Bob Thompson – There ought to be a business goal

I don’t know what the collaborative enterprise really means I think it’s a bit of a buzzword whether you call it the social enterprise which salesforce.com is pushing, or the collaborative enterprise. There is… like I was saying there, the term has been around for sometime, and I went back and I pulled from my article a couple of years ago. The term for the technology enabled collaboration, back in the early days, was CSCW. Doesn’t that roll right off the tongue? “Computer-supported cooperative work” is what that meant, it was coined in 1984. And since then there has been lots of technology changes, and the business environment continues to evolve. So short answer is no, I don’t see any one particular form. I think, I have talked to a number of people in the collaborative space, I was just at that Enterprise 2.0 conference here in Santa Clara. And my take on it is that, the good news is that there is more attention being given to why is this important. Why aren’t we collaborating? Why is it important for people to share information, and do this and the all other things, and it sure is more than just getting rid of email messages.

There ought to be a business goal. And so depending on the nature of the company, I think you see some companies that work on a project basis, where certain teams get together because they have something they are trying to get done, they bring a team together, they collaborate and they get it done and they’re just being on. In other enterprises, where it will be necessary to interact with a broad range of people, more generally, you might see it be more truly a collaborative enterprise kind of culture, perhaps the Cisco’s and IBM’s of the world can be described that way, but I think it’s going to be everything in-between as well.

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