Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Enterprise 2.0 and Mobile Software Applications

The term Enterprise 2.0 is receiving a lot of press these days (see definition of Enterprise 2.0). In this article we are going to discuss possible use cases for Enterprise 2.0 in the context of enterprise mobile applications.

Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen defined Enterprise 2.0 in this way, "a system of web based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration (kudos for buzz words), information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise." The bottom line, unstructured information sharing tools for use by the enterprise.

Many of the online references to Enterprise 2.0 are referring to intranet or internal company communications. Since mobility is more interesting, let's focus on how Enterprise 2.0 could be used external to the company in a B2B (business to business) context.

OK, an EnterpriseBook instead of a FaceBook. What information would one company like to share with another? Hummm...location of job sites, upcoming projects, RFPs, press releases, announcements, product catalogs etc. The problem is that when money is on the line companies go silent. They want to control the communication of information and protect the business. They don't want to share information that could fall into the hands of a competitor. So where is the value for enterprise mobile applications?

I see the value when multiple partners win business together. Let's say 6 companies are working together to complete a building project. These companies need to share and collaborate information on various parts of the project. The framers need to know when the foundation is completed, the plumbers need to know when the walls are up, the roofers need to know when the plywood is in place, etc. All of these mobile contractors need to know the status of the project. It would be good to see project photos. It would be good to know about any issues in advance. It would be nice to know what is going to be done today, an online project journal in the status section of EnterpriseBook.

Many of the contractors mentioned above work in mobile environments. They would benefit from having a mobile version of Enterprise 2.0 on a Smart phone or other ruggedized mobile handheld computer.

I could also see trusted business partners sharing sales leads. They could quickly identify the GPS coordinates of a potential lead and share with one of their partners.
How about sharing the price of medical insurance among business partners, or sharing the price of different medical procedures (ICD9 codes) in different medical practices so you can reward the medical practices with the most reasonable rates with your business?

Perhaps form your own buyers' co-op online through EnterpriseBook. You and your company's partners could combine your buying power for shared products and services. The discounted products and services could be listed in mobile applications integrated with GPS features so the various locations of the discounted products could show up on your map. Silly? Perhaps, but many new innovations start this way.
For a related article on Enterprise 2.0 from SD Times click here.
OK, it is now your turn! Where is the value for Enterprise 2.0 in the context of enterprise mobility? Please comment or send me an email.

Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobile Strategy, Sales and Marketing Consultant