|By Chris Yeh||
|December 14, 2008 04:15 AM EST||
Yet while collaboration during this time period proved a critical, sometimes determining, factor in business success, collaboration remained a large-scale process. Just-in-time manufacturing and cross-docking made sense for giants like Toyota and Wal-Mart, but it was hard to see their relevance for small businesses.
Paradoxically, it took the Internet Age - founded on teaching computers to talk with one another - to make collaboration personal again. The Internet places communications and coordination within the affordable reach of every business. No longer do you need a complex (and expensive) network of leased lines and dedicated hardware to integrate with your supplier. Instead, anyone with a computer can connect and communicate with anyone else. With the rise of cloud computing, you can even rent that computing power from the likes of Amazon.
Before the Internet age, stitching together a multinational operation required millions of dollars in capital equipment, thousands a month in telecom expenditures, and a massive IT staff to oversee that infrastructure. Today, you can hire developers in Bangalore (oDesk.com), a call center in Manila (LiveOps.com), and a warehouse in Memphis (Shipwire.com) with a few clicks of the mouse without ever leaving your office or even picking up the phone.
But while making it dramatically easier to bring people together around a common task, the Internet magnifies the challenge of coordinating and managing those people and organizations.
The first attempts to build virtual corporations back in the 1990s failed, largely because of this very challenge. People in organizations don't just conduct simple transactions. They collaborate to solve problems, to meet customer demands, to respond to competitors, to design new products. The hundreds of decisions that they make every day - even in a small business - impact other people and organizations, often in unanticipated ways. A successful virtual corporation must not only reduce the cost of virtual interaction, it must address the unstructured, dynamic, and creative aspects of much real-world business interactions and the management of those interactions.
Today, for the first time ever, Web 2.0 and cloud computing make it possible to solve the final challenge of coordination and management.
If Web 1.0 was about making the Web "World Wide," Web 2.0 has been about making the Web "personal," and cloud computing is about making the Web "ubiquitous."
The two keys to solving the coordination challenge are semi-structured data and ubiquitous access in the cloud.
Semi-structured data provides an online replacement for the tacit knowledge and implicit agreements that are so essential in a traditional business. Think about how much of what every business does is based on the unwritten rules and institutional knowledge that live in the heads of individual professionals. This operational know-how, often varying based on circumstances, and transmitted in the hallways and conference rooms as well as around the lunch table, was missing from the last generation of virtual corporations.
Web 2.0 services like blogs and wikis provide an online outlet for this kind of semi-structured information. Blogs and blog comments are a substitute for traditional informal interaction, while wikis can record the operational knowhow that used to be passed on during informal face-to-face meetings and working together.
At the same time, the ubiquity of the cloud helps overcome the previous need to house all the members of the team under one roof (or within one firewall). Virtual private networks impose too much friction on those attempting to connect from the outside, and generate far too many security concerns. Cloud solutions can place every member of the team on an equal footing and allow members to collaborate across geographic and organizational boundaries.
Yet while Web 2.0 and cloud computing have made virtual corporation possible, they are technologies, not applications. Businesses and teams need to learn how best to apply these technologies to generate real business gains, especially in the current economic environment.
How Does Collaboration Help Me Do More With Less?
While collaboration in the cloud has many soft benefits like allowing greater geographic diversity and encouraging a participatory culture, during these tough times, the hard benefits of collaboration take center stage. The bottom line is that collaboration helps you do more with less, and by definition, virtual companies and teams are all about less. Less time. Less money. Less inefficiency. Less employees.
Here are four practical ways that collaboration in the cloud enables businesses (virtual and otherwise) to do more with less:
- Ditch your servers
- Cut down on travel
- Enable outsourcing and offshoring
- Improve knowledge worker productivity
1. Ditch Your Servers
RMC Vanguard Mortgage is an established company in a traditional industry that's turned to collaboration and virtual company tactics to survive and thrive during turbulent times.
Few industries have been hit harder by the credit crunch than the mortgage industry. Yet through it all, RMC Vanguard (an independent mortgage company based in Houston that serves customers in over 25 states) has continued to grow. Its network of loan officers, most of whom work from their homes, acts like virtual company. It's critical that RMC's underwriters be able to serve the needs of those loan officers while still keeping up to speed on the rapidly changing rules and regulations of the mortgage industry.
RMC CTO Teo Mayes had been using a shared server to store and distribute this constantly changing information, but found that (1) it was hard to give access to geographically dispersed loan officers who sat outside the corporate infrastructure and had to log into a terminal access port to reach the server; (2) frustrated loan officers would simply call the underwriters instead of keeping up to speed, bogging down those valuable employees; and (3) the technical team was spending time and money maintaining the hardware and network.
|shirley 12/12/08 01:05:06 AM EST|
We can assist here as we specialize in developing and implementing SharePoint 2007 – that’s all we do.
There is more information on this at http://www.nsynergy.com/Services/Pages/default.aspx or mail to [email protected].
|FastRoundTrip 12/11/08 01:30:37 PM EST|
Well put. Collaboration is definitly the future of surviving and thriving business. And not just for asynchronous collab, on the real-time side, there's a lot of excitement too. For example, http://see.nefsis.com uses true cloud computing to reduce latency in desktop sharing and live multiparty video. Cloud computing makes a fundamental improvement in roundtrip latency here, unobtainable by single-server and centralized technologies.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,446
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,351
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,428
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,032
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,445
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,186
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:15 AM EST Reads: 2,158
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,440
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,290
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,407
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 965
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,459
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,510
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,473
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,428
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,583
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,434
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,791
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,943
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,001