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Friday, February 17, 2006

Web 2.0, Enterprise & Enterprise Software Models

I recently covered the perspective,Web 2.0is not about specific technologies, but more to do with new ways of exploiting what can be done over the net. A great way to get a feel for web 2.0 is to look at new geographic applications such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Microsoft's Virtual Earth. They bring together cartography, aerial photography and internet search to create a compelling answer to the question "where?" Web 2.0 sites are portal-friendly, easy to aggregate and easy to link to. This is where representational state transfer (Rest) architecture is valuable - the idea that even on a dynamic site everything should be URL-addressable. If a site has an API or even just an RSS feed, someone is thinking on the right lines, especially if it is useful for mobile devices as well as the desktop. Another characteristic is simplicity. Web 2.0 sites do everything to accommodate the user. Web 2.0 is about conversation, which is not just a feedback form, but new ways of interacting with users. Calling for a reality check, I wrote that moving forward like in the e-business space, we need to have the wisdom and mechanisms for cross-integrating/leveraging web 2.0 applications for larger benefits – this calls for standards in development, build & integration blocks – all this would come only out of a solid base of web 2.0 apps that get built beneath – truly a tall order given the fragile nature of several web2.0 entities. We can definitely see a petering out of the web 2.0 momentum as we see it now and several entities would disappear – but one hope is that out of this something robust and strong might emerge – but we have cut through the hype
Zoli Erdos blogs about the recently held panel discussion titled,"Web 2.0 in the Enterprise" and shares the conclusion from the panel.
• Web 2.0 is people, collaboration, creating together.
• Business Model change is more important than technology change.
• The divider between consumer and enterprise software will blur.
• Give up control, gain value.
• Start small, grow bottom up.
• The question is not what new programs can do for us, but now that we're enabled, what do we do together, better

I am still not too sold on web2.0 becoming an integral part of enterprise software or business activities. I particularly like Jeff Nolan’s response on how to absorb Web 2.0 inside the enterprise –when he says that history is against us, few companies make the transition. But rules exist to break them :-) Today's vendors invest hugely in technology & points to the story by Shai Agassi : CTO of Prcoter & Gamble told him if the SAP system goes down for 4 hours, it takes out the quarterly profit. His observation that Oracle is buying its own LAMP stack & they can only beat SAP by changing the game : removing licence revenue entirely & that it can be argued that Oracle and SAP are already in the subscription business: maintenance revenue , deserves serious consideration. On a related note see my recent note, time to relook at software maintenance models and revenue stream.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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