E2.0 – An Executives’ Holy Grail?

Holy Grail

The market changes constantly….new competition; old rivals offering new functionality or new marketing spins; customers’ needs changing. Couple this with internal management challenges; board, shareholder, and/or investor pressures. Being an executive is only getting harder with what I’ll refer to as information overload.

How do executives keep an efficient eye on both external and internal metrics that count and manage their enterprise data? Is this Enterprise 2.0 or E2.0?

I envision that the first thing I see when I start my day, is an internal view of the entire company…across every functional area, every line of business. Combine this with an external view of the market in which the company operates – an “executive dashboard” if you will. But it has to be more than just reporting – it must pull together all theĀ  enterprise business analytics needed by execs. Make this web-based and available from the office, my laptop, my home computer, and even my mobile phone.Business_Analytics

As the CEO, I might have an area of the dashboard where I can shoot a live video (from my webcam) or upload a more polished video to show to executives, key individuals, or all employee’s….a morning video-cast for all to wake up to.

I can envision columns of information that are organized to provide me status of key groups within the organization and provide direct links to their team leads and internal communities in general. Major applications used by each group would also be provided in one centralized “mashup”.

Executive Dashboard

Integration with the major enterprise applications including: teleconference (e.g. Cisco WebEx), email (e.g. MSFT Exchange), CRM (e.g. Salesforce), and ERP (e.g. SAP) packages is an absolute given.

At my last SaaS company, as the CEO, I (and my staff) maintained the following information / dashboards…it seemed almost as difficult as flying a helicopter just to get everything into one place, let alone updates, and the content right:

  1. Board of Directors (Investor) Company Dashboard
  2. Sales / Biz Dev Pipeline Dashboard (Direct & Channel)
  3. Financial Dashboard (Cashflow, Op Budget, P&L, BS)
  4. Operational Dashboard (platform/CDN/infrastructure spend)
  5. Platform Dashboard (SaaS customer usage statistics)
  6. Online Lead-Gen Dashboard (signups)
  7. Marketing Dashboard (campaigns, PR)

    Information Overload?
  8. Monetization Dashboard (we managed an ad-network)
  9. Customer Support Dashboard (free to paid conversion focus, satisfaction, profiling)
  10. Content Dashboard (use of digital content, content campaigns)
  11. Engineering Dashboard (development project status)
  12. Content Moderation Dashboard (outsourced platform cost)
  13. Product Strategy / Roadmap Dashboard (prioritized development)

This doesn’t even begin to include all the supporting documentation that you and your staff iterate on. Of course, you can comb the old Intranet hierarchies, your personal computer directories, your email folders, and the like….but it can become unmanageable (not just for you, but your staff).

Have any of you ever felt you had the enterprise under complete control? Or are you a victim of information overload like the rest of us?


Jim Kaskade

Jim Kaskade is a serial entrepreneur & enterprise software executive of over 36 years. He is the CEO of Conversica, a leader in Augmented Workforce solutions that help clients attract, acquire, and grow end-customers. He most recently successfully exited a PE-backed SaaS company, Janrain, in the digital identity security space. Prior to identity, he led a digital application business of over 7,000 people ($1B). Prior to that he led a big data & analytics business of over 1,000 ($250M). He was the CEO of a Big Data Cloud company ($50M); was an EIR at PARC (the Bell Labs of Silicon Valley) which resulted in a spinout of an AML AI company; led two separate private cloud software startups; founded of one of the most advanced digital video SaaS companies delivering online and wireless solutions to over 10,000 enterprises; and was involved with three semiconductor startups (two of which he founded, one of which he sold). He started his career engineering massively parallel processing datacenter applications. Jim has an Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in semiconductor design and computer science; and an MBA from the University of San Diego with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and finance.