Ahmad Ludin

Google Wave and SAP 12Sprint- Part 1

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 at 3:58 AM

Social media is talked about everywhere; in fact, the topic is on the agenda of  employee, management meetings within enterprises; I am not sure if all the employees and or the management fully understand the impact of the social media on their daily work. Is it complimentary or interruptive to their activities? I believe there are good arguments for using it. Andrew McAfee makes a very convincing case for the social media; I would suggest that you go and have a read. Another great source is Thomas Otter’s and James Holincheck research : The Business Impact of Social Computing on HR data

Daily work for an employee; let’s say in information management industry, comprises of emails, projects, meetings in the form of conference calls with colleagues in different countries with different native languages, decision making to acquire or not, and even where to go for lunch as a team on Friday!

There is a common set of artifacts in the knowledge workers daily working life: Data, Collaboration, and Messaging

  • Data can be sourced from any number of places; it can be input by user; i.e typed; it can be derived from another set of data;  profit/loss is derived from Revenue after expenses are deducted or net payroll results from gross payroll after some sort of statutory deductions are taken; and data can be sent from another system/places using interfaces.
  • Collaboration is working with others to complete an activity or a task by sharing knowledge.
  • Messaging is interaction between the knowledge workers using technology that enables electronic communication. Chat, forums, Wikis, microbloging are all forms of messaging.

So what is all that got to do with Google and SAP you may ask; Well both google and SAP launched collaboration and communication platforms to address how we work and communicate within enterprises. Google announced  Google Wave, a new way to communicate and collaborate. You can read about it here, here, here and here

So what is Google Wave?

Let’s see, When email is sent to a group of people, it appears in each of their inboxes, a wave is similar to email but sent once and shared with the people. People can be added to the wave or removed from it and all the collaborators or wavers can edit or respond to it. A history is kept and if someone joins at a later point, they can “Play back” and can visually see the history of the wave or communication or document.

you can use the ping functionality to chat with others as well.

Documents, such as status reports, meeting minutes, project plans can be shared with the “wavers” and can be edited in real time; participation/voting, such and Yes, No, May be gadgets can be added to the wave to see who is going to the Indian for lunch. Enterprise specific gadgets can be developed and incorporated in the waves to address company specific communications and decision making criteria.

Data can be retrieved from any other place that has API and placed right into a wave using Robots. Data from your CRM system can be integrated into a wave to make decision on different marketing segmentation strategies; or data from Business Intelligence can be brought to display the time lost due to different absences.

In addition to all the features, here are some of other aspects of google wave

  • It is open source
  • It is extendable and new gadgets and robots can be developed for it
  • it can be implemented as a client or server
  • it can be accessed using mobile phone (smart phones)

With all the above advantages, there are a few things that are not so good about it:

  • You can’t really learn or pick it up in an hour because there are so many things embedded in it. Also you need other people or a group of people to wave with!
  • It is sometimes called email clone; but it is really much more than that.
  • Wave cannot be used in the current version of Internet Explorer because  HTML 5 is not available.

So google wave is really addressing the data, messaging and collaboration artifiacts of today’s  working environment. One area that jumps right out is google wave can be used  in project management or implementation of an SAP project.

to be continued to part 2…

  1. Wow! Wave looks exciting. Do you think that this will pose a viable threat to Microsoft Sharepoint? It seems to be aiming at many of the functions that sharepoint currently offers.

    • Great question Emal; Google has traditionally been trying to steal Microsoft’s lunch; Sharepoint is designed for enterprises in mind and not so much for consumers as Google’s products such as wave, maps blogger, etc are ; it is internally hosted- though MS is moving to the cloud option of sharepoint. For google wave to be a serious threat for sharepoint, it has to evolve and be relevant a lot quicker for the enterprises. I do not see this happening any time soon as sharepoint is not only a collaborative tool but a content management portal as well.

  2. […] sprint does a great job in addressing the data and collaboration artifacts I talked about in part 1 of this post, it however is lacking in a built in realtime messaging functionality; 12 sprint, […]

  3. The big bang approach to upgrading software to new versions has a lot of drawbacks.Right now a sharepoint upgrade takes a small army to perform, while google is pushing new features into their products on a regular basis without anyone even noticing the change.

    Google seems to have the SAS model of software delivery pinned down pretty well (not really a surprise as they were born into the web). I think that Microsoft is gonna have some catching up to do in that department.

    If (or I should say when) google catches up to sharepoint functionality wise, do you think that their strength in delivering services from the cloud will give them enough of an advantage to trump sharepoint’s dominance of the market?

  4. Saas is definitely the way to deliver software; and Microsoft realizes it and they are moving sharepoint to the cloud as they did with office; the problem is their current customer base is on local install of sharepoint and some of them like their software hosted in their own environment for control purposes. Moving that customer base to cloud is slow and long process. Now, if MS stays away from the SaaS model of software delivery; Google definitely have a chance with its open model.

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