Intel’s SuiteTwo

Intel has put together SuiteTwo, “a rich set of interconnected services that combine to improve productivity and enable high-engagement marketing. SuiteTwo includes the most trusted platforms for blogs, wikis, RSS feed reading, and RSS feed management, all under a single management interface.”

It includes:
– Blogging powered by Movable Type
– Wikis powered by Socialtext
– RSS feed reading powered by NewsGator
– RSS feed publishing powered by SimpleFeed
– Integrated Services provided by SpikeSource

Knowledge from Emails

Bill Ives writes:

I recently met with Thierry Hubert and Frederic Deriot of Knowledge Energies. They are coming up with some interesting ways to look into emails to abstract the knowledge exchanges that are normally lost through this channel. The use tags for this and these tags can be applied dynamically.

They write that most collaboration technologies like email ignore the importance of linking context and process when communication occurs so valuable knowledge is lost. This is one reason to switch to blogs as many have written about. In their approach, which requires some upfront discipline by the participant, context and process is captured so the knowledge gained can be obtained.

Esther Dyson on Office 2.0

Esther Dyson writes:

[Office 2.0 is] about the way the platform allows the sharing of information, but the trick is managing the processes, not managing the content.

That is, we need tools that will help us keep track of the workflow. For example, I send a blog post out to three people to make sure I quoted them correctly. Now I want a way automatically to ping the ones who haven’t responded. That’s a minor problem. But I have 20 or 30 of them a way…so I want a process spreadsheet, a tool that lets me set up little processes, copy and modify and re-use them. I want to be able to share them with other people. And, perhaps my company wants a way to create them and distribute them.

But in general, as we think about Office 2.0, we need to avoid the trap of thinking that work rules are centralized and hierarchical. Rules can be peer-to-peer too-if we have tools to create and share them in a bottom-up way.

Teqlo

Jeff Nolan left SAP recently and joined Teqlo.

The fundamental problem that has bedeviled application developers is that they are fundamentally disconnected from the people who use their applications. They have design partners and focus groups, beta periods where feedback is channeled back to the developers and tweaks made, and there are post-release initiatives aimed at improving the quality and satisfaction rate of the product but even in the best run process the users are not intimately involved in the development process. With Teqlo the users are intimately involved because they are the developer.

To expect that users, even power users, will be able to build applications that stitch together web services from multiple vendors is a stretch. Teqlo isnt attempting to build a new development language like Ruby on Rails that dramatically lowers the barrier, what we are doing is essentially reverse programming. Were treating development as a data flow problem, not a programming flow problem. If there is a core piece of technology that we have invented, it is the routing methodology and not the semantic definition of components; Teqlo takes web services that are wrapped up as components, we call them Teqlets, and determines the optimal sequencing based on the data inputs/outputs of each component. Yeah, its hard and there is a lot more to it than I am revealing here, but the point of this post is not to talk about our technology but rather what it means for users.

Dan Farber has more.

Coghead

InfoWorld writes:

In SMBs or workgroups in larger organizations, users who feel at home with technology are often frustrated that they have to rely on packaged software or custom-built alternatives when doing their jobs, according to Paul McNamara, Coghead’s chief executive officer. “There’s a large gap between the people who create the app and those who use it,” he said. “We let people who are close to a business problem create their own apps.”

Coghead is targeting corporate users who are comfortable creating Excel macros and understand business processes, he added. Coghead estimates there could be as many as 20 million such people employed in IT or operations units within SMBs or enterprises.

SAP’s Software Platform

Knowledge@Wharton has an interview with Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP:

Knowledge@Wharton: For many years your products were primarily based on a three-tier client/server architecture. Now you are moving into Web Services. But various Web Services architectures have different goals. There is the ability to make software applications more modular, more easily configurable by the customer and more flexible for you to develop. But there’s also this notion of “on demand,” hosted “software as a service,” where the customer uses only a web browser. Are you doing both of those? Is one more important than the other?

Kagermann: They both are interconnected, but the first one is more important — that you have an architecture which is modular enough to “plug and play,” to use existing services to compose different innovative business processes. It means that you can innovate your process and be quicker than your competitor. Or you can better integrate into the process of your customer. That is the number 1 priority, because it gives us a competitive advantage.

The second one is more about how you deploy software and how you buy software. And, yes, with this architecture we will have different deployment options for having software “on-premise,” like today, but also in a hosted, on-demand mode. But we have one difference to traditional on-demand models. The traditional approach to “software as a service” is an ASP [application service provider] “hosted” model. So it’s one size fits all.

Enterprise Software Landscape

[via Sadagopan] Jeff Nolan writes:

1) Direct enterprise selling sucks, is highly inefficient, and makes you do unnatural things in your product strategy in order to drive higher deal sizes

2) Large enterprise software vendors are not the future…There are 38 million businesses in the U.S. alone that have less than 10 employees, there just has to be a way to grow our collective markets by appealing to these business users and Im pretty confident in saying that it isnt going to come from SAP, Oracle, or IBM.

3) The SOA-ification of big enterprise products has attacked a technical dimension, not an economic or business model one.

4) Big enterprise software has historically been a product driven development process, not a user driven approach.

5) Lastly, and most importantly, there are no new big killer apps that are going to be built for todays enterprise. Global business has spent the last 40 years automating every corporate function that is worth automating, and then they automated it again through process reengineering and once more when that didnt work out quite like everyone thought.

Smart Tech Stories

Forbes has 10 stories. One of them:

Construction company Emcor Group put voice, e-mail and specialized applications on a handheld device that fits in a shirt pocket. That’s providing a practical way to keep the people closest to the customer up to date.

Field technicians are now more productive, using a wireless dispatching system tied to Emcor’s customer support center. The result: Customers are served better and faster and with consistently higher quality. Technicians arrive promptly and are better prepared to address customer concerns.

The same device used by the technicians for this service application also is their cellphone. Emcor recently added e-mail delivery to the device, further integrating the tools and resources needed every day. The approach has improved time to invoice, invoice accuracy and overall customer satisfaction by more closely integrating the field to the office.

Office 2.0

Nicholas Carr writes:

That term is being used, with increasing frequency (and, naturally, decreasing specificity), to describe a new generation of personal productivity applications – the would-be successors to the component applications of the ubiquitous Microsoft Office. Office 2.0 applications are delivered as services over the internet, running in most cases within the user’s web browser. Many such “web apps” are already available, ranging from Google’s Writely word processor to Dan Bricklin’s wikiCalc spreadsheet program to Zoho’s Show presentation creator. They are, by design and necessity, much simpler than traditional “desktop apps,” and because they run on the internet they are in many ways (though not in all ways) more conducive to collaboration among many users. They are also, in general, easier to integrate with other popular Web 2.0 formats and tools such as tags, wikis and blogs.