As we’ve been putting our team together, it is now possible to think a little further ahead as to what we want to accomplish as part of our enterprise applications efforts.
I see work proceeding on three parallel fronts:
one is the Digital Dashboard (which I just described), which creates the unified read-write environment, intregrating news, blog posts, events, and other content through blogs, RSS aggregation and outliners.
the next is creating our internal Client Information System, which takes the information within our organisation (financial, marketing and support data) and makes a single page per client. It also creates events which can be published through to the RSS Aggregators, based on a pub-sub mechanism. This will also need to embed the business logic that we follow in our organisation. This is our first taste of what an SME like us would want and the infrastructure that is needed to make it happen. The development will be done in Java (EJB/J2EE) on JBoss.
the third front is building out an Enterprise Process Model. This takes the different types of enterprises which are there and the different functions that are performed and map them using standards defined by RosettaNet (Basics) and others. We need to take into account the three flows: information, product/service and money. At its heart is an Enterprise-based event model. This is the starting point for three things which we have talked about in the past: a Visual Biz-ic, which helps enterprises model their processes, a Business Process Library across enterprises (so I can pick and choose which enterprise I closely resemble and inherit those processes) and an Enterprise Emulator, which enables the simulation of the ecosystem of enterprises so we can test our software. Here, we should also see existing ERP packages and some of the online enterprise ASP providers (like SalesForce, NetLedger) to see how our models are as compared to them. In a way, this model needs to capture the best practices – but relate them in the context of SMEs in emerging markets.
Taken together, these three activities will give is a much clearer picture of the way forward. They will complement the MailServ product that we now have (which offers messaging, proxy, IM, firewall, LDAP and anti-virus support) and the Thin Client-Thick Server computing base that we want to set up in enterprises, providing a computer on every desktop at no more than USD 15-20 per month (inclusive of hardware, software, training and support). This creates the Tech Utility that I’ve often talked about in the past, and brings the benefits of technology to the 25+ million SMEs in the world who have so far had very limited technology exposure. This is the vision behind Emergic – taking technology to the bottom of the enterprise pyramid.