Xceler8 Concepts' Radio Weblog : This blog is a place for Marvin & Xceler8 Concepts to discuss & present information, items & issues deemed appropriate to the business & personal needs of Xceler8 Concepts.
BI (BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE) vendors are maneuvering to inject BI solutions with reporting tools that make analytics accessible to a broader set of users and that enable collaboration that offers a big-picture view of corporate performance.
Well really - I mis-state: The BI Tools are getting ready to support Collaboration it seems from this article.
It also seems that the strategy these days is still to use the collaborate word loosely - not in a well defined architecture.
It is assumed by all these vendors that magically they integrate reporting tools with their BI solutions that allow more users to have access & collaboration will magically appear - that they integrate into a Portal framework - and voila - Collaboration Nirvana appears.
While this is great for Marketing folks to exploit the "Collaborate" word - it gives us bad tastes as we remember the KM word - how it was used so much before & now we don't use it any more (that much that is) - because the Promise of KM was not delivered many times - we have talked about that before.
Well this article hits on two of my favorite, passionate topics, "Effective Collaboration" and the BIG PICTURE thing.
In this context, Effective Collaboration applies to how robust is this integration, what features of a reporting tool are to be used to allow what levels of users to make decisions better. There is always the assumption that broadening the user base for a tool makes it more appealing to the organizations who might want to use it - but that old tradeoff - are these broader set of users contributing to the analysis or just delivering reports to their managers who make the decisions?
As we all know – those of us who collaborate in decision-making mode – new questions materialize in a collaborative discussion that is driving decision-making. That session may call for new “report”. “Report” has such a “batch”, or implied “later” connotation. Later is NOT good when you’re making decisions that affect real-time performance or a project’s immediate need for a decision.
So - what IS the best way to give a Collaborative set of users the right integration - the use that TRULY supports their needs?
The question remains - how do users REALLY want to USE these tools - how should they integrate into the Collaboration Platform - for real-time benefit to the decision-making process?
And then, the BIG PICTURE thing - how truthful is the report - how many disparate data sources that are not in sync are used to generate these reports? Is this REALLY supporting a SINGLE VERSION of the TRUTH? How many times today do we still deal with different managers coming to the SAME meetings with their reports - all from the SAME data - showing DIFFERENT results - are we just exploding THIS problem to a more real-time environment?
There is NO substitution for good database design - for good systems integration - for real-time interfaces - that make these problems go away. But do we just assume that these are not issues today? We better NOT assume - we all know what that means, assuming that is...
The REAL issue here is – [with so many tools to integrate - no one vendor has all the pieces - we need to worry about solidarity of vision] - are these vendors loosely on the tails of each other? Or are we really benefiting from a level of integration between them that allows us to get a full-blown Collaboration-enabling "SOLUTION" that meets all of our needs?
This is another reason to participate in the CoP on Effective Collaboration !!!
Here you can make your views known - you can help define the requirements for a platform or solution to support real-time BI tools use - as real-time as it is effectively possible to deliver that is...
BI tools are just one component of an "Effective Collaborative" solution. Let's get the vendors to realize the big picture - see which ones can step up to the plate & make it happen for us - or are we going to take the lead & drive the process?
Notice to all: We have setup a Yahoo! Group for use in the CoP on Effective Collaboration - to signup - click here.
There is a reference to the process & procedures under which we are using this Yahoo! Group posted in the Announcement Section of the SharePoint Team Services (SPTS) site referenced to the left. Please check out the announcement here.
Thanks to all - we are almost ready to get this CoP rolling - so stay tuned.
It deals with the Promise of Web Services - what we expect from them - a study by IDC - and some comments by a vendor about the study - his interpretation of the views of where people may want Web Services to go in the future.
I also located a tool to email my news to me - interesting concept to integrate into Zoe - see the previous post on a Happy Zoe User - ME!
OH - You have to be running Radio to use the above tool - but then this is VIRAL stuff - you get to see other people get going - like what they're doing & WHAM - you're doing it too.
BTW - there are two other bloggers out there who got me excited about actually doing something with blogging - Ray Ozzie - of Groove & Lotus Notes fame - he blogs @ Ozzie's Blog & the other blogger is Amy Wohl whose blog deals with expanding the value of her Opinions Newsletter - she blogs @ Amy's Blog.
Both of these bloggers are into Collaboration like me - Ray of course is the Father of Collaboration in my mind anyway. Amy has been involved in some seminars recently involving Collaboratiuon - most recently at Fall Internet World in NYC at a seminar sponsored offsite on Oct. 1 - I may do a blog posting on that conference in the future. I didn't attend but was impressed with the agenda, content & the speakers.
I am really getting into this news thing - found two other tools for putting my news feeds into categories, searching them & building a "portal-like" interface into all this news stuff I'm getting on a hourly basis. They're by Mikel Maron - MyRadio - Yahoo like thing - & newsViews - he has other modules to add in - like a Quote module for stocks, a Weather module & a NewsAggreator comes with the main MyRadio tool. Theres also a Yahoo Groups module as well.
There are lots of other tools to plug into Radio - even ones for WebDAV integration & spell checking are coming soon. SO this is getting to be (actually already IS) a VERY robust platform for publishing on the web.
Consider what you would like to do to participate in this process - help grow this company. Effective Collaboration is our passion. We want to provide a way for people to participate, contribute & otherwise benefit from the process of:
Defining requirements for an Effective Collaboration platform & solution
Participate in a CoP (Community of Practice) to accomplish this
Possibly help build a solution - in a TBD manner - possibly Open Source - possibly funded
So, become a stakeholder, interested party, observer - you choose - this will be a Collaborative Process - although not democratic possibly :) - it will feel good to help shape a New Economy - at least that's the plan.
