Web 2.0 Trends (ongoing project on a monthly basis) Job # 4794

Job Posting Details

Job # 4794 Web 2.0 Trends (ongoing project on a monthly basis)

Posted Date
Sep 11, 2007 @ 08:27
Respond By
Sep 19, 2007
Word Count
English (North American)
Age Range

Job Description

Mashups Lands On The Corporate Doorstep

Summary: Perhaps one of the online hottest trends over the past few years has been the ability for users to create and post their own content be it text, music, photos, or videos. With the notion of tapping into the collective intelligence of the masses, a new breed of users are combining two or more Web services or data sources to form a new application, commonly known as “mash ups”. Originally started as a music mashup or remix of two or more songs, it is now highly popularized on mapping applications such as Google maps where anyone can create city maps of restaurants, crime statistics of the area, the cheapest gas stations in town or tag photos on Flickr maps.
While mashups have gain mass appeal on the consumer side, corporate enterprises are gradually testing waters with companies like Audi, Pfizer, Siemens and Pratt & Whitney using it as a collaborative tool to drive productivity growth, innovation and improved customer experiences.

The Play: Mashups is just an extension of user-generated trend that exploded the Web a few years ago. This is all made possible as several Web providers like Google, Yahoo and Amazon began opening up their application interfaces (API) and information for re-use and re-mixing that offers the user with highly personalized functionality. Social networking site like Facebook and others has also opened its platform for developers to create smart Web applications for the end users. Apart from mixing and matching various online applications be it maps, photos or videos for consumers, mash ups also provide highly personalized business information. Imagine using mashups to merge and monitor supplies from your suppliers that automatically track promotions and rebates so that you’ll always get the best deals or a mashup of supply chain information with weather maps to show which supply trucks might be delayed. Rather than isolating customer information in a CRM system and order status in the inventory program, mashups allow for the combination of these two applications to cross check customer demand with inventory supplies. Today mashups are increasingly being integrated with the company’s inventory system, order status, promotions, pricing, branch/plant locations, market data etc.

However, mashups for businesses are still at the experimental stage. According to the McKinsey Global Survey, more than one in five of the 300 executives already use or plan to use mashup technology in their business operations while Gartner predicts mashup will hit mainstream within two years. On the other hand, analyst at Forrester Research estimates that 20% of companies use mashups in one form or another. Audi’s mashup application helps product managers for the company’s A-series line of autos perform competitive analysis by pulling data from 20 different sources. Previously Audi’s product managers used to check each of the 20 sources individually and copy the results into spreadsheets. To reduce cost and time, developers at Audi have built about 30 mashups that now use data from nearly 100 sources. Enterprise security vendor PGP Corp uses mashups to match customer records with standardized company information from Dun & Bradstreet.

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline use mashup to make corporate travel and dining reservations which automatically appears on an employee’s calendar. Kinetic Results has created mashups using Web traffic and other analytics data to create visual reports for customers. Meanwhile, aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney uses mahsups to give employees access to the repair, order and service history for any parts, integrating with other datasources. BBC News uses Google maps to create graphics showing where events are happening. Real estate brokerage firm Zip Realty, uses mahsups to integrate client data from CRM system within agent’s email, allowing them to view reports of current property matches from email alerts. However, issues such as privacy, security and accessibility need to be addressed for enterprise mashup to take place.

Without doubt, mashups is one of the fastest growing applications on the Web today and corporate firms are just beginning to experiment its use. Several companies already encourage their customers, employees and suppliers to create new valuable applications that make business more productive and efficient. It’s only a matter of time when business mashups goes mainstream, and that is a big step towards real-time digital collaboration.

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