After just coming back from E2.0 in Boston it's safe to say that most vendors in the space (or so it seems) are moving in the same direction, towards enterprise collaboration, and when I say "enterprise collaboration" I literally mean collaboration for the enterprises, as in large companies. Which leaves me asking, "what about small and medium size businesses?" The small and medium size businesses in the E2.0 space are being under served in my opinion. It also makes one wonder if a small or medium size business has the same needs as an enterprise business to begin with. I say no.From speaking with various companies of different shapes and sizes (and from owning a small business, Chess Media Group) I can say that while Enterprise size organizations are interested in collaboration many small businesses (and some mid size as well) are not. Again, this is an observation but it seems as though smaller businesses are more interested in business management tools as opposed to collaboration tools. The business I run works with a handful of people and the issue that we run into is that we are using multiple tools to do things such as share documents, invoice clients, email market, project manage, time track, and keep track of contacts. We don't have trouble collaborating on things that needs to get done but we do run into challenges when it comes time to using multiple tools to run our business.It wouldn't make sense for many smaller organizations to use Sharepoint, Jive, Cisco's Quad, or a host of other "collaboration" tools on the market today, but what about an overall business management tool (there are several possible candidates that I am aware of)? Something that allows me to access Gdocs, Mailchimp, Freshbooks, integrate my contacts, and do anything else I need to manage my small business from one platform/interface?Larger organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees have specific departments that handle these tasks and their challenges are based around finding the right people and information to get their jobs done in the best way possible.So let me ask you, are business management tools more suited for small and medium size businesses whilst collaboration tools are more relevant for larger companies? What have you seen?Jacob is the Principal of Chess Media Group, a Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 consultancy. Jacob also blogs on Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0, you can find him on Twitter @JacobM.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.