Archive for collaboration

Innovative digital collaboration?

Posted in 1 with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by Geir Stene

Being innovative doesn’t mean that you have to invent something totally new. Innovation is being creative and make it happen! Most innovations that works is by connecting some known factors together in a creative way and make use  of it in a new way, and very very few new ideas came frome solitude and a vacum, its almost allways made by groups.

I came across this Blog article at Tech Pulse 360 about collaboration today. Have to say there is very little new in it. The news is that people now start getting it. Collaboration is useful in order to get whatever you do, done!

Cisco have gotten this and are prepared to offer large solutions to large enterprises to a high premium price. Great for Cisco! They have seen what people in the business have seen for a long time. It’s a huge market, and the demand is rising fast. Cisco estimates a 34 billion dollar market, yearly! But they are sticking to “telepresence, and webex conferences, not taking full advantages of collaborative possibilities, both synchrone, and a- synchrone. For most of us, it will be unneededly expensive. Connecting what we see is happening in the “Web 2.0” area, with various collaborative applications can be far more efficient for most of us in all kind of collaborative tasks. The applications are there, security and broadband challenges are solved. The global ressicion is a driver to speed up this developement as well, due to the need to look at cost/benefits and reductions on costs.

Well this is the ‘basics’. Another driver for digital collaboration that becomes innovative is You & I. Yes it is. Open innovation, in collective groups will drive forward a combination of innovation itself, and collaborative solutions as a result motivated by each other. Further reading on this ideas is a great idea. Charles Leadbeater book “We think” is a great start, but if you are as lazy as I am, a link to his blog would maybe be of help? Well just click on his name or the name of the book. In any event thinking alone hasen’t gotten anyone anywhere, action and results are needed in order to get innovation, so what are you waiting for? 

We are all ready, We have the knowledge, the overview of products and services to set up concepts and solutions that are innovative, and we have the fun mix of providing a quick ROI, being quickly adjustable to meet changing needs, easy to produce and most important easy to use. Anyone guessing its not Cisco’s solutions Im thinking of ? It’s more in the line of integrated software/applications, or this clever thing calles SaaS, that enables modern, innovative digital collaboration. All for a cost you earn back fast enough to dare to get started! Not convinsed yet? Well you now have the tools to get independent by large corporations, and can choose between social groups of your choice to get inspired, to get new knowledge and to balance risk between providors of all kinds.

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Open standards and collaboration

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 20, 2008 by Geir Stene

Well, why not apply the “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) model? Microsoft says they are focusing on open standards and pinpoint the great benefits of collaboration and interoperationality. In Digi.no there is an interessting article today.

That’s great news, even though I doubt Microsoft has what it takes to give the market just that. But one never knows. Microsoft has to change, they know it, what remains to see if they are just talking the talk, or walking the walk.

Collaboration is a huge area of business models, concepts, technologies and organizational implementing systems. Intermobility is as well. The offers on the market is large, and not very easy to  have a clear view of. Why not simplify the task at hand, and use the web as the front end? Not Microsoft, not SAP, not Polycom or Tandberg, but simply the web. The web is an open standard; the web is simple and familiar for all users. The web is accessible from where ever. The broadband capacity is increasing as we speak mobile networks as well. So why not? The answer is in the business models created a long time ago. This goes for Microsoft, Tandberg, Telenor and the lot. They are all reluctant to change, that’s one of the main reasons the KISS model aren’t implemented already. They are afraid to loose market shares, and want to lock their customers into their own proprietary hardware/ software. This is old fashioned, and can in the most simple way be described as a mild form of bondage, and who want to be that submissive in business?

But there is hope! There are alternatives for web based solutions that are open for all ( this includes software from e.g. Microsoft, like Sharpeoint) where one can integrate web meeting solutions (like meetcon in scandinavia/ Wiredred in Europe and the US), project management solutions and so forth into a complete, simple web based interface tailor-made for your organization and business. It can easily be scaled for small businesses, and for large cooperatives. Safety is not a topic, it can all be managed. 

For a while yet, the large companies, like the ones mentioned above will keep argue that it’s not true that the web can solve the collaboration and intermobility challenge. At the same time the very same corps. are the already working very hard to try to change, before google snap the market shares in front of their eyes.

PS: Latest news: Speculations on Tandberg being in a a possible buy up situation Read more here (in Norwegian)

Digital collaboration is for everyone

Posted in 1 with tags , on May 23, 2008 by Geir Stene

It seems like when people start talking about collaboration and digital solutions, one start thinking; That’s for large organizations, It’s complicated or it’s expensive and not for my office/company. This is not true anymore.

 
Everything we do at work is to collaborate. We work in teams, we exchange information, share knowledge, solve problems, discuss, attend to a lot of meetings, run projects, develop and sell products, offer a wide range of services and we interact in almost every activity we do. This is absolutely valid for both public and private sector. The concepts for digital solutions for collaboration are developing rapidly. Main drivers for this is the broadband capacities that are increasing world wide, and also everything that goes on in social media, Web 2.0 and so forth. It’s a common prediction that these markets will be one of the top five growth markets the next coming years.

