Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Getting beyond email for collaboration

Steve Wylie, GM of the Enterprise 2.0 Expo, had a great column in Information Week last week on the impact of Enterprise Web 2.0 inside organizations, titled "Get Ready for Transparency and Collaboration." There's a lot of good stuff here, and it's a great introduction to the whole Enterprise 2.0 concept. After talking about Dr. McAfee's E2.0 definition and SLATES model, he gets into the weaknesses of email as a collaboration tool:

We have become addicted to e-mail in a sort of love-hate relationship. We check our e-mail obsessively yet dread the ceaseless flow of messages to our in-boxes and, of course, the endless spam. We struggle to find relevant information buried in an e-mail or question whether the right people are copied on a thread. E-mail is a closed communication medium that does a poor job of capturing and sharing knowledge, a key ingredient to success in any business and a key feature of Enterprise 2.0.

Enterprise 2.0 tools offer a chance to break our e-mail addiction and our reliance on other Enterprise 1.0 applications. These tools unlock new value in the form of transparent, contextual communication; ease of access to information; and more effective use of data trapped inside applications, on desktops, or embedded in e-mail attachments. They allow us to capture the knowledge and opinions trapped in the minds of our knowledge workers through simple participation. The early adopters of Enterprise 2.0 tools and concepts are finding them both powerful and liberating.

He then goes on to discuss the culture shift required and the challenges. Adoption can take some coaxing, but the benefits are amazing (see the list on our home page), and most people I've spoken to can't imagine trying to go back to email for collaboration after using a powerful E2.0 tool like OpenTeams.

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