I had the chance to attend the Enterprise 2.0 conference this week in Boston and I was pleasantly surprised to see some very welcome developments and improvements in the companies and products that were at the conference.
I had the chance to attend the Enterprise 2.0 conference this week in Boston and I was pleasantly surprised to see some very welcome developments and improvements in the companies and products that were at the conference.The first time I attended Enterprise 2.0 I have to admit that I wasn't that impressed. Most of the products I saw were a stretch in some way, typically being either a very consumer oriented product with only minimal business capabilities or a traditional enterprise application with a couple of "Web 2.0" features grafted on.
In subsequent shows more of the products I saw fit better into an "Enterprise 2.0" definition in that they were clearly using cutting edge social, mobile and web development technologies to solve enterprise business problems. But many of the products didn't seem to have much of a business plan themselves, and products and vendors that were making money with their enterprise 2.0 offerings were few and far between.
But after attending this week's show, it may turn out that this is the year that enterprise 2.0 companies and products have finally arrived.
At the conference I was impressed by how many of the companies that I spoke to were making profits and had impressive and growing enterprise customer lists. More companies were talking about making big sales and not so much about giving their product away for free with some future hope of making money (though there were definitely still some of the latter category present at the show).
Another welcome site at the Enterprise 2.0 conference was the large vendors in attendance who were showing legitimate and often very good enterprise 2.0 products that compared very well to the small start-up "2.0" vendor's products. Many of the products I saw on display from vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, Novell and SAP weren't merely their old products with, say, social networking capabilities bolted on. They were instead often very good and innovative enterprise 2.0 products with strong collaboration capabilities.
So while the still struggling economy is a concern for all businesses, from what I saw at the Enterprise 2.0 show this week, it looks like enterprise 2.0 products may finally have taken off their training wheels and gotten ready to ride with the other big boys in enterprise applications.
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