Web 2.0 in the Enterprise – Round 2

Stephen Bryant lists Five Reasons Web 2.0 and Enterprises Don’t Mix (hat tip: Espen Antonsen).  He cites his personal experience of having worked in an innovative small software company that could not close deals with the slow enterprise behemoths. “What we needed was a shorter sales cycle, a very, very big salesforce, or some combination of the two”

One of the key changes we’re experiencing today is that the traditional big salesforce becomes obsolete. 

  • At the recent Web2.0 In the Enterprise event (references here, here, and hereRoss Mayfield, CEO of Socialtext described his bottom-up grassroots approach: first a small team, typically a department, or an ad-hoc project team starts using the hosted wiki … then some other teams within the same organization … eventually Ross walks in to close a corporate level deal, but by the time it’s a fait accompli.  (more in the Wiki Effect).
  • Jeff Nolan of SAP related his experience after making an investment in Socialtext, and bringing the wiki “officially” in-house: he received dozens of emails from SAP-employees who had long been using the hosted version for their own project, just had not told anyone ,since it was “unofficial”.
  • One of Ross’s competitors, Joe Kraus of JotSpot said: “for the bottom-up effect to work, the price has to be expensable, not approvable
  • Of course you could argue the above approach will only be feasible with communication / team collaboration tools, not with Enterprise packages that require the whole company to be on the same platform.  Well, it depends.. as Sales VP in a smaller (30 employee, $5M) company I found myself in a situation where not only my team needed a CRM solution, but the whole company needed some IT modernization. For budgetary and resistance reasons we decided the sales team will march ahead on its own, but we implemented NetSuite, laying the foundation for the rest of the company to join us on one integrated system.
  • Finally, a quote from SugarCRM’s John Roberts: “Software is bought, not sold.”  Nice punchline, not a 100% true, just like the “No Software” tagline from the other guy… but delivers the message: sales is replaced by demand generation, becomes a pull– vs. a push-process.

Next I will talk about how Enterprise Software “comes down” to the SMB sector – but for the sake of readability, it  is in the next post.

P.S. Stephen, perhaps one day we’ll hear about the pig-killing job in Tuscany

Update (2/23):  The Doctrine of Slow and Old: Big Business and New Applications 
Update (2/25)Giving enterprise software practices an ‘angioplasty’   

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  1. Web 2.0 & Enterprise, Round 3: Enterprise Software for Small Businesses

    This post is a continuation of Web 2.0 in the Enterprise – Round 2 in which I reflected on some thoughts brought up by Stephen Bryant in Five Reasons Web 2.0 and Enterprises Don’t Mix.

    The Web 2.0 in the Enterprise TIE event I previously ref…

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