From the category archives:

Enterprise Blogging

iUpload Becomes Awareness: New CEO and Significant Investments from Greylock and North Bridge

by Steve Broback on July 23, 2007

Lots of big news today from iUpload. They’ve been a central player in the enterprise blogging game for years (and sponsored the very first BBS conference back in 2005.) They’re one of several players surging forward into the emerging enterprise social media market. They have a new release of the software which contains more “participation options.” We’ll get a demo and report back.

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Jeff Nick Interview: WordPress, Enterprise 2.0 and the EMC Innovation Network

by Steve Broback on July 3, 2007

I had the good fortune to sit down with Jeff Nick CTO of EMC at the excellent Future in Review conference a few weeks back and we discussed the EMC Enterprise 2.0 initiative he calls the “EMC Innovation Network.” A video of the interview is here, and my notes follow.

EMC is trying to achieve two objectives with the Innovation Network. One idea is that the network will create value earlier in the product development pipeline. Traditionally EMC has been very strong on development, but less focused on pure research. Nick is anticipating that the initiative will enhance this dimension of their R&D efforts. The second objective is on collaboration — to provide a means of getting cross-cutting capabilities and innovation across business units.

EMC has grown organically and also through a set of acquisitions. Within business units information flows fairly freely, but the challenge has been breaking through the independent silos so ideas can cross divisional boundaries. Nick feels the systems they’re implementing will provide a collaboration model that cuts across business units.

EMC is not alone in this challenge of propagating knowledge across divisions . Nick’s discussions at FiRe with Mark Bregman and Tom Malloy (the CTOs of Symantec and Adobe respectively), made it clear to him that other organizations are also also challenged with cross-divisional knowledge transfer.

Nick told me that initially he focused on providing a platform for process innovation. He identified a set of areas where crossing the seams between business units would be a priority. He began with the intersection of security and information management, and then where resource management and information management came together.

Content management and collaboration are key to the initiative. Nick feels these are arenas where Web 2.0 technologies excel. In the collaborative sphere, the requirements for EMC were:

    • To get people to be able to find each other
    • To communicate and socialize ideas
    • To harvest those ideas
    • To iterate across organizational boundaries
    • Enable rapid sharing, and materialization of collateral

Nick and his team investigated the capabilities of current open source collaborative tools and also talked to companies providing proprietary technology. EMC finally settled on what Nick calls a “framework model” which allows for integration of a variety of different tools. They specifically did not want to be locked into any particular monolithic platform. Nick’s team also preferred tools that their user community was already familiar with, and liked to use.

EMC largely settled on open-source applications including WordPress. The only proprietary technology they’re using is Documentum which is designed to securely share content and documents, but not a great way to collaborate. These tools have been enhanced by EMC with code to provide enhanced security, and some WordPress plugins are in development.

Nick’s team now has blogging and Wiki capabilities, along with RSS feeds, and instant messaging.

The collaboration is not just internal — the collaboration includes many university partners and these outsiders are granted access to the full capabilities of the system.

We’re working to get someone from EMC to our upcoming event to discuss the specifics of the tools they’ve implemented.

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How are Intel’s Business Bloggers Chosen?

by Teresa Valdez Klein on May 9, 2007

Jeremiah Owyang did a really interesting interview with Intel Internet Strategist Bryan Rhoads. For the most part, I found it really informative, but I’m going to nitpick on one particular question that I feel wasn’t fully answered.

Owyang asked, “Do you have an Blog Policy? What’s the publishing process like for the Intel Blogs, and who’s involved? Who is allowed to blog and how are they selected?”

Rhoads replied:

We do have a policy for employees that is essentially an extension of our long standing communications policy. Its very much inline with former electronic communications policies, but updated to accommodate the medium and new technologies…

There is no “content workflow” through PR, Marketing or Legal… it’s the blogger communicating directly w/ his or her audience. Unfiltered and straight from the blogger’s keyboard to the live blog.

Given that there is no filter for content before it is published, it seems rather important that Intel choose bloggers who will represent the company well. I don’t mean to imply that Intel bloggers are required to drink the Kool Aid before they can speak, but I would like to know what criteria they use to determine who can blog.

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United States Army Needs a World Class Enterprise Blogging System, Not a Blog Ban

by Teresa Valdez Klein on May 2, 2007

The United States Army has instituted regulations requiring that a commanding officer approve all posts to personal blogs.

The concern is that non-classified information might leak out to enemy intelligence through seemingly harmless blog posts. And commanding officers who don’t want to take unnecessary career risks or spend additional time vetting blog posts may simply ban the practice outright.

In a statement to Wired, retired paratrooper Matthew Burden of The Blog of War anthology said, “This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging. No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has — it’s most honest voice out of the war zone. And it’s being silenced.”

If ever there was an organization in need of a world-class enterprise blogging platform, the United States Army — the whole military, for that matter — is it. Rather than putting the burden of supervision directly on overworked, stressed out and ill-prepared commanding officers, why not have a group back home that screens blog posts as they come in?

The vast majority of information that is posted on military blogs is utterly harmless, and silencing the voices of soldiers abroad and at home is ill-advised. It seems that the military is throwing the baby out with the bathwater when all they need is a good platform.

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