Enterprise 2.0 and User Experience (UX)

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Teradata Employee

Enterprise 2.0 and User Experience (UX)

There’s been a movement over the past few years termed Enterprise 2.0, which encourages enterprises to adopt Web 2.0 technologies throughout their web infrastructure, both in intranets and externally facing online properties. 1  I don’t think it’s explicitly stated under most definitions you see of Enterprise 2.0, because they tend to focus on content management systems or social/collaboration software (i.e. blogs, wikis, forums, social networks and social messaging), but I’d like to submit a third category that maybe is a blend of the other two identified above – namely, third party “decision management” applications that enterprises embrace to deliver value to their end users.  This is the category where Teradata sees itself, at least when you consider the web-based business applications we provide (i.e. Viewpoint, TVA, TDE, TRM, DCMsee more).  As a member of Teradata’s User Experience (UX) team, I have the opportunity to figure out how we leverage technologies and movements like Enterprise and Web 2.0 to improve the overall experience for our customers so they in turn can stay focused on the relevant information and tasks that define their day-to-day activities and not waste their time because of technology or user interface limitations.

The definition for Enterprise and Web 2.0 differs across the web. Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the “technologies and business practices that strive to liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email.   It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices.  Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility.” 2

Here’s a diagram that expresses the differences between Enterprise 2.0 and the older, more traditional approach. 3

Enterprise 1.0 Enterprise 2.0
Hierarchy Flat Organization
Friction Ease of Organization Flow
Bureaucracy Agility
Inflexibility Flexibility
IT-driven technology / Lack of user control User-driven technology
Top down Bottom up
Centralized Distributed
Teams are in one building / one time zone Teams are global
Silos and boundaries Fuzzy boundaries, open borders
Need to know Transparency
Information systems are structured and dictated Information systems are emergent
Taxonomies Folksonomies
Overly complex Simple
Closed / proprietary standards Open
Scheduled On Demand
Long time-to-market cycles Short time-to-market cycles

Web 2.0, as the folks at O’Reilly define it, can best be understood by looking at it via the companies and activities that have helped defined it. 3

Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick Google AdSense
Ofoto Flickr
Akamai BitTorrent
mp3.com Napster
Britannica Online Wikipedia
personal websites Blogging
evite upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation search engine optimization
page views cost per click
screen scraping web services
publishing participation
content management systems wikis
directories (taxonomy) tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness syndication

We (all of us) can learn from those forging the way on the list above.   There are other smaller companies who are candidates for a list like this, including service providers like Basecamp, Fresh Books and Visible Measures.  Now it’s time for the bigger companies to catch up and deliver great and more intelligent user experiences as well.  And since Teradata likely falls into the “big company” category, our goal, at least from a UX perspective, is to ensure that every design choice we make keeps this quick list of design principles in mind: 4

  • Reduce redundancy and information overload
  • Improve relevance (context-driven delivery) and alerts
  • Zero training – guide the user earlier to do the right things
  • Freeform – minimal upfront structure that can be easily changed later
  • Social – harness collective intelligence and transparent messaging
  • Visualization mashups (inventory data overlaid on Google Maps)

We try to achieve these design principles using features like auto-complete (type ahead), inline editing, drag and drop, tool tips, overlays, tag clouds, etc.  Hopefully, you’ll notice these Web 2.0 design features in the user interface in recent and future product releases for Teradata applications.

Since our User Experience team is always interested in your feedback, do you think Teradata is doing enough to embrace the Enterprise and Web 2.0 movements?  Have you noticed a change in how the user interface is presented?  What can we do better (please stay on topic for this article)?

Article sources and additional Enterprise 2.0 resources:

  1. Deploying High Performance Enterprise 2.0 Sites (A Case Study)
  2. Enterprise 2.0 Conference
  3. What Is Web 2.0 (O'Reilly)
  4. Enable richer business outcomes: Free your intranet with Web 2.0
  5. E 2.0 TV
  6. Assessing the Enterprise 2.0 marketplace in 2009: Robust and crowded and accompanying Map of the 2009 Enterprise 2.0 Marketplace
  7. Enterprise 2.0 as the example that proves the rule
  8. Enterprise 2.0 = Next Generation IT
  9. Top 10 Management Fears About Enterprise Web 2.0
  10. Wikipedia’s definition of enterprise social software and Web 2.0
  11. Ross Dawson's book and site "Implementing Enterprise 2.0"
  12. LinkedIn group for Enterprise 2.0