Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Janakiram MSV, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog, 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st 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 devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...