Enterprise 2.0: From the Labs

David Coleman is hosting a panel that includes Bob McCandless and Chad Ata of BrightCom, Irene Greif of IBM, and Denis Browne of SAP of what’s happening in their experimental environments right now, which may not be anything that’s going to become a product. Each has 10 minutes, so this is more like a standard panel than the speed-dating vibe of the previous Launch Pad session.

McCandless started out talking about BrightCom, which makes telepresence products, and some of the work that they’re doing in gaze correction and perspective-corrected viewing so that it appears that the people on the other side of the conference are both at the table with you and looking at you. He’s talking about immersive telepresence, where you’re in a fully rendered environment that appears truly seamless since you appear as a photo-realistic avatar rather than using a literal video of you, and how new display technologies are going to have to improve in order to support that. He’s demonstrating the ideas by using Second Life, where he’s popped his telepresence avatar directly in instead of his normal Second Life avatar. He claims that this has the potential to become “indistinguishable from reality”, and that immersive technology is the next generation after telepresence.

Greif talked about IBM’s Many Eyes, a social data analysis site. She started by showing the Baby Name Wizard data visualization, which somehow reminded me of the Hans Rosling TEDtalk and his company GapMinder; as she got into Many Eyes itself, it’s very much like GapMinder. The vision, however, is to use tools like this for enterprise data, including that which is residing on people’s hard drives.

Browne talked about what SAP is doing with enterprise widgets. He makes a great point that IT departments are still in reaction mode with respect to Web 2.0 applications, and that in many cases, the business side is bringing them in. He sees three ways to implement Enterprise 2.0: extend existing applications, build new applications, and facilitate enterprise mashups. He also makes an analogy of Enterprise 2.0 solutions to iTunes, where they need to provide end user experience, distribution, security and development tools. He showed the SAP widgets, which is a Google gadget-like toolbar of widgets, such as drilldowns into sales prospecting data.

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