At Procter & Gamble, The Good And Bad Of Web 2.0 Tools - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
6/22/2007
07:01 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

At Procter & Gamble, The Good And Bad Of Web 2.0 Tools

It once bet its collaboration strategy on Microsoft tools. It’s expanded to consider more Web 2.0 tools, but getting them implemented and used is far from easy.

Ever since A.G. Lafley be-came CEO of Procter & Gamble in 2000, he has pushed employees to improve how they collaborate with one another and with partners in order to develop new products faster. With a supportive CEO and today's myriad Web 2.0 options, what possible problems could face Joe Schueller, who's driving P&G's adoption of new collaboration tools?

How about e-mail, which Schueller describes as the biggest barrier to employee use of more interactive and effective tools. "As a sender of an e-mail, I control the agenda of everyone around me," Schueller says. E-mailers decide who has permission to read a message, and the Reply To All button ensures that peripheral participants will be prompted long after they have lost all interest. Blogs, in contrast, beg for comments from those most interested. Schueller also faces the harrumphing of employees who see anything other than e-mail as an addition to their workloads. "We consistently hear that information posted to the intranet is incremental work," he says.

Schueller's got an e-mail problem -- Photo by Alex Dunne

Schueller's got an e-mail problem

Photo by Alex Dunne
Business technology execs at last week's Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston are past the new concept stage; they're looking to put practical technology in place. "A year ago, I met with a group of Fortune 25 CEOs who didn't know anything about wikis. Now they ask me how these tools can integrate with their existing content management systems," says Kim Polese, CEO of open source systems integrator SpikeSource, which is selling a suite of Web 2.0 tools that includes Movable Type blogs and Socialtext wikis.

P&G provides a study of how Enterprise 2.0 will take shape given the scope of its project and the way it draws on tools from startups as well as big-name vendors. In 2005, P&G laid plans for a Microsoft-centric collaboration initiative, with instant messaging, unified communications, and presence using Live Communications Server; Web conferencing with Live Meeting; and content management and collaboration via SharePoint. About 80,000 employees use Microsoft IM, and 20,000 have moved to Outlook. P&G has a few SharePoint sites running, and the major rollout begins in August.

InformationWeek Download

For the past year, Schueller has been leading an Enterprise 2.0 effort with the backing of CIO Filippo Passerini that aims to bring employees a more diverse toolset. The company has brought on Movable Type blogging software, which employees have used to create hundreds of blogs, including ones by the VP of design (inspired by a blog by General Motors design guru Bob Lutz); by the public relations department on how to discuss company issues externally; and by Schueller, read mostly by IT folks. In the next few months, P&G will launch social networking intended to make it easier to find people with needed expertise.

Even as Microsoft and IBM keep expanding their Web 2.0-style collaboration capabilities--with social networking tools like Lotus' Connections and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007's support for blogs, wikis, and calendar sharing--many companies are concluding that one platform won't be enough.

"If I do everything in Microsoft, what does that do to your modularity, to flexibility?" says Schueller, whose title is innovation manager in P&G's Global Business Services. "I wouldn't generalize that just to Microsoft. It's all the big vendors." IT also needs to learn how to incorporate tools employees bring in themselves, he says.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll