Thursday, August 02, 2007

Some insight from an Enterprise that has implemented wikis and other 2.0 features

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I have posted before about how i think that Sun Microsystems gets it especially the OneStop folks. The OneStop Secret Sauce public blog always provides insight into implementing 2.0 strategies into the enterprise and over the months they have brought in more authors to the blog like Christy Confetti Higgins from the Sun Learning Services (which i think used to be called the Sun Library). I guess i am one of those non-Sun people that follows it and i always recommend it to customers that are looking to implement 2.0 tools like Wikis as part of their enterprise content creation and delivery.

This week Paul Diamond posted about some of the upcoming enhancements that they are looking to provide. Although he does not go into detail (perhaps they will in future posts) it is extremely useful if you are just starting with your Wiki strategy to keep this items in mind as you set your implementation and adoption strategy.

Paul Diamond writes:

Our plan is to:
  • merge OneStop and CEpedia into a wiki with access control so that not just anyone can edit everything (after all, you wouldn't want me to be updating anything remotely approaching technical content - trust me on this), but updates are easier and therefore more frequent.
Some organizations (i would venture to say many) are going to find that an overall free for all might not be the best approach. It isn't because you are afraid that a content producer is going to create 'bad' content with dirty words- but because authority and trust are key to effective uses of content in the enterprise- one slip and your audience will go elsewhere. so think ahead what type of access control you will need.
  • We also want to host this outside of our intranet so that initially our partners can also have access, including update capability where appropriate. Over time we would like to share as much as possible of this information with everyone, but that will take more "cleansing" of what information should be public knowledge and what needs to be restricted
Sun, like many technology companies in the valley have a huge channel/partner network that does a lot of selling and services of their core businesses. Obviously there is a huge need to be able to share information with partners- but it must be the right information. Take for example a common piece of collateral like a product technical scope sheet. It could essentially have three different 'formats' a client facing one that provides high level features, a partner one that provides more details and partner pricing information and a direct sales one that could be the most comprehensive. In most of today's enterprise- marketing is most likely producing three types and posting in three different areas. If you think through some of these content strategies up front you won't have to deal with the 'cleansing' that the OneStop team is going to have to address. (btw a great resource on unified content strategies is Ann Rockley's book Managing Enterprise Content.)
  • Additionally, we are introducing various Web 2.0 concepts - tagging, RSS / Atom aggregation, AJAX, voting/comments to drive search results, etc. so that we obtain the benefits of this more participatory technology (aka the Wisdom of Crowds) at the same time as understanding how to leverage this technology better for our customers.
Excellent-looking forward to hearing more about these implementations. OneStop alone (not sure about combined OneStop and CEpedia audience) has over 10,000 users out of Sun's 35,000 employees- that is a healthy audience that probably expects only the most innovative ways to consume, create and deliver content and this team is going to give them what they need and the best part is that they are going to continue to share how they do it with the public.

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