In late 2004 I implemented JotSpot and NetSuite about the same time. The wiki project was a few weeks ahead, and within days of starting with NetSuite it became clear that there are potential areas of overlap between the two. For example we had already started to maintain competitor-, trade association info on the Jot wiki, also managed our marketing and sales collateral there (version control is a lifesaver), and all of a sudden we realized there is a more structured home for this information within NetSuite.
So early on we had to make decisions on what information should live in the wiki or the CRM system, and we took care of the “integration” by cross-linking such pages. As rudimentary this approach was, it worked well, and both being hosted applications we could surf back-and-forth seamlessly .
The experience was an eye-opener to me: all businesses have a need for both structured and unstructured (OK, semi-structured) data management, collaboration, and this means a potentially huge channel for the wiki guys: their product should be a natural extension of all Enterprise Applications (ERP, CRM, Accounting …etc).
These are seemingly two different worlds: traditional enterprise software is process-driven, while the wiki guys consider process dead, it’s all about freewheeling, creative collaboration of independent minds. Well, businesses need both.
Back then we were Jot’s first corporate customers, so I had direct channels to Joe, and recommended him to team up with the likes of NetSuite, Salesforce ..etc. The idea was not a winner, they were busy building their word-of-mouth, bottom-up, quick-signup pipeline, and Enterprise Software appeared to be a strangely different world.
I’m glad to see they have come around, as expressed in Joe’s excellent writeup, as well as their partnering with Salesforce.com. Congratulations!
And to the rest of the Enterprise Software world (my old world): you guys ALL need a wiki.