RAA#5: Fostering Innovation in a Mashup-oriented Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Environment

Soriano, J., & Lizcano, D. (2007). Fostering Innovation in a Mashup-oriented Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Environment. Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Madrid.

Purpose:  The purpose of this research was to promote the idea that workers in the firm are “co-producers” of the software services they are suppose to use each day, as well as the content it contains.

Methods:  The method used for the study was a case study analysis of Telefonica –  a firm that manages customer service trouble tickets through their large scale knowledge management team.  A detailed description of the company’s operating procedures, business concerns and existing IT limitations were elaborated upon.  The authors then described how in a “grassroots” movement, a portion of the organization created a Ent2.0 Mashup solution that allowed for better customer service and improved solution gathering.

Main findings: The main finding of this study were the descriptive aspects of the firm as they implemented Ent.2.0 tools that fostered collaboration and information sharing; namely how the firm was able to improve their organizational processing through the use of wikis and their “EZWeb” business mashup tool.  The authors suggest the following from this case analysis:

  • associates must feel empowered to  support the content and personalizing aspects of the Ent.2.0 tools
  • knowledge workers must be able to add their improvement ideas to the tools.
  • community based collaboration activities need to be supported and fostered.
  • for success, the IT department needs to begin to embrace the SoaS model (managing the services vs. deploying/supporting applications)

The authors also propose this agile and supportive process will reduce IT backlog activity, while creating operational flexibility and improving service.
Analysis:  I found this study informative in terms of being one of the few academic case studies that I was able to find on Ent.2.0.  Not only did it demonstrate to me one possible approach for a case study write up, but the writing style was clear – easy to read and was clearly “sign posted” with the key points they wanted you to consider and walk away with from the study.  They provided a great background of the company’s problem with current systems, and what lead to the initial inquiry of an Ent.20 solution to be sought out.

If there was a downside, they really didn’t have any “bad news” to report in this study.  Perhaps there just wasn’t any, but since they made a point to mention the implication that Ent.2.0 deployments will have on IT departments, I suspect they could have spent a bit of time discussing how the IT department of Telefonica probably wasn’t all smiles with this deployment.

I would strongly suggest this as a reading to learn about Ent.2.0 in the workplace, as well as a great example of case study.