Flexibility and integration are two important key words for the concepts that will become the standard for collaboration services. The benefits is as we know them on beforehand is; faster production / development cycles, cost savings, closer relations with team members and customers, better public services and so on. New aspects are that the web interface, the kind of functionalities that are included and better integrations of them is improving a lot. Another aspect is that getting started is easy, also for very small companies and units in an organization. “Out of the box” is just fine, as a start. At the other end of the scale, highly complex systems that seamless integrate all kind of back end systems and present it in a single interface – or, as in the image in this article, virtual workspaces on a wall that enables multitasking collaboration tasks where e.g. time frame is of extreme importance. (e.g. solutions for handling crisis and emergencies, or industrial processes) now is available technologies for a cost one wouldn’t dream of just a few years ago

Still the most important is of course not ‘collaboration’ in it self, but what you need to do, and how to do that most effective. The best solutions for digital collaboration will be those where the user don’t even think of it as digital collaboration, but just the way we work!

Collaboration beyond knowledge management

Posted in 1 with tags , , on May 17, 2008 by Geir Stene

We are familiar with the traditional collaboration and knowledge management software solutions and “heavy” solutions for the web. To gather, sort and make data available for groups. We have gotten familiar with some of the social network solutions like LinkedIn, facebook, MySpace and so forth. But we have a lot in front of us when these – and real time communication solutions melt into seamless web 2.0 and web 3.0 concepts.

The essence of collaboration is; by doing things together we get a better outcome, than the effort done by the same amount of individuals would alone. The essence of digital collaboration is to achieve this in a virtual environment where there is no boundaries of location for the participants. Hardware, Software, Portals, web applications, API’s, and not to forget broadband connections and so forth enables a totally new set of possibilities. We can rapidly move from old fashioned (and kind of “static”) Knowledge Management software and server solutions locked in to the company’s IT environment, and move toward open engines where you can both structure your input and collect your output, team based, and go far beyond that and increase work flow processes, speed up projects and make use of your time line far better. Just as we all knew on beforehand; the most interesting discussions and biggest “breakthrough’s” in problem solving happens at the coffee machine, or over a beer in the pub. The trick is to set up a digital environment that support common human behavior, where the technology becomes as invisible as possible. In order to achieve the optimal of all the possibilities the most important factor is may be not not the digital boundaries, but the organizational ability to change from an old fashioned work flow, towards new and improved processes. Defining accurate and flexible concepts for your organizational collaboration and how to implement this in your organization is maybe a bigger challenge than the actual Digital bit of it.

What is beyond traditional knowledge management, and project management systems? We see concepts that includes both a- syncrone and syncrone collaboration in one and the same solutions, we see an increased interests in integrated services instead of singular software. Services that add, and include e.g. instant messaging, presence management, predefined web based web conference solutions (instead of heavy duty videoconferencing hard/software ) like meetcon are emerging. We see that complete collaboration portals (tailor made) that make real sense to reaching goals like; cost savings, time saving, rapid product development (time to market) real time meetings and e learning, increased contact with customers and so forth . All this is a reality of combined and integrated services that takes collaboration to new levels. The best part is that all the technology is at hand right now, it’s not science fiction! Sharepoint from MS, IBM collaboration and a lot of other have improved solutions during the last couples of years. It’s also easy to make solutions that are totally web based without the traditional software solution and need for download of heavy clients. We are no longer dependent on one kind of system, but can “shop” from a lot of systems, services and integrate them into our own needs.

And it gets even more interesting when you start looking at combining this kind of collaboration concepts with communities and add “mash up” concepts. Can you imagine this kind of concepts in a “transparency” environment? How this can influence your work force? What kind of innovative organization you can build and grow? I’m looking forward to see some of the upcoming project that I bet is already in work several places around the world. This is the wonderful part of innovation, it often seem to be a “collective consciousness” worldwide. The next few years will surely be interesting in terms of re-newing the way we work in both a global and local sense. Mobility, cross country and cross culture workflow will increase, and with it – the level of innovation will rise.

I attended First Tuesday yesterday

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Geir Stene

Web 2.0 and social networks had the focus of the speakers. It’s not just another “buzz word” just as I thought. There is a lot of interesting things happening at the moment and the future looks bright.

I know one of the speakers, Kjetil Manheim, and yesterdays post became a “friendly race” from my side to get my post out before I had heard what he had so say about social networking. 🙂 Lots of people came to network, and to discuss these, and other themes of the Internet business of today. I got to introduce a few new people of the company I own a part of, meetcon, and it just might develop into some interesting collaboration and web conference projects.

First Tuesday is always inspiring, and it’s always interesting to meet up with new people in the business and re- cap with people I know. You can read all about it at First Tuesday if you become a member !

What do you know?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on May 4, 2008 by Geir Stene

In danger of becoming a part of the blogging phenomen, where everyone is out on the web to communicate, and no one is left to read, I’m joining the club.

The reason for doing this is clear, and unclear at once, just to warn you all. It’s a way to let my network, colleagues, competitors, customers future employees and all other interested get a better understanding of my views on subjects in connection with my work, who I am and so forth. At the same time there is a serious risk that I’ll be twittering, getting into totally other topics as it fits my mood.

I’m to be found at Facebook if you want to know more about me, my profile and network. Since I joined two colleagues a couple of years back and started the company meetcon you will also see some of what I’m specialized in, work wise.