Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Pat Romanski, Steven Mandel, John Basso, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

Agile Computing: Article

The Typewriter-to-Telex-to-Twitter Collaboration Curve

What is collaboration for anyway?

Most of us can probably still reference fellow employees (and quite a few managers) who passed the Internet off as nothing more than a passing fad as recently as the turn of the millennium.

The "modern" business procedures of 1999 were already pretty slick and refined and fax machines were a vast improvement over the telex network, so things were working pretty well thank you very much.

The growth of this so-called "information super highway" was interesting, but it really just looked like some kind of online HTML-based encyclopedia of static reference pages that weren't that much of an improvement over plain old books and magazines.

Then came dynamic HTML and things started moving. Then came Web 2.0 inspired interactivity and interconnectivity and things would never really be the same.

Individuals started using the Internet in new ways to connect with each other and the typewriter, the telex and the fax machine were all consigned to the recycle bin as the effect was also felt from above. Firms started to re-engineer their management practices and new acronym-heavy labels were born, such as Business Process Management (BPM), as software was developed to orchestrate us through to new levels of automation.

What Is Collaboration for Anyway?
Fast-forward to 2013 and we see both CIOs and business managers under increasing pressure to "collaborate more efficiently" now. It's almost as if collaboration has become a business goal in its own right rather than the end results it is supposed to exist to facilitate.

But this is not a sector to ignore. Business level collaboration and communication, or "social enterprise solutions" as they are now known, are a growing market. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise applications is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through from 2013 into 2016, reaching a total of US$6.4 billion.

Many of the big IT vendors are pushing forward in this space. IBM for example has just announced new social business software to help collaborate in the cloud using a broad range of mobile devices.

The products include the new IBM SmartCloud services, which include new social networking features and IBM SmartCloud Docs, a cloud-based office productivity suite, which allows users to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheets and presentation documents.

It All Comes Down to Productivity
If you're asking what the reason is for all these new tools, the answer is simple and it comes down to one word: productivity.

HP is also active in this space and channels much of its technology development into collaboration at the customer facing CRM (customer relationship management) end of the rainbow.

"Leading companies, particularly in business-to-consumer industries, have recognised the importance of tapping into customer-to-customer communications and engaging in these social conversations," said Joe Outlaw, principal contact center analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "Drawing on its strong analytics capabilities and deep CRM experience, HP has created a uniquely powerful social CRM service. This service offers companies a full set of tools and methodologies designed for rapid start-up and seamless broadening and deepening of social CRM programs as strategies dictate."

We are interconnecting and collaborating with customers and partners (and each other) in new and more (hopefully) productive ways. If we have moved on down the typewriter-to-telex-to-Twitter collaboration curve, then today almost represents some kind of intense, concentrated or extreme collaboration style.

Never shy of attempting to coin a new industry term if its fee-paying clients will substantiate a white paper to illustrate a new concept is IT analyst firm Gartner. The company has indeed taken the "extreme" term and refers to our new intercommunication obligations as extreme collaboration (XC).

The new "operating model" is enabled by combing coalesced forces into a pattern that forces us to innovate around the way people behave, communicate, work together and maintain relationships.

A Virtual War Room
"Collaboration is a critical activity in many operational business processes, both structured and unstructured. An XC environment is essentially a virtual war room or crisis center, where people can come together to collaboratively work on a shared purpose," said Janelle Hill, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"This environment is available 24/7, thus enabling people to work when, where and how they need to in order to meet shared goals and outcomes. What makes it extreme is people's willingness to cross geographic, organizational, political, management boundaries, to pool their collective skills and resources to solve problems and move toward the attainment of a shared, ambitious goal."

If we buy this new concept then XC as defined by Gartner is charecterised and typified by a large proportion of web-based virtual collaboration and near-real-time communication activities.

For the more traditional or old school CIOs who are getting frustrated by some of this new-fangled operational talk, some of these moves could be hard to make. One the one hand there is the CIO who accepts that social enterprise technologies make some sense, but on the other hand sees "tweet jams," "crowdsourcing" and "dynamic community brainstorming" as just one step too far.

Yes we have moved on from the typewriter and the telex. Yes Twitter is characterizing the socially collaborative level of online interaction that we will all now employ at a professional level (not just consumer level)... and yes, Gartner's XC label does sound a bit way out initially.

But remember, "way out" is probably what we said about that whole new Internet thing when it first came along right?

•   •   •

The post was first featured on CIO Enterprise Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 dev...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...