Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Finally a great E20 tool - and people play the social card!

(I'm only kidding about "great E20 tool" there of course)
A double post by Dennis Howlett on Tibco's Tibbr and a few others by a few others led me to write this one - not many people get it, it seems

Enterprise 2.0 is raised from its grave on the one side, Social Business is summoned from the other, but, like Dennis says "that misses the more fundamental point"
Jacob Morgan seemed shocked to hear that one panelist bought tibbr without
thinking about the strategic elements and adoption around the platform

Larry Hawes gets it even wronger:
Do you see it? tibbr is the poster child for Enterprise 2.0, as it was originally defined by Professor Andrew McAfee. tibbr is literally about applying Web 2.0 technology design principles to enterprise systems. Social Business, on the other hand, puts people first – before applications, processes, and subject entries in the corporate taxonomy. The difference could not be clearer.
On CustomerThink someone says this pushes enterprises into Social, Martin Schneider didn't even read the flyer, and there are a few more that have really wild ideas about tibbr

I left Larry a comment explaining that there actually is very little that would fit the narrow definition of E20 to begin with, but there is actually a lot more to say about it. But understanding size is an important one, as well as differences between humans and machines

Social is about humans, people. E20 was about technology, but very strict technology:
Not examples of Enterprise 2.0
  • Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, etc.  These are for individuals on the Web, not companies.  Some companies use sites like YouTube for viral and stealth marketing, but let’s explicitly put these activities outside our definition of Enterprise 2.0.
  • Most corporate Intranets today.  As discussed earlier, they’re not emergent.
  • Groupware and information portals.  Again, these tools don’t facilitate emergence, although this may be starting to change.  Groupware and portals also seem to be less freeform than the Web 2.0 technologies now starting to penetrate the firewall.
  • Email and ‘classic’ instant messaging, because transmissions aren’t globally visible or persistent. Some messaging technologies do ensure that contributions are persistent.
tibbr's not about Social Business. It certainly can't be about E20 anymore. It's about enterprises, size, scale, and the missing link

The Art of Integration, or EDI, or EAI, or more sexy ESB or SOA, has always been about machine-to-machine interaction. B2B, and in the past decade also B2C, was about data flowing from one machine to another, and back. EDIFACT, X12, and some XML that came with B2C.
Social is about humans. Twitter, Facebook, social interactions: people speaking to people, not a machine to be seen. Sure we do it via a new medium, but IRC would have suited us just fine, basically

SocialText, Chatter, Yammer and the like just offer you human-to-human interaction. Yes they can be used in enterprises but I still have to see user-bases of more than 1,000 people actively using one concurrently on a daily basis. SocialText is pretty functional and can be used outside as well, Chatter is a bit less functional and Yammer is strictly microblogging

The great marvel about tibbr is that it offers you the middle-layer: machine-to-human interaction - as well as human-to-human interaction. tibbr is event-driven in the purest sense of the word, where anything can be an event. An application event, a social event. You can get that, or a notification of it.
Get it? You can stay in the loop forever - as long as it can be predicted. Tibco, like any other high-volume processing application, knows that people don't like to stare at monitors to follow streams - they want to get a friendly nudge when they should, preferably via a medium of their choice

In comes Push versus Pull: machines are predictable, run your repeatable processes, and therefore highly "pullable". Humans make for lousy predictability, therefor are very "pushable". Events have to be predefined, and so do notifications. So that can be very specific with machines, but only highly generic and general with humans.

Nonetheless, all this is now in one place, for all, enterprise-wide, highly scalable, manageable, and works inside-out as well as outside-in

tibbr is replacing the humans that usually stand in between machines and humans. Killer-app? How about overhead-killer?

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