Wikinomics author Don Tapscott will chair the consulting wing of a start-up software as a service (SaaS) company that he says offers a platform for Web 2.0 tools to help companies redesign their business model to encourage horizontal collaboration.\nRELATED LINKS\nBook Excerpt: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything\n\nWhy You Should Collaborate\n\nFive Things Don Tapscott Has Learned about Collaboration\n\n\tThe company, nGenera (short for "next generation"), was founded in Austin last year as BSG Alliance. The company acquired New Paradigm, Tapscott's Toronto-based consulting firm, in November 2007.\n\n\n\tThe company name no doubt has significance to Tapscott, who wrote a book about what he calls the "net generation"\u2014 now known more widely as Generation Y \u2014 back in 1997. \n\n\nBased on his research, Tapscott says current enterprise tools will fail these younger workers as more of them find jobs in the workforce.\n\n\n\tGrowing up with social networks, blogs, wikis and instant messaging, "the net gen" expect all these tools to be waiting for them at work, Tapscott says. "They have been using better tools than what exist in corporate America," he adds. "This is a generation that looks at e-mail and says it something that's good for writing a thank you note."\n\n\nInvestors are bullish on the new company despite signs that the software industry, especially around Web 2.0, might be starting to thin out amidst a consolidating market. nGenera initially took a round of $20 million in May 2007, and an additional $50 million from a group led by Oak Investmant Partners last month.\n\n\nThe vendor, which already has around 300 employees, claims several major clients, including FedEx, DaimlerChrysler, Merck & Co., Merrill Lynch and Sprint.\n\n\nIt will offer a broad platform for companies to access on-demand, hosted applications that will place nGenera into a collaboration technology market with a slew of start-ups and traditional players such as IBM and Microsoft. \n\n\nAccording to recent research by Forrester, Big Blue has been aggressively pushing Lotus Connections \u2014 its enterprise-friendly set of Web 2.0 tools. Microsoft's SharePoint offers similar applications as well. \n\n\n\n\tPapermaster and Tapscott say they want people to use the nGenera platform to collaborate internally, and with customers, partners, and even competitors. \n\nFor now, nGenera CEO Steve Papermaster says the nGenera platform will focus on providing collaborative technologies around three areas of the organization: managing and attracting young talent, allowing companies to interact with customers using collaborative Web 2.0 tools, and leadership around collaboration. \n\n\n\t"Technology is becoming more people focused," he says. "We're providing a platform that makes [a company's] relationship with customers interactional."