Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OpenSocial :: The next phase of a social networking framework

Tomorrow should be an interesting day as Google and others (, NING, LinkedIn) are set to announce a set of API's to build private labeled and water cooler social networks.

It looks like (from TechCrunch) OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:

* Profile Information (user data)
* Friends Information (social graph)
* Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)

Partners are in two categories: hosts and developers. Hosts are the participating social networks, and include Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle.

The details can be found at when they go live? Which should be in a few hours? Let's hope.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Webinar on practical process improvement

I will be giving a free business process improvement webinar on October 30th sponsored by Lombardi Software and Athens Group Retail. Here is a summary of what will be covered:

CIOs and technical teams are increasingly asked to take a leadership role in driving process improvement. Are you an IT executive or manager tasked with supporting process improvement? Join us to learn how one CIO, Rodney White formerly of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), developed and implemented a set of best practices for enabling process improvement as demand for “LIVESTRONG” bracelets exploded.

- Enabled decision making using the OODA Loop concept
- Integrated BPM technology with existing legacy systems to better control processes
- Adopted a “Start Small”, incremental approach to improvement
- Won a CIO 100 Award for creating new business value through IT-enabled innovation

I hope you can attend.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Battle of the non profit eCRM vendors

The last two days have been very interesting for the non-profit eCRM space. On Friday, Kintera announced the release of their open platform. Today, Convio announced the release of their open platform. Now let's look at what was "released":

- Sphere and Constituent Management SOAP API's

- Constituent Management API's
- Database Connectors
- Extensions

For me, one of the hidden gems of the Convio announcement is the integration with Facebook. (In my previous blog post, I thought Kintera would be the first to the market but I guess Convio beat them to it.) Also somewhat hidden in the release of Convio's open initiative, is the database connector to That is really interesting (see my blog post a few weeks back...I guess they were working on it).

In the end, I think that competition between the leading eCRM vendors will only help non-profits achieve success with whichever platform they choose. Both Convio and Kintera have strengths and both have weaknesses. Can they work on their weaknesses while increasing their strengths. I think the key to success is to really study the market (using both SWOT and STEEP methods) and learn from the customers and then executing perfectly to their, the customers vision.

I think the key to winning this duel is to learn from Sun Tzu in the Art of War: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. [6:1]