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Open Text on Enterprise 2.0

1995-6 I was VP of strategic marketing at Open Text, right when it went from search engines to intranet collaboration software. I’m at a CIO ass’n meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, where Open Text’s exec chair, and my old boss (and current friend), Tom Jenkins is giving a talk on Enterprise 2.0. Also, last year I did a paid consulting day at Open Text. So, I am biased in just about every way a person can be biased, from sentimental memories to the possibility of future consulting. With that in mind, here goes:

Tom begins by pointing to the Obama campaign. “2.0 is here,” he says, pointing at Obama’s “community blogs” page. Politicians are breaking out of the confines of the media. But, of course, not just politicians, he says.

Web 2.0 really points to two facts: We have bandwidth and an enormous volume of users. (Web 2.0 was always with us in some ways, says Tom, as I nod vigorously.) In 2.0, everyone gets to talk and everyone gets to listen.

He points to the dangers of a 2.0 world. E.g., a Canadian passport control person blogged about the secret marks on passports. The blog site had been intended to increase productivity, but because it was a public site, a secret was blown. Nevertheless, says Tom, “You can’t bury your head in the sand. In the long term, you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage with companies that do embrace these productivity tools.” Not to mention, you won’t be able to hire and keep under-30s (Tom says).

Tom calls Web 1.5 what happened around 2000. Also around then, the lawyers started getting nervous.

Tom contrasts Web 1.0 and Web 2.0: from inform to engage, from few authors to many, from few contributors to many. In Web 2.0, treats the Web as a platform with “desktop-level bandwidth” (or so).

Tom places metadata at the center of content management [and literally points to me in the audience <blush>]


“Social networking is shaping the minds of our employees,” his slide says. Yahoo, Google, etc., are “pre-training our employees.”

We’re starting to map the business processes to the social and human processes, Tom says. This requires getting past technology lock-ins.

Some random facts from Tom:
We have produced 32 M books in our history. That’s about 600 TeraBytes
100,000 films cumulative history= 20TB
4M songs cumulative history = 8TB
300TB of email per year.
100TB Web pages = 100

Alp Hug from Open Text takes up the talk, to explain how to take advantage of 2.0 technology in the organization while avoiding the dangers, which — what a shock! — happens to map to Open Text’s software and services. [It’s good to see Open Text embracing this social software stuff.] [Tags: ]

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