So when does two plus two equal five? When Intel is a binding force in the effort, that's when.
The announcement of SuiteTwo at the Web 2.0 Summit is at once fascinating and ... obvious. Just as companies adjusted 10 years ago to relating to their customers, prospects, and partners anew through static Web sites and hyperlinks, they are now embarking on a grander journey of interacting with them through shared, collaborative, publish-and-subscribe knowledge-munging activities.
It's obvious that a suite of Web 2.0 functions needed to come together. What was less obvious was that Intel would be a force in the mash-up. I thought Google was the king of Web 2.0 stuff, albeit largely scattered? I thought Microsoft was going to have to follow suite, err ... suit?
But now we have a three-way race, with Intel clothing itself in the shimmering mantle of the open source way to Enterprise 2.0. That's rich. Google will advertise its way to Enterprise 2.0 and Microsoft will make money from Enterprise 2.0 any damn way it can. But Intel can come on it and serve up a federated smorgasbord of open source Web 2.0 features -- and make lots of friends along the way, gaining lots of market-share -- knowing that all these services will have Intel running inside.
Enterprise 2.0 could simply be a loss leader to more hardware sales for Intel, but there must be more. What's more is that this all gives Intel entree into the corporate software space -- way up the stack -- (and those new subscription business models) without having to fight Microsoft on its old turf. Because Microsoft is late to Web 2.0, and the field is wide open, the window was left ajar not just for Google, but -- we now know -- for Intel and its open source friends.
So a new patron for a new way of sharing knowledge and content -- that's great. Deep pockets, too, not some fly-by-night San Mateo start-up above a pizza parlor. Won't others who don't get bought by Google or Microsoft want to play in this sandbox too? Sure they will. Federate me, baby. Will enterprises respect an Intel-branded and -managed approach with a SpikeSource certification? Sure they will. Lots of channel fun to be had.
Yes, Intel has become the best new sugar daddy for Web 2.0, and the obvious new best greased skids for taking the social media concepts uptown to the enterprise. Cool.