Office 2.0: Post-conference wrap up

Office 2.0 Conference host Ismael Ghalimi wrapped up the event in a blog post, including his own revised definition of the what Office 2.
Written by Dan Farber, Inactive
Office 2.0 Conference host Ismael Ghalimi wrapped up the event in a blog post, including his own revised definition of the what Office 2.0 means. 

"Office productivity environment enabled by online services used through a Web browser. By storing data online and relying on applications provided as Web services, it fosters collaboration and extends mobility, while promoting a user-centric model that fuels innovation and increases productivity."

I'm not sure Office 2.0 needs a formal definition as much as an ongoing conversation about new applications, services and business models that are changing how people work (Work 2.0). It's not a suite of applications that mimic Microsoft Office and live in the cloud. It's putting Web services, broadband and a sharing/collaboration framework into a blender, with a much needed dose of synchronization, and seeing what comes out. Today, we are at the beginning of the evolution of the 2.0 era, and by the time we actually know what it is, it will be 3.0.

Ismael also lays out what constituencies will benefit sooner than later from Office 2.0, and why enterprises will be slow to adapt. 

On one hand, Office 2.0 is not ready for the enterprise, and it’s a good thing. Trying to make Office 2.0 work for the enterprise today will strip the concept off all the good things that make it interesting. The enterprise needs reliability, scalability and security, and such attributes take some time to implement. On the other hand, individual users and Very Small Businesses — defined by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as concerns that have 15 or fewer employees with average annual receipts that do not exceed $1 million — are more concerned by cost, convenience, and collaboration. In that respect, Office 2.0 is perfect for them, and almost ready for prime time....As a corollary, the biggest business opportunity for Office 2.0 might be in helping the enterprise use Office 2.0 technologies to establish closer business relationships with their VSB and SMB partners.

Ismael also posits that Office 2.0 will not eat Microsoft's lunch. Just as the PC didn't vanquish the mainframe, Office 1.0 is not going away in the enterprise. But, market growth with Office 2.0 services and business models coming from the bottom up will put pressure on enterprises and traditional vendors to move more quickly from 1.0 to 2.0. Microsoft's lunch will be eaten if it fails to make good on its promise to seamlessly integrate Office 1.0 and 2.0 on the path to 3.0, whatever that may be.

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