Office 2.0 is not defined by "social software", and its primary value proposition isn't collaboration. That's what I realized halfway through the Blitz Demos (David Terrar has a great synopsis of the presentations) at last week's Office 2.0 Conference (check out Brian Solis' collection of Office 2.0 definitions.)
What really differentiates Office 2.0 from 1.0 is... accountability, it seems. Michael McDerment talked about how Freshbooks' aggregated billing stats help users benchmark their performance against other companies within the same industry. Mark Suster said that Koral's document ID system keeps track of how often shared slide decks and spreadsheets are downloaded - and whether out-of-date versions are being used. Christopher Peri showed how Vyew can filter comments and changes by specific contributors. And John Creason highlighted Smartsheet's ability to prompt task owners for project updates on a recurring basis.
Earlier during the show, Jason Lemkin mentioned that EchoSign's e-signature service lets sales managers monitor pending contracts across their teams. And of course, oDesk lets buyers watch contractors' every move via webcams, screenshots and a keyboard/mouse activity indicator. My initial reaction was, who would put up with this kind of ongoing surveillance? But Gary Swart was able to convince me that his tracking system benefits coders as well. Since their work is meticulously documented, they are protected from billing disputes.
Esther Dyson pointed out in her keynote that wikis are not process aware - but Koral and Smartsheet are! And Andrew McAfee said that managers' receptiveness to Office 2.0 tools depends on whether their objective is to maintain control or facilitate collaboration - but Freshbooks and EchoSign might actually be more conducive to the former than the latter.
Stowe Boyd writes that Office 2.0 is about connectedness and not productivity, and knowledge acquisition versus knowledge management - but I think many of the companies above offer all four.
Ismael himself defines Office 2.0 as online services - but maybe its boundaries are broader? You can send snail mail invoices through Freshbooks, receive faxed contracts through EchoSign and make phone calls through Joyent Connector.
By the way, thanks Ismael!! I feel like I learned more in two days at the show than I have all year - not just about Office 2.0, but about questioning assumptions.