While I didn't get much chance to schmooze with attendees, it seemed like they were there for a mix of general learning and some "learn about the turf and check out the vendors," but some, possibly many, were ready to buy and deploy. Exhibitors I talked with cited customers including Fortune 1000s and other biggies.

I also ran into Dan Bricklin, who, among other things, has been working on a new version of WikiCalc ("Spreadsheet editing in a browser").

I saw some things I want to try (in my capacity as a freelance writer working from a home office), including Zoho ("web-based productivity and collaboration apps").

The big questions on the table, as far as I can see, include: 1) Finding the right uses for these, and fitting them into the existing communications spectrum (e.g., when is email better? when do you pick up the phone? when do you walk over?), 2) training your employees and customers to use them, and 3) security and scaling.

It will be interesting to see next year which exhibitors are still around ... and which have been acquired by bigger fish.

-- TechRevu contributing editor Daniel P. Dern (dern at pair dot com) is a freelance technology writer. His web site is www.dern.com, and his blogs are Trying Technology and Dern Near Everything Else.

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