Stay tuned for more developments - and Thanks for your interest.
If you'd like access to the Document Library for Xceler8 Concepts (and the CoP on Effective Collaboration's Library as well) click on the link at the left (Document Library or just click here) & follow the instructions in the Announcement there.
We will be establishing a Community of Practice on Effective Collaboration soon - stay tuned for a more robust CoP with expanded Collaborative features & tools.
Thanks for your interest in Xceler8 Concepts & Effective Collaboration:)
Hey all - there's a posting on the Collaboration page - that you should go see if you're into - or want ot learn more about - Weblogging - how it relates to that OLD thing known as KM (Knowledge Management).
Go look at it - please - just click below for the specific posting - or click on Collaboration or the category link at the left of this posting...
It's a concept that's been around for a while - "Graphic Facilitation", (A.K.A. Mind Mapping, Scribing, Graphic Recording, Visual Synthesis)and is used at places like the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation.
The folks who do it for a living actually believe it's been around since the Pharaohs & the age of Egyptian hieroglyphics - see their analysis of it's history.
There are some good quotes & descriptions on the site of an organization ( alphachimp studio ) that has been extremely successful with the process - there is even a slideshow to show examples of its usage in some particular settings - click on the "SEE SLIDESHOW" link on the page in the first link in this paragraph on the site for access to it.
But it has benefits for today's meeting environments as well:
Benefits of Graphic Facilitation
... illustrates a complex flow of activity, ... provides an explicit structure for thinking. ... creates a structure to organize information, ... maintainssufficient focus to work together, ... manages the complexity of group discussions. ... energizes a group towards creative participation, ... accelerates any process of strategic planning or brainstorming. ... makes connections between thoughts to develop a systemic view, ... reflects back the expression of multiple vantage points and opinions, ... facilitates the resolution of conflicts by going beyond a solely verbal approach.
For a full treatment by the company that has been very successful delivering it to organizations around the world see their materials.
They have several examples (impressive ones) on their site - the first is for a effort conducted with students from a college - who really put it thru its paces. The second is for a MAJOR conference in 2002 at MIT.
The students effort was conducted with a large group putting it thru several different tasks using teams & getting student & faculty input regarding issues of the day.
Here's another user - happy with ZOE - it's going to take over the email world. It really is a neat tool - I've been using it since this weekend - even getting to my mail from outside my little home-based firewalled cable modem too!!! Thank you AT&T (www.attbi.com).
The goal here is to be able to index all the old pst files from my lifetime, :(, but in a usable format & in an effectively efficient manner - if that's a good combination of words - you'll get my meaning if you take a tour of ZOE on your own.
If you've had several jobs in your career & believe that the eMail you've received & generated over the years is yours & worth something, then take that look soon.
There is a tool (purchasable for $25) that converts various mail formats to one usable by ZOE - so you can import all your old email archives. It's an "eMail Alchemist" (see the reference to Emailchemy ... below !) - just one word of caution - the trial version messes around with the sender & subject meta-data tags in your email - so it's fine to test it out before purchase - but beware of what happens when you load the resultant "test" conversion file into ZOE - you might not like the results. At least I tried it for you - taking a Outlook Express account & running it thru the process. The "eMail Alchemist" web site has a great discussion of ways he's used it - actually to convert all kinds of mail formats (using interim conversions) - but also to solve the mysterious pst file "conversion" problem - since his software doesn't do it directly (but rather indirectly - an acceptable approach for me anyway) - and rightly so for the development effort required - support the pst file format directly yet.
Referenced below is a review by Jon Udell - it's worth the read - also - there was a posting on arsTechnica's openforum - Will I reach email Nirvana at last? - that got a lot of good feedback & alternative ways to view the solution - so opinions are out there for sure of this technology already. BTW, that threaded discussion is where I located the "eMail Alchemist".
BUT - Read on - enough of my background info - go learn what ZOE & Googling your eMail is all about...
Google where you need it. I recently migrated to Apple's Mail program but found it's built-in search feature to be about as useful as a 3-day hangover. Basically, I kept trying to use it as I use Google, placing phrases in quotes, separating inclusive AND key words with a comma or plus. But Mail, in it's eagerness to please ignored these logic queues.
However, I have found what I think is a good solution to this problem (aside from moving back to Entourage) in the form of a small Java jar called Zoë. This free tool is at once a mail client, mail server, mail filter, and mail search engine. Just import your existing mailbox, sign up for a Google's Web APIs, and let Zoë Google-ize your mail repository. It is, in a word, slick.
The real needs of the user are once again being considered by a group of people who have "done it before". It's great to see such developments taking place - let's see how we can support them...
A fascinating tour through Mitch Kapor's mind in 2002. Mitch was the founder of Lotus, I worked with him many years ago at Personal Software. He is recreating Agenda, apparently, in some fashion, entirely using open source technology. Mitch is one of the great software designers, so it might be well designed. In a brief review of his site I find a lot to like, but the proof will be in the software he creates. [Scripting News]
Also see the news article from the Mercury News - posted on the SiliconValley.com website - it's an interesting read as well.
Note: Most Blog sites on the net have the letters "blog" somewhere in their url - so this will enable a World Wide Web KM Search Initiative - SO KEEP BLOGGING !!! To implement this support we added this term to your search for you: (inurl:blog OR inurl:weblogs OR inurl:weblog OR inurl:blogs OR inurl:blogspot) If you have another url qualifier to be recommended for addition here - please email info@Xceler8Concepts.com
Unfortunately Google limits you to 10 words - so i have used up 5 already with these qualifiers - therefore any recommended addtion must promise lots of individual blogs to be considered for inclusion or replacing one that is there now!