Because Enterprise 2.0 is a maturing space, there are many competing sources online for advice and opinion. It’s sometimes difficult to ascertain who’s who and whether their opinion is reliable and credible. I’ll be occasionally highlighting voices in the community who’ve made a significant contribution to moving the Enterprise 2.0 discussion forward, although they may not be well known in a certain geography or technology discipline.

Today’s e2.0 luminary is Ross Dawson. Dawson has held an Executive Forum on Enterprise 2.0 for the past two years in Sydney and publishes regularly on Enterprise 2.0. He’s also published an excellent reference report, “Implementing Enterprise 2.0” for customers seeking a more in-depth understanding of the issues surrounding adoption and implementation.

I caught up with Ross last night. I asked him if he saw any change in the makeup of the conference attendees for this year’s forum. He told me that this year the conversation has shifted markedly toward “proving the business case” and away from the information-gathering that had dominated the conversation last year.

Dawson’s report, which really looks more like a book, is chock full with mini-case studies, quotes, and information sources from experts that validate and further explain the concepts he outlines. In addition to the excellent content, I appreciated that the material is presented well, with a nice use of layout and design. The information is easily digested and provides a “simple user interface” that makes absorbing the material easy.

Two charts in the book really stood out for me. The first is: “Enterprise 2.0: Key Barriers and Responses.” Dawson divides 15 key barriers into Culture, Executive Attitudes, Vested Interests, and Design of Initiatives. He covers the gamut of problems and suggests practical solutions. The second is an extensive table on “Return on Investment Calculations.” Although, it’s been largely debated whether Enterprise 2.0 can be seen through the same lens as other investments in technology (and Dawson recognizes this), he points to realistic data sets that can be used to compile a custom ROI for each company based on real costs with related tangible and intangible values.

The book, available at Amazon for $195, is a solid reference for veterans in the space, as well as Enterprise customers who need a deeper dive into some of the key tools and challenges involved in moving ahead with a socio-collaborative strategy. For each tool in the Enterprise 2.0 toolkit, Dawson discusses its background, adoption issues, business value, key functionality, and issues with implementation.

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