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Enterprise 2.0 August 1, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Enterprise 2.0, the use of social media and social networking tools in a business setting, is having a major impact on how employees learn and share information. As learning professionals, it’s becoming increasingly important that we stay aware of these changes and understand how and why they’re happening. We need to play a bigger role in understanding and selecting Enterprise 2.0 tools, and we need to partner and collaborate with our IT departments along the way. Let’s dive in to learn more about Enterprise 2.0 and learn more about why it matters to us.

What is Enterprise 2.0?

According to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference web site: "Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility."

Essentially, Enterprise 2.0 is the idea of creating an ecosystem of open, connected tools while growing and nurturing a culture of learning and sharing. Yes, it sounds a little soft and fluffy, but the main idea is to encourage employees to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and become more independent learners. This is very much in line with the theory of informal learning and social learning. Some of the more common tools related to Enterprise 2.0 are blogs (ex. WordPress), wikis (ex. MediaWiki), micro-blogging platforms (ex. Yammer or Present.ly), social bookmarking sites (ex. Scuttle), and even in-house social networks, similar to Facebook.

What role should we play?

Rather than look for ways to integrate Enterprise 2.0 tools with the LMS, I believe we need to take time to experiment and identify which tools have the most value at our organizations. Enterprise 2.0 is definitely not a one-size-fits-all situation. In fact, I find that if you have the right mindset, you’ll naturally figure out what works at your organization. For example, if you determine that you’re going to help connect people to people, and people to information, you’ll start to see areas where these tools will fit naturally in your organization. Don’t try to shoehorn fancy new technology where you think it will succeed. Listen to your learners, run small pilot programs (many of these tools are open-source / free), and experiment. Fortunately, unlike an LMS, you can install several of these tools and experiment under the radar. Then, after you start to see potential areas of success, you can be more visible and vocal with your efforts. (Depending on your situation and your comfort-level with technology, you may want to have an ally in your IT department during your experimentation. They can help install some of the tools / systems for you.)

Enterprise 2.0 Resources

Take some time to check out some of the links below. These are some of the best Enterprise 2.0 resources I’ve found:



1. Joe Deegan - August 13, 2009

Thanks for the links to the great resources. I am currently fighting to bring Enterprise 2.0 and have learned it’s definitely not something you can just flip the switch on. Unfortunately, not everybody jumps on to web 2.0 resources like us in the eLearning community do. I completely agree with you that the best way to go about this is with smaller projects then advertising the heck out of successful results. I am currently in the process of implementing a wiki and I am having the most success gaining adoptance through smaller projects. It’s taking a while but getting near the tipping point. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is to not expect everyone in your organization to jump on these tools as quickly as you do.

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[…] the real face of the next generation of business, organizational learning, and productivity around Enterprise 2.0 platforms, communities, and […]

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4. Mahendra - November 24, 2009

Pretty much agree with Joe. Starting small with a proof of concept that should cost no more than 15 to 20 K would be a good beginner without loosing sleep on ROI. There are vendors, like us, who are offering these solutions built on low cost open source platforms.

Once an enterprise sees user interest and adoption to a well integrated workflow for the new app, it could justify the subsequent phases of investments quiet easily.

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