Over the course of one year, we will be conducting a survey of organizations that are supporting emergent behavior in the enterprise using social-media tools. The organizations do not need to use wikis per se, but they must be supportive of emergent behavior at the management level. Today marks the beginning of our survey. To nominate an organization for this series, please comment here.
The SAP Apollo Project. Our first entry in this series is a social media project dubbed "Apollo."
Led by former VC Jeff Nolan, Apollo is a competitive strategy group at SAP Labs, the enterprise-software giant. As we noted a while back on 33 Wikis, Nolan and his group are using a mix of social media tools -- blogs, RSS, and of course, wikis -- to better compete with Oracle, SAP's chief rival.
There are many reasons why like this project. The gathering of competitive intelligence, and the management of that intelligence, are two of the most critical areas of activity for the strategy, marketing, and sales functions of an enterprise, and Nolan's group has found a way to approach these activities in ways that are better suited to how employees actually work. In addition to helping SAP in its effort to compete with Oracle, the Apollo Wiki is enabling the Apollo Group to perform more nimbly and efficiently by reducing the amount of email, status reports, and other unneccessary paperwork. The wiki -- in tandem with other social-media technologies -- could very well emerge as the competitive tool of the future.
If you want to learn more about this project -- and the larger goals that Nolan has for social media within SAP Labs -- check out this month's installment of Third Thursday, a monthly meet-up in Palo Alto for communications professionals. I'm moderating a panel that includes Nolan; Robin Harper, the VP of Community for Linden Lab (creators of Second Life); and Dave Roberts, Community Cruise Director for Vyatta, a SIlicon Valley start-up (and Eastwick client) that has created a community of software developers to build an open-source alternative to traditional routing software. To sign up, go here.