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Showing posts from March, 2009

Enterprise Wolfram Alpha

Nova Spivack of Twine has an interesting post (on Twine) introducing us to Stephan Wolfram's 'Wolfram Alpha'. This is really exciting news and I'm looking forward to get my hands on this new "answer engine".I still have to think Spivak's post through to really understand what this means for the internet, for search and natural language processing. But, I have a question (for you) without having many answers to this question myself: Can this be used for the enterprise too? If answers to questions can truly be computed, can enterprise-specific questions also be answered using enterprise data (if needed, combined with external world knowledge/data)? Can questions as: why does this part have these specifications, why were they chosen?, be answered? If so, this could be very interesting for companies having loads of unstructured and structured information hanging out all over the place. Providing smart insights over this information using this engine could dra…

Keeping the Blogging Faith

Sometimes I need encouragement to keep on blogging. And then you bump into two older posts by big bloggers like Chris Brogan and Bill Ives. The first has an interesting post about getting little comments on your posts - which does relate to my blog... As one commenter to that post says: Comments are 'the big moral boost for the author'. This is true to me too. But as I wrote before, my primary reason to blog is to structure my thoughts and share them with my readers. Hopefully they will find them interesting and comment every now-and-then.Bill Ives has an interesting post telling bloggers to keep up the good work and don't give up too soon. I too have experienced this. Give blogging time to fit in your system and make sure it remains there. This is where commenting kicks in. Commenting lures you back to your blog and generates ideas for new posts.Maybe we should start saying 'thank you' (as micro-comment) more after reading a post. At least the blogger knows someon…

Your Email Client as the Ideal Enterprise 2.0 tool?

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Tom Kronenburg of CapGemini recently wrote an interesting post on the (Dutch) blog Frankwatching. His post was titled: 'Microsoft Outlook the best Enterprise 2.0 tool...' Nice title eh? At least LuisSuarez won't agree... ;-)If you want to read the whole post, go ahead and translate it with Google Translate. In short Tom's point is: the only successful enterprise 2.0 tools relate directly to email/the email client.This is an interesting thought! His post provides lots of input for discussion. I commented on his post and would like to pass my remarks on to my readers as well, and elaborate a bit.In the first place, I agree with his thesis that web 2.0 concepts and tools should integrate well with the primary workplace of knowledge workers. Which is email mostly. Email is the knowledge worker's habitat. In whatever way you look at it, if you don't integrate with the email client the new tool will be perceived as 'an extra tool'. And in my experience, peop…

PLM meets Enterprise 2.0?

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In my role as an information architect I move between several very different worlds. For one I try to connect business and IT together by speaking their language and translating. Secondly I also move between the more formal systems and informal tooling. Formal systems, strictly related to defined and described business and information processes, seen as harnesses by knowledge workers, but essential to manage product and resource information. On the other hand you have all the 'good stuff' for knowledge workers: email, wiki's, blogs, social networking, bookmarking, etc. They usually love this part!What I find very strange is the fact that you pay millions for the more formal systems, define big projects to implement them and knowledge workers still find them 'hard to use', 'not encouraging creativity and innovation', etc. On the other hand social media are usually free or very cheap, easy to use, etc. What going on here? And isn't there something fundame…

Intranet or Extranet?: The Wrong Question

A late comment on a nice post by Ted Schadler over at Forrester! Tom's post is about the emergence of extranet collaboration platforms and the issues it brings to companies.This is a big trend and big companies are slowly moving their intranet to the extranet. But is this really what we need in our networked world. Is the dichotomy intranet-extranet correct? Isn't our world moving towards a much more mixed landscape, with a very small intranet and the rest is extranet (or should we call it internet)? Knowledge workers want to work on one platform (the internet) and decide which content they want to share with which audience. So, I write a blogpost and decide to share it with only my colleagues, or colleagues and partners, or with the world. I don't want to repost internal stuff on the extranet or the other way around. I want one transparent system to work securely: inside the organization, with partners and with the world.Do you agree? Is this what knowledge workers want?-…

Intranet Strategy and a fusion between Business and ICT (Intranet 2009)

Peter Hinssen will talk about the relation between business and IT. This is problematic, he says. We are still at Intranet 2009.Change is difficult.Big change in IT is consumerization. This is a bad word for IT. IT dispensed cool stuff. That is now over! Bottom-up instead of top-down. We have better IT at home than at work and that changes everything. 'We use Gmail, Google Docs, etc.' And this process will continue in the coming years.The evolving role of IT. Refers to old commercial of IBM, explaining why online is important.Peter is translator between business and IT.The problems for IT started with Y2K. 'IT forgot a 0'... After Y2K nothing changed.IT is dead, IT departments are dead too. IT made silos in the past. Now plug-and-play.The role of IT is now changing too. They can play the central role in innovation in the future. Proctor & Gamble (P&G) as example: 700 IT-ers outsourced to Hewlett-Packard. The other 2000 IT-ers were connected to the business. The…

