Tech Predictions 2009: Cisco will be KLM – Air France biggest challenger

Having to attend a lot of meetings can result in traveling a few hours per week to arrive at the meeting place. Especially when your colleagues are working at a different location (or even in another country) you can earn a lot of Airmiles. You can give yourself a nice present from your enormous amount of Airmiles, however I do think you prefer a less time consuming, less costly and even perhaps a greener solution.

As Cisco moves the last few years by buying Webex, Postpath, Pure Networks, Faive Across and acquiring Jabber it is clear that communication is a big thing for Cisco. Since Cisco is so thoroughly expanding its footprint on communication it is could be just a matter of time that Cisco will become the biggest challenger of the passenger transportation branch. Cisco is able to offer a platform on which you interact with each other without spending hours in airports or in your car, without spending hundreds of euros / dollars on gasoline or tickets and without increasing the CO2 exhaust more.

Save time, solve traffic congestion issues

The new way of traveling to meetings will be gaining ground in 2009: you will have your meetings at the place you prefer and the other attendees will be at the place they prefer. You’ll travel less, saving you days or even weeks of time in which you can do useful things. You’ll save money on tickets and gasoline and you can even mention that you are a greener person who is not pushing extra CO2 in the atmosphere while driving your car to another meeting. You could even be one of those who is solving the traffic congestion issues by not being on the road during peak hours.

I’ll be looking forward to my meetings in 2009, are you?

There is no such thing as a phase two

When developing enterprise 2.0 solutions there is no such thing as a phase two in which you can do product enhancements that are left out in phase one. If you did not start with a proper enhanced product or service within your E2.0 environment that has value for your colleagues or employees, you will deliver a bunch of code that can be redirected to the scrapheap.

In E2.0 you have to create services that add value, in Web2.0 you cant ake the risk of not doing that. Why is E2.0 so strict? Simply: your target audience is way smaller and mistakes aren’t tolerated in E2.0. In Web2.0 you create a poorly interface or service and people still will adopt it (Twitter is one of the best examples, it had structural outages, a poor interface and still the community was growing). Besides that E2.0 does not equal Web2.0. Just building your E2.0 solution is not enough, as Thomas Vander Wal said in his Tale of the two tunnels :

Many organizations initial believe that Web 2.0 tools will take off and have great adoption inside an organization. But, this is not a “build it and they will come” scenario, even for the younger workers who are believed to love these tools and services and will not stay in a company that does not have them. The reality is the tools need selling their use, value derived from them, the conceptual models around what they do, and easing fears. Adoption rates grow far beyond the teen percentages in organizations that take time guiding people about the use of the tools and services. Those organizations that take the opportunity to continually sell the value and use for these tools they have in place get much higher adoption and continued engagement with the tools than those who do nothing and see what happens

For example: I overheard a conversation concerning a portal that should be build within a company to help employees with their work live balance. This portal would contain, in phase one, only functionality to plan a trip from location A to B and would provide a comparison on different transportmodes (phase two would have more functionality). Imagine you being at home starting your day with planning how you could get from your home (location A) to a customer (location B) and you start planning with the tool provided on the internal portal: You first have to startup your company laptop, than connect via VPN to the company network, go to the portal and than plan your trip. Or what you also could have done was going to a public site that is offering exact the same service and plan your trip (without using VPN, without your company laptop, you can even use this public application via phone).

It might be clear that there will not be a phase two for this portal project. Simply because it does not add value and the adoption rate in phase one is too low (if any at all). If you are planning to build an E2.0 solution: add value, sell value, sell value, add value, sell value, sell value, sell value, add value (this process is should be repeated over and over again).