The Natural Collaborative Interface is No Interface

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social networking vendors are beginning to focus their efforts on embedding collaborative functions within external applications and services.
  • The real magic, however, rests in making transparent the ties that bind all applications, their content and the  humans that use them.

I’ve been watching the middleware and software development space for some time, which has made me somewhat biased toward the idea of applications talking amongst themselves and greatly appreciative of the difficulties involved in doing so. This unifying act of connectivity and machine-level collaboration is so difficult in fact, that not every company has found pure middleware, service oriented architecture (SOA) nirvana. It’s interesting then and maybe a bit surprising to see enterprise social networking (ESN) begin to play a similar unifying role, at least for humans and the content they interact with in their daily travels. Read more of this post

Communications Market Needs More Fish Out of Water

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Despite marketing rhetoric, Enterprise Connect and its exhibitors are still struggling to blend communications and collaboration.
  • One solution is to invite unusual exhibitors steeped in collaborative business solutions outside of the realm of unified communications.

As a dyed in the wool software enthusiast, I often feel a bit out of my element at trade shows like last week’s Enterprise Connect, where solutions come in rack unit increments and business value is measured in port densities. Over the past year, especially after show organizers dropped the VoiceCon moniker in favor of a less PBX-centric name, Enterprise Connect has shown signs of becoming a venue capable of reflecting the needs of enterprise customers both today and tomorrow. That is, an enterprise where collaboration and communication not only co-exist but also understand and directly drive business value. But as my compatriot IT Connection blogger, Jerry Caron, pointed out yesterday, most of the vendors exhibiting at Enterprise Connect have not yet heeded this memo. Read more of this post

Collaboration and Communications: A House Divided

J. Caron

J. Caron

Summary Bullets:                

  • The Enterprise Connect event delivered on key social, video and hosted themes
  • Generally, though, the bigger Collaboration issues were sidelined—at least temporarily

Social is inevitable. Video is hot. Hosted is intriguing. Looking for themes from the 2012 edition of the Enterprise Connect conference held last week in Orlando? There you have them. And not a terribly surprising bunch they are. Indeed, the industry of technology suppliers and service providers dutifully followed through on promises to focus their energy on these issues at the event. Rightfully so, as these issues are the most important drivers for next-generation enterprise communications – a communications environment that embraces social networking techniques at its core, that handles personal video as if it was simply voice, and that can be deployed in any way that the buyer’s heart desires. Read more of this post

Socializing Data, Not Just People

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Collaboration players accustomed to putting people above data can learn a thing or two from infrastructure vendors steeped in the rigors of data integration, event processing, and systems automation.
  • TIBCO’s new geolocation service, tibbr GEO, successfully turns a physical location into a contextual data hub where information is socialized alongside people.

I spent most of my early years skiing in the Rocky Mountains, a fact which has apparently skewed the way I perceive the world.  This worldview, as my wife has pointed out many times, makes me drive too fast and complain about a distinct shortage of mountains in the Northeast.  It is the same for technology companies.  Early experiences inform future actions.  A vendor steeped in messaging, for example, views the collaboration business as a people-driven equation.  So, what happens when a vendor accustomed to viewing all business problems as being data-driven approaches collaboration? Read more of this post

The Workday Will Be Televised

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • The fast-approaching conjunction of social analytics, the YouTube generation, and pervasive mobility will radically alter the workplace as employees begin broadcasting the telemetry of the workday.
  • Companies that head down this road must prepare now for the inevitable ethical, legal, and even technical conundrums that will follow such ubiquitous and pervasive exposure.

When I go out for a bike ride, I never go alone.  That is, anyone who has befriended me on MapMyRIDE can follow my progress in real-time, noting some very specific telemetry data generated by my iPhone and the MapMyRIDE app, including my altitude, speed, direction, and exact location.  Later, my friends and I can review a given ride, analyzing my performance (like average speed over distance) or just going along for a virtual fly-along ride.  With bespoke devices, the gobandit GPS-HD, for instance, I could take this to an entirely new level, recording and later broadcasting my daily sojourns using the same telemetry data tied to a high-definition video feed.  Soon, corporate employees will begin broadcasting their daily work routines in much the same way. Read more of this post