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Enterprise 2.0: Challenging Economy Pushes Businesses Toward Better Tools

TechWeb's Enterprise 2.0 Conference, Nov. 2 through 5 in San Francisco, aims to connect companies with better business technology.

It's been a rough year for many companies, but Steve Wylie, general manager of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, believes the belt tightening and realignment have helped drive adoption of Enterprise 2.0 technology.

"Just in the last six months to a year, the Enterprise 2.0 market has turned the corner," he said. "Businesses are under a lot of pressure and there's no question the economy has been a catalyst for the Enterprise 2.0 effort."

Enterprise 2.0 -- a term for technology and business practices that emphasize distributed, user-driven communication and collaboration over legacy systems that are more limited, less flexible, and less open -- has moved beyond being a curiosity to being a strategic imperative for many organizations, Wylie contends.

Wylie points to the fact the companies like Adobe, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are offering Enterprise 2.0 tools as a sign of the maturation of the market. "Clearly, the Enterprise 2.0 market has grown up," he said.

Amid signs of an economic thaw, companies like Eli Lilly, Kaiser, MetLife, Nike and Wells Fargo will be sharing their experience implementing Enterprise 2.0 initiatives at next week's conference.

"What I think Enterprise 2.0 offers is a new perspective to make their businesses more transparent, agile, productive," said Wylie.

At the show, which runs from Nov. 2 through Nov. 5, exhibitors will be jockeying to convince attendees of the merits of their wares.

Presentations about integrating Google Wave into enterprise systems and about Microsoft SharePoint should be among the highlights of the conference, not to mention a panel discussion titled, "Is Enterprise 2.0 A Crock?"

Another must-see presentation, according to Wylie, is "The Secret Sauce of Enterprise 2.0 Success at Booz Allen Hamilton."

Various vendors have announcements planned, including Adobe, BroadVision, LeapFile, Linden Lab, LiquidPlanner, nGenera, PBworks, Twiki, Universal Mind, and Yammer.

Linden Lab will be announcing a stand-alone, beta version of its Second Life virtual world that companies can run behind a firewall, for intra-company collaboration and communication.

Adobe will be showcasing a new version of enterprise document management software LiveCycle ES2, which was announced in early October at Adobe's MAX conference.

LiquidPlanner plans to launch its Mobile Dashboard, a mobile project management and collaboration application, for the iPhone.

And Wylie expects to see more mobile innovation in the Enterprise 2.0 space. "Mobile is clearly the next frontier for this market," he said.

TechWeb, which operates the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, also publishes InformationWeek.

The most influential event about the Enterprise 2.0 movement is coming to San Francisco this fall: Enterprise 2.0 Conference Find out more and register.

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