Enterprise 2.0 Conference Preview: Sony Gets Wiki With It - InformationWeek

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5/29/2008
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Enterprise 2.0 Conference Preview: Sony Gets Wiki With It

Ahead of his talk at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, Sony's Ned Lerner explains the advantages of having his teams use wikis and other open source enterprise collaboration applications to get the job done.

Companies know they need to collaborate more effectively. They just don't know how to do it. The issue will be discussed in depth at the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston June 9 - 12, where a variety of speakers will address how to reconcile the need to share information with the need to protect it.

Among those describing how they made Web 2.0 technologies work in an enterprise setting will be Ned Lerner, director of tools and technology for Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios. Lerner plans to share some of that thinking at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in back-to-back sessions on the morning of Wednesday, June 11th. He'll be participating in "Real Enterprise 2.0 @ Sony Computer Entertainment's World Wide Studios" (10:10 am"10:30 am ) and "Enterprise 2.0 Reality Check" (10:45 am"11:25 am).


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•   Enterprise 2.0 Conference News

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Of all the companies that need to work together more effectively, perhaps none needs to do so more than Sony. Just ask Sony's boss.

At a recent company meeting in Tokyo, as the Wall Street Journal tells it, Sony CEO Howard Stringer called for corporate managers to get mad, to be bolder, more energetic, and more imaginative in how they run the company's various businesses.

Stringer is three years into an effort to restore Sony's leadership as a maker of high tech products and to make the company's various units work more efficiently together. His efforts are showing signs of success.

Beyond the near tripling of profits reported in the company's most recent quarter, it's clear that some Sony managers are already comfortable making the bold, imaginative moves that Stringer demanded.

Ned Lerner is one of them. He manages the engineering teams that handle Web 2.0 collaboration technologies, coding, and content tools used by the company's game developers.

Lerner has been with the company for about four and half years. When he arrived, he said, there wasn't an infrastructure for cooperation and collaboration. He said that Sony management wanted to make the process more efficient and more easily able to share software resources.

So Lerner drove the development of SHIP, which stands for Sharing Information Portal. It's not a large enterprise collaboration suite. It's a collection of mostly open source enterprise collaboration applications. It includes Atlassian Jira and Confluence, Jive Forms and Jive Wildfire, SourceForge Enterprise Edition, Subversion, and the Perforce Software Configuration Management System.

This is not your father's enterprise software. It's quick, dirty, DIY, Web 2.0 stuff.

Developers, said Lerner "don't want someone from the IT department involved because by the time they get the IT resources dedicated, they have the meetings, the IT person figures out what's going on and does the customization work, who knows how long that's going to take? If you have to bring in the IT expert every time you try to make a change, you're going to tend not to make any. So a lot of these [applications] are basically self-service."

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