How to design an intranet? (Intranet 2009)

James Robertson's next talk at Intranet 2009 is about 'How to design an intranet?'Why do people come to the intranet?They are looking for a specific piece of informationThey want to complete a specific taskWhat are they not doing on the intranet?check news every day. There is no news so exciting that people go there every day.browsing around to see what's available, although 'new starters' are a significant audiencePeople don't go to the intranet to have fun.The intranet will be used if it's useful.James explains the UCD methodology to help you design your intranet. Not many people use usability analysis for their intranet evaluation and improvement.Try to answer the question 'I'm looking for' instead of 'How do I?'All navigation is at the left-hand side. But James says: Left-hand navigation is evil.Use information scent to design your intranet. It should be easy to find where you should be on the page when your looking for something…

AegonNet and Self Service (Intranet 2009)

Breakout session at Intranet 2009 on 'AEGONNet and self service' by Paulien van der Lee (Online Communications Manager).Gives overview of the development of their intranet (focus Aegon The Netherlands) and what they're doing on employee self service using intranet.AegonNet consists of 3 parts: eHRM manager, eHRM employee and eHRM worker.Introduced first self service modules some time ago: vacation planning. Plan your vacation removing the role of HR.Did intranet redesign by learning from old one. Brought the amount of page types back to a minimum.Now they have more self service modules. For employees:Vacation planning,My education (no education outside this module!),HR cycle (manager-employee talks, appraisal, etc.Employee benefits choice system,My facility services (meeting reservation system, etc)For managers:View your departmentSalary change procedureCentral account administration (role administration)Central invoice managementThey are working on modules for 'Aegon …

The human factor as criterion for the Intranet (Intranet 2009)

RenĂ© Jansen of Winkwaves talks on 'De menselijke maat als toetssteen voor het intranet' [The human factor as criterion for the intranet] at Intranet 2009.Stresses that we and most people are knowledge workers. How are these workers motivated? Not by clicking through their ERP system. He believes we should focus on social networking and use it more inside organizations. He talks us back to the way it used to be.Communication used to be direct. Then mediated communication came around (post cards, etc.). Next step is mass communication (TV, radio). This implied the distance between individuals increased. We needed new way to manage our contacts. This is the start of social networking, Rene says, to find back weak ties. It is also used to maintain social ties. We use social networks to get new contacts and maintain them. But what are these connections and what do they mean? What does the number of friends in your social network (tool) mean? 17 friends is a lot in the real world. I…

The Evolution of Intranet (Intranet 2009)

Ah, we're starting to live blog Intranet 2009! Great ambiance at MediaPlaza, Utrecht, The Netherlands. I'll be tweeting too here (#intranet2009 and #intra09). Using Twitter search is great during a conference! Found some new interesting people.James Robertson of StepTwo Design will first talk on 'the evolution of intranet'.James says this is the single biggest gathering on intranet in the world!The intranet seem to be at the same point all over the world. James distinguishes 6 phases of intranet.The intranet is born. "We need an intranet!"Rapid organic growth. Common problems emerge: browsing problems, finding problems, management commitment lagging, etc. We were asked to stick up our hands if we recognize this. Almost all did...Repeated redesigns. Problems usually pop up again immediately. In 2-3 years the intranet is a mess again. Then the intranet team says: Let's do a redesign. None of the underlying issues are addressed.Usability and Information Arch…

Hope to see you at Intranet 2009

Tweeted about this some time ago: I will be at Intranet 2009 (in Utrecht, The Netherlands). Really looking forward to it. James Robertson of StepTwo Designs will be there as one of the keynotes. I will be organzing one of the break-out sessions together with Marcel Bijlsma of Telematica Instituut/Novay. It will be about intranet and news ways of working. My part will focus on our enterprise microblogging experiences.I hope to liveblog the conference. And if that's not possible, I'll blog about it afterwards.Hope to see you there. If you're there, please leave a comment or tweet me.--If You Read This and Like It, Tweet This to your Followers:
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It's OK to be an Artist

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Great pod- and vidcast by Tom Kelley of IDEO at Stanford! (Thanks for link @frogpond.) The title of his talk is "How to be an innovator for live?" He give five practical (but hard) tips to tap into the innovator in you. Yes, the innovator, the artist, is in you, Tom says. He shares an interesting anecdote about an artist who went through the classes of an elementary school asking all classes the same question. The question was: 'Who's an artist here?' As you understand in kindergarten everyone was, in 6th grade almost nobody dared to say they were. And if they did, they would look around to see what their friends thought about it.Tom encourages all of use to stay childlike (not childish). 'It's OK to be an artist!' Don't accept the common saying 'Deja vu', but say 'Vu ja de' ('Deja vu' backward...), as they say at IDEO.I love these talks. They inspire me to the max. Maybe because in the adult world we see so little 'Vu …