Friday, May 09, 2008

Que Sera, Sera - Oracle's Web 2.0 Division

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be
- From Que Sara Sara by Doris Day

Sounds like Oracle will be forming a Web 2.0 division. The upshot is that Oracle will be promoting WebCenter out to businesses as a platform for building wikis, blogs, and content management for Web 2.0-style collaboration. Personally, I'm glad to see a major software vendor putting some skin on the table in promoting Web 2.0.

The value proposition Oracle develops with this new organization will be interesting to me. I like the idea of social networking, collaboration, and the other elements that comprise Web 2.0. It's interesting stuff. However, convincing C-level executives that it's worth the investment has been a struggle for me and apparently for many other Web 2.0 evangelists (just Google it'll see lots of venting on the issue). Until we answer the question of how it will add value to the enterprise, it will be a tough sell.

Just this week, in a presentation to thought leaders in my own shop, this question was asked more than once: "This is interesting technology and maybe even fun, but how will it help us do things better, faster, or cheaper?" The presenter really couldn't answer the question, other than stating that we should explore these technologies in an attempt to discover potential value for us. With all due respect, I'm not spending my very limited IT dollars on what could be a dry well...we have to do better than that.

So it'll be interesting to see Oracle attempt to form and sell a good value proposition for Web 2.0. Wish I had some insight on how they plan to do that, but Que Sera, Sera...

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