Collaborative Enterprise Environments (Enterprise 2.0)

21 Nov

Following on from my previous blog about the integration of social media in the enterprise I will now discuss the term Enterprise 2.0 and a recent case involving QUMAS (QUMAS is the leader in Compliance & Quality Management Solutions for Life Sciences)

The term “Enterprise 2.0” was first coined in March of 2006 by Harvard Business School Associate Professor Andrew McAfee in an MIT Sloan Management Review article entitled “Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration.” It refers to the strategic integration of social software and collaborative technologies into an enterprise’s intranet, extranet and business processes and emphasizes employee, partner and consumer collaboration. Enterprise 2.0 implementations generally use a combination of social software and collaborative technologies like blogs, RSS, social bookmarking, social networking and wikis. Although having being around for around a decade, the true potential of the collaborative enterprise environment is only really starting to being realized.

For example, at a recent presentation I attended, the VP of Marketing at QUMAS, discussed a problem clients of the company had identified. Clients of QUMAS would be tier one pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer and Eli Lily. Some of their clients want to move away from legacy systems to a more collaborative approach. She identified an ability to collaborate with other virtual companies in a virtual eco-system as where the real growth will be. The adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies can spur efficiency, productivity and innovation by encouraging employees and other stakeholders to share information and discuss business problems in an open, collaborative setting. It is these factors that QUMAS are hoping to achieve with their collaborative initiative.

This virtualized pharmaceutical environment will

  • Help two or more companies work together
  • Open one area of a company without risking other parts of their intellectual property
  • Oversee who has access to the information, edit the information, etc

She also identified that companies are moving away from creating one or two “blockbuster” drugs and moving towards identifying many personalized medicines which would target a specific type of diabetes or a specific elderly condition for example. Thus, the collaborative environment would allow for a better cohesion of ideas across different firms in the life sciences sector.

One of the areas she highlighted as being problematic in the implementation of this project was employee adoption. This is often cited by IT leaders as the biggest challenge to implementing enterprise social media. Unless the tools help employees work better or be more productive, engaging in corporate social media may often be seen as just another task.

To remedy this, IT leaders who believe in the power of social collaboration are going beyond simply installing a platform and are getting employees engaged. This was something General Electric Co. kept in mind as it crafted its Colab social collaboration platform, launched in early 2012. To ensure employee investment, for example, the platform was released as a work in progress. This meant workers had the opportunity to weigh in on its functions and features. This is an example QUMAS should look to imitate when following through with their project. It is clear that this type of virtual eco-system will become more and more the norm in the near future.

Comments, questions, suggestions on the topic are welcome.






5 Responses to “Collaborative Enterprise Environments (Enterprise 2.0)”

  1. agblogail November 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Excellent post Steepletoes, I was actually at that presentation also. I found it a very interesting field but never thought to do a blog on it. I also liked the enterprise 2.0 piece, which the Qumas VP didn’t mention herself but is what she was talking about. Would like to get your opinion, the VP spoke of how regulated the pharmacuetical market is, do you feel that could be problematic especially with some laws regarding IT and internet still not up to date?

  2. timh88 November 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Interesting use of an example to highlight the potential benefits of adopting enterprise 2.0 technologies within a specific industry, especially one that is so rooted in it’s ways. This idea also ties in with the broader topic of virtualisation which is another major IS trend for the future. Excellent post as usual!

  3. steepletoes November 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks for your comment ‘agblogail’. The VP mentioned in her presentation that Regulation in 2013 will end the acceptance of paper and hard copy (i.e. CD) submissions of information, thus QUMAS’s role as the vendor would need to facilitate the quick submission of information. The new Regulation will especially leave the smaller pharmaceutical organisations in a vulnerable position as they will have to get involved in this virtual world out of necessity in order to comply with the new industry standards. Thus Regulation is forcing this move on pharmaceutical companies.

    In terms of responsibility, the VP also said that trust and accountability of the vendor, QUMAS, of the solution is the main issue. They are responsible in ensuring a very strict share point access in their collaborative environment. For this, she highlighted they use SunGuard security, ranked as one of the best by Forbes.

    To summarize, Regulation is forcing pharmaceutical firms to modernize their methods of transferring information so it’ll be up to them to source out a means by doing this, which QUMAS hope will send clients their way. It is then up to QUMAS to be responsible for the security and management of the collaborative environment and the information within it, which they have secured SunGuard to do. QUMAS, as leader in Compliance & Quality Management Solutions for Life Sciences, shouldn’t find any problems in this area.

  4. steepletoes November 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Thanks very much timh88


  1. Big Data without Business Intelligence is like Jelly without Ice Cream « So Opinionated … - November 29, 2012

    […] action is in business intelligence at the moment, as well as collaboration (as I’ve discussed here) and anything at the customer interface. All of these trends line up with information and […]

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