Finally! A Three-Cornered Consulting Service for Enterprise 2.0

Its not too often I endorse a new service - in fact, I never have without a lot of due diligence and at least some production history.   So, for the first...
Written by Paul Greenberg, Contributor

Its not too often I endorse a new service - in fact, I never have without a lot of due diligence and at least some production history.   So, for the first...and potentially only....time ever, I'm telling you that I'm truly excited about the launch of Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0.  I'm not only telling you as readers at larger enterprises to bring these guys to the table but I'm also going to tell you why its easy for me to support this new entity despite the fact that its only been launched today.

What in g-d's name is Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0?

Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0 is a triangular consulting service that fits into the "its about time someone did this" category of consulting services.  For a really good comprehensive blog posting on PE2 check out Sameer Patel's, "The E 2.0 Service Appliance" here.

Okay, back to this station.


The First Triangle: The Players

Yep, for two reasons. One, it's a trinity of three major heavy hitters in varying spaces that cover the enterprise and contemporary business thinking.  They are, in no particular order:

Dion Hinchcliffe - perhaps the godfather of Enterprise 2.0 - and the boss of Hinchcliffe Associates, He is the most knowledgeable guy in the space that covers the strategies and practices for the contemporary enterprise  - especially when it comes to real world applications of internal collaboration and strategies for co-creation within the enterprise that return a genuine ROI.  The guy is also a fellow ZDNet blogger who I think writes some of the best posts that ZDNet produces in his Enterprise 2.0 blog Dion is so well known and so successful in his realm that he has a customer list to drool over.

Michael Krigsman - Michael is the CEO of Asuret and a revolutionary in his own right. He has developed a methodology and an application to go with it that actually is able to ferret out the problems that are likely to arise during a project implementation at an enterprise. What he and it shows is uncanny and he and it work like a charm. Michael is also a popular ZDNet blogger who writes the well read (including me) "IT Project Failures" blog - which, incidentally, is now covering CRM, thenks got.

Ross Mayfield - Chairman and President of Socialtext, pioneer in Enterprise 2.0 and especially the world of corporate wikis - and a rockstar too - one of the most visible luminaries in the Enterprise 2.0 firmament.  Ross's Socialtext platform won my "SuperStah!" designation in the upcoming CRM at the Speed of Light's 4th edition for the chapter on wikis because it is the best in its class without a doubt (at least without a doubt of mine) - as is Ross as a thinker. Ross did a blog entry on Social CRM a few months ago, called "The Social C.R.M. Iceberg" that sparked a major discussion in the industry - well worth reading - again.

While its cool that there are such notables tied into this venture, that isn't, by itself, the thing that gets me going frankly.  What I do like and will be anxious to see in action is the other triangle that they are providing, not the star power. I know and trust them for what they are able to do.

The Second Triangle: Framework, Platform, Application

The more powerful triangle is the offering itself - a trio consisting of a framework, a platform and an application - all tied to services that the joint effort will provide.  What makes it important is that this is a close to a practical package of strategies and tools as I have ever seen in the world of co-creation and collaboration.  There are some Social CRM implications for this too as we'll see.

Let's treat this simply. They've got an offering that is for the first time that I can see, based on the best practices at the IT, process and strategic levels, complete.  Here's the framework (See Figure 1):

Figure 1: The Pragmatic Enterprise Framework

If you look carefully at the framework, something stands out -its nearly complete. The only thing that I would say I don't see is a way to allow the customer to collaborate with the company - the inbound communications and interactions "layer".  I suppose you could make the case for Community Management being that component, but I don't.  I would want to see a customer interaction channel as part of the framework.  While not piddling, that doesn't in any way denigrate the power of this particular framework - especially as an internal collaboration strategy and implementation. With Socialtext being the platform that this framework is built on and Michael K's Asuret application (see Figure 2) a foundational app for implementation, this framework, Socialtext platform and application (FPA) is the first of its kind to make the way to market.

Figure 2: Asuret Anonymous Participant Analysis

Figure 2: Asuret Anonymous Participant Analysis

What gets me excited is the possibilities.  I would say is that, rather than the ridiculous noise about nomenclature that goes on all the time around enterprise software and strategy, especially when it is a nascent area, these guys are providing something that is eminently practicable for business.  That indicates that the market is starting to mature.

Why (before you jump all over my butt for making that statement)? Because the framework, software and platform all have sufficient best practices, sufficient application to the market, sufficient histories of success and sufficient strategic relevance to indicate that there a body of knowledge ready to be applied. THAT'S why I say starting to mature.

So, congrats to you, Pragmatic Enterprise.  Its exciting to see your two triangles out there.  Your launch is a good sign for a growing business approach.  Hopefully your future success will be a better sign.

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