ERP software provides structured data flow and integration within all the departments of the organization, while enterprise 2.0 is like bringing in social network software on the office intranet. Mostly, enterprise 2.0 software is associated with unstructured data and information but improves knowledge flow across the organization and collaborative working environment.
Enterprise 2.0 software has features like business wiki, these forms are similar to wikipedia of web 2.0, where information can be edited and written by the users authorized to access the page. In an organization employee directory, processes involved in development of large products, dictionary etc, feature regularly in business wikis.
Blogs also play a great role in an organization by displaying information interactive in nature, these blogs can conduct top to bottom communication with suggestions and comments from the employees.
Social networking improves interaction between all the employees of the company. Social networking socializes the employee and makes his credentials, role, skills and responsibilities available to other people in the company. Soft skills, specialized skills, acquired skills and past experience and other knowledge can be utilized for organization's benefits. Social bookmarking is very powerful tool in order to access information which might have been searched and tagged by others, which saves lot of time. Tagging and tag clouds help in accessing information quickly. Micro blogging is a feature which helps employees in getting regular information about each other's projects and recent jobs which helps in avoiding duplicate efforts as one team trying to do a particular task might have already been done by the other team for some other project.
As it has been said ERP software offers structured data flow throughout the organization whereas enterprise 2.0 software deals with flow of unstructured data of the organization which can also reduce lot of time and man hours. SAP has incorporated web 2.0 features in its ERP recently and other giants are also expected to follow.
The biggest utility of enterprise 2.0 with ERP is that it can compliment the working of ERP by socializing the employee within the organization. The opinions and views are available to identify popular opinion on any issue. Even bottlenecks are removed very easily with the help of such social software on the organizational intranet as employees can access information tagged and searched by others or take help of an employee who might be working in another team but having expert's knowledge and experience to handle the situation.
Using enterprise 2.0 with ERP software can give an edge to the organization in increasing their customer relationship and also with possible customers. Their comments on products, services and other issues, and responding to these comments on regular basis improve company's credibility. This information can be passed on to the concerned departments for analysis and to the sales team for working out a sales strategy.
ERP software do provide web presence and also interaction with the clients but on an ERP portal only customers will log in while blogs created by social software can be made available to the whole world and through RSS their updates and editions can also be conveyed to the participants. Overall enterprise 2.0 has been slow to pickup so far as there are few fears associated with such software in office environment, and these fears are real too.