Enterprise 2.0 Providing Solutions to Wider Business Needs

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd

For Enterprise 2.0: Collaborative Web 2.0 into your organisation

Sydney, 3 December 2007

One of the issues facing organisations is how to deal with Web 2.0.

Enterprise 2.0

Utilising Web 2.0 within the Enterprise to create flexible systems and deal with current issues including:

  1. Reducing Carbon Emissions with the web
  2. Wireless Broadband and Web 2.0
  3. Making applications accessible to a diverse community
  4. Metadata and mashups
  5. Web 2.0 Standards for electronic commerce
  6. Electronic Document Management

Tom Worthington

Tom Worthington is Director of Professional Development for the Australian Computer Society. He is past Director and a member of the ACS Telecommunications Board and ACS's representative on the Australian Bureau of Statistics ICT Reference Group. He is a past president, fellow and honorary life member of the ACS. Tom is an independent IT consultant and Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University.

One Wide World of the Web

In 2005 I spent three weeks living in an Indian village. In the narrow unpaved village lanes I met people with relatives all over the world, children with a thirst for educational qualifications and a respect for engineers and IT professionals rivalling that of pop stars.

Outside a traditional performance by an Indian Navy Band in the state capital, I saw the shield of the Indian Navy Information Warfare squadron. They fly locally made aircraft of German design, fitted with advanced electronics to monitor signals from India's enemies (and friends). These aircraft have the same Israeli radar as Australia's most advanced Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

India is full of IT and engineering entrepreneurs. In the same village I saw a battery electric car made in Bangalore. The village was in range of wireless Internet and the Indian state of Goa is now cabling with fibre optics to villages.

Australia may feel remote from the world and in some ways protected from the global economy and in other ways isolated from it. However, it is part of the same world as India, China and other developing economies. We have no natural advantages, apart from some limited supplies of minerals and plants. Australia has a renewable resource of well trained people. We need to harness that resource for economic benefit , cooperating and competing with other countries.

Selling Warships on The Web

Very expensive and complex goods and services can be promoted online. The customers of these products will not simple click on a web ad and order with their credit card, but they will seek detailed information on the companies involved, their products and infrastructure of the location, as part of deciding to investigate further. The web is a very cost effective way to provide this information. One example is the selection of two aircraft carriers by the Australian Navy.

Selling Aircraft Carriers with Web Ads

In Aril 2007 I was contacted by the military supplier Tenix, asking if I could put a link to the two bidders for the Australian "Landing Helicopter Dock" (LHD) ships project. I had prepared a short web page about the project to build two small aircraft carriers for the RAN. This page had become very popular. I added the links and Tenix later purchased web advertisements on the site. Tenix won the $3B contract and a few dollars of web advertising may have helped.

Wireless Broadband and Web 2.0

Neo 1973 Open Source Phone

Neo Phone

Google's AdWords/AdSense system allows businesses to advertise on the web. This service was recently expanded to provide advertisements on mobile phones using XHTML/WAP 2.0, WML/WAP 1.0 and CHTML/iMode, implemented with PHP, CGI Perl or ASP. This is a brief overview of how the Google system is implemented and a demonstration. The differences between the system for desktop and hand held devices is discussed, as is Google's adherence (or lack of) to web standards. The accessibility of the ads, particularly for disabled will also be looked at.

AdWords is Google's service for advertisers. With this small businesses to advertise locally or globally on the web. The corresponding service, Google AdSense, allows small web publishers to earn revenue from advertising on their web sites. Keywords and location data are used to match advertisements to web page content. This service has now been expanded to provide advertisements on mobile phones.

Open Handset Alliance Android Platform

The Open Handset Alliance, which consists of Google and 30 other technology and mobile companies, released the first version of the Android Platform, in November 2007, for mobile phones to provide web and PC like services. Android is Linux based, as is the existing OpenMoko for phones.

Reducing Carbon Emissions with the web

Zonbu miniature PC

Zonbu PC

Carbon Neutral Computers?



Zonbu claim carbon neutral computer:

With Zonbu, green doesn't have to make you blue! With its efficient ultra low power design, Zonbu delivers the power of a traditional desktop computer but uses just a fraction of the energy. That could mean as much as $10 a month in energy savings for you — and might just help save the planet, too. Not only does Zonbu's low power design reduce CO2 emissions, but by buying carbon offsets, we make the operation of your Zonbu device completely carbon neutral. Talk about guilt-free computing!

From: Good things come in small boxes, Zonbu, 2007

Via claim Carbon Free Computing:

VIA Carbon Free Computing addresses this issue head on, aimed at offering the world's first line of PC products certified Carbon Free. VIA works with environmental experts to calculate the electricity used by an average Carbon Free Computing product over its lifetime (assumed to be 3 years). Then from the amount of electricity used, VIA calculates how much carbon dioxide emissions will be released into the environment mainly as a result of fossil fuel burning power plants, and then works with regional offset organizations to "offset" that amount of carbon dioxide through projects such as: * Reforestation ... Alternative Energy ... Energy conservation ...

From: VIA Carbon Free Computing - Breathe Easier!,VIA, 2007

Thin Clients for Enterprise?

Thin client computers can offer benefits beyond environmental ones. As an example thin clients can replace desktop PCs for those workers only needing standard office applications. The thin client can also replace a digital telephone. Corporate applications, such as payroll and finance can be provided to the desktop using the web browser and interactive web applications, such as AJAX. Corporate documents can be retained in central file servers and Electronic Document Management Systems. This removes the need to maintain as much software on the desktop and increases the security of corporate data.

Servers can be consolidated into efficient and easier to manage data centers. These can take advantage of low power disks, processors and green power.

As an example, the new federal government could institute a program in early 2008 to provide a standard desktop to all staff, including office applications, email and voice communications. All agencies would be provided with an EDMS to hold their corporate documents. Any federal public servant or contractor could then work from any federal government office. When a desktop unit failed, a replacement could be sent by courier and user installed, with the broken unit returned for repair. No data would be lost in the process, as none would be stored on the desktop.

Electronic Document Management

The traditional approach to dealing with records in corporations is by a strict classification of records. The paper based systems were translated to equivalent electronic ones, with the used of electronic document management systems (EDMS). The web is now changing this to a more flexible system where online data in an organisation is treated much the same way as that on the web. The emphasis is on making information searchable and also finding people as well as information.

Even government agencies are adopting this approach. In November, Australian company Funnelback announced it won a tender to provide enterprise search for Geoscience Australia. Unlike the public search engines, this will be used for staff to find information on the internal corporate system. As well as internal web pages, the system will search the staff directory, library catalog and the corporate electronic document management system (EDMS). This could be expanded to allow all government staff to search all government information.

More Information

Slides for these notes are also available.

Copyright © 2007 Tom Worthington

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