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Enterprise 3.0 = (SaaS + EE)

Posted on Monday, Feb 26th 2007

I have written several pieces recently about the Extended Enterprise trend, covering Segments such as Collaboration, CRM and PLM.

In the same vein, that I have proposed a framework for Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS), I would like to discuss in this piece, a framework for Enterprise 3.0.

Fot those working with web technologies, and focused on business applications, the trend to watch carefully is the Extended Enterprise one, which hasn’t quite become mainstream yet.

Saas (Software-As-A-Service) or OnDemand is already a well understood and accepted trend.
Nick Carr wrote in November 2006: “Large companies appear to be jumping en masse onto the software-as-a-service bandwagon, according to a new survey of CIOs by management consultants McKinsey & Company. The survey found that 61% of North American companies with sales over $1 billion plan to adopt one or more SaaS applications over the next year, a dramatic increase from the 38% who were planning to install SaaS apps in 2005.”

However, to come up with new ideas, or to position your existing SaaS technology on a problem that matters to customers today, I suggest, you focus on the Extended Enterprise trend.

So, let’s recap the vocabulary again. What is the Extended Enterprise (EE)?

The modern enterprise is no longer one, monolithic organization. Customers, Partners, Suppliers, Outsourcers, Distributors, Resellers, … all kinds of entities extend and expand the boundaries of the enterprise, and make “collaboration” and “sharing” important.

Let’s take some examples. The Salesforce needs to share leads with distributors and resellers. The Product Design team needs to share CAD files with parts suppliers. Customers and Vendors need to share workspace often. Consultants, Contractors, Outsourcers often need to seamlessly participate in the workflow of a project, share files, upload information. All this, across a secure, seamlessly authenticated system.

Few of these Extended Enterprise stakeholders are inside the firewall. They don’t necessarily have accounts in the Enterprise IT network, posing challenges and creating friction in the workflow.

If you are designing an application that does either Expertise Location, Talent Management, or Contract Management using web 2.0 technologies, remember, that you need to provide access control options to include these off-enterprise team members.

The reason I like this framework, is that companies are facing the full impact of globalization today, and yet, their IT systems were designed long time back, without any provision for managing this Extended Enterprise architecture. Thus, if you do come up with an architecture that successfully manages the workflow of EE, focused on a specific application, chances are, you have hit some ready CIO painpoint, and therefore, appetite.

So, let’s try to use this framework – Enterprise 3.0 = (SaaS + EE), and see if it can help us hone the architectural design, as well as the application positioning.

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Clarification: When an organisations gets onto a SAAS application, i figure they dont need to worry about the divide between the internet (outside the firewall)and intranet (inside the firewall), the partners/distributors etc become a actor group which the application would need to support. What this would mean is there isnt SaaS+EE it would just be SaaS.

SaaS, Enterprise Services etc, will move us away from the mode of “Extended Enterprise (Walled enterprise systems)” to “Integrated Enterprise”, Where the wall between the enterprise system and the external world is broken. And data flows freely to the required people / systems both inside and outside the enterprise.

Your thoughts?

Prasanth Rai Monday, February 26, 2007 at 11:48 PM PT


No, SaaS doesn’t automatically give you the full extended enterprise solution. For instance, if you try to, as an outside person, join a webex meeting that is started by an SAP employee, you’re not automatically authorized to join. There’s a ton of permission control, access control, etc. to go through. Similarly, VARs of enterprises won’t automatically be able to access data. How do you resolve this, and make the extended enterprise more productive? better integrated? seamless?


Sramana Mitra Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 12:04 AM PT

Hi Sramana,

With in the Life Sciences industry, SAFE (Secure Access for Every One) standard is gaining a lot of momentum. SAFE certified systems have digital signatures that will make an integrated business process for say, drug development, clinical trials etc possible between a bio/pharma company and its collaborators, including the regulatory agencies. So, a universal SAFE model can be created for all domains to facilitate the integrated enterprise. We will then have: Enterprise 3.0 = SaaS+SAFE+ Interoperability. Thoughts?

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Heidi Wieland Monday, April 23, 2007 at 11:39 AM PT

Much longer discussion, Heidi. It is not just delivery platform, but the entire security and authentication need of the Extended Enterprise is quite different from that of the Intranet. That is why, Webex can get away with charging a premium over products like Citrix.


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Web 3.0 is about semantic Web etc.
How about Enterprise 3.0 being based on semantic/knowledge technologies?
Early next year we are going to go live with a on line version of our knowledge based enterprise management software ( No programming involved here, just pure knowledge expression. This enables DIY enterprise where domain specific experts are able to express their knowledge directly without the need for complex IT management.

Any views?

PAWEL LUBCZONOK Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 11:09 PM PT

I believe is demonstrating leadership in exploring the Extended Enteprise.

Examples are:

Salesforce to Salesforce



Is another name for this “Social Enterprise”?

Subhash Nair Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 5:24 PM PT

hi sramana,

nice to see your blog..i need a help from you, do you have a list of enterprise 2.0 solution providers in india (e.g. intel, ibm, oracle, cisco etc) . I am writing a paper on enterprise 2.0 and need to constract a list of provider first. please help me soon

surjyadeb Friday, January 9, 2009 at 8:30 AM PT

I hadn't heard of extended enterprize before, thanks for the info.

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