Most information workers are spending more and more time in virtual meetings. For many the virtual nature leads to attention deficit and long meetings soon become fragmented by breaks and break out meetings become much harder.
I’m thinking (out loud here!) about whether systems such as OpenCroquet or the more popular SecondLife could be used effectively to host virtual meetings. The representation of yourself as a 3D character with emotions, movement and an element of body language would be interesting. More powerful would be the ability to have break out meetings and physically move into another room with individual participants as needed. The idea of utilising breaks in virtual meetings like you would in a physical meeting also interests me. Sure participants will need time to go away and get a coffee but organisers can allow time for the virtual meeting break to include the time we need to chat one to one. The very natural “hey I like that point you made could you expand more” – the kind of conversations and directions that are lost in the present virtual meetings. I see technologies such as these as being key to collaborative virtual meetings in the future.
I’d be curious to hear the opinions of others in this area…comments please!
Well they’ve started to flow in from vendors. I hope the community will also develop plugins in a similar way that application templates have been developed at openntf.org. The extensibility of this new client will be a major bonus to users and enterprises alike. I also hope IBM will post more plugins for download, and improve the mechanism for download i.e. here is a great google maps plugin from IBM but it isn’t a simple download and run the exe its an admin/developer job to install. Now I know this plugin was on developer works but it would have been great to have a user installable file so everyone can share the plugins. I realise people will say to me hey you just need a sametime 7.5 server and you can provision plugins but for the true benefit we need publicly available simple to install plugins – I’m sure this will come over the next few months.
Over at LotusUserGroup.org there is an excellent podcast from Mike Rhodin. Recorded just before the launch of Sametime 7.5 it does contain some useful information:
- IBM and LotusUserGroup.org are planning launch webcasts and Events.
- AOL will be offering clearing house services for SIP/SIP connections between organisations without any additional licence fee.
- When Notes 8 (Hannover) is shipped the FULL Sametime Connect client functionality will ship with the product [as both products are eclipse based it is much easier to paste functionality from one product to another].
That last bullet point is excellent news and should reduce the desktop footprint and potentially simplify support.
Sametime 7.5 has new functionality which shows you at the bottom of the chat window when the person you are chatting with closes their window, thus ending the converstation. In previous versions you’d never know and just keep the conversation going, unaware the recipient had closed the window. So my etiquate tip would be to ensure you close the conversation in the chat before closing the chat window.
Addition to original post
Steve made an excellent comment.
“my tip would be slightly different, when you really need to end a conversation you need to explicitly close it, however when you receive a windows closed notification, assume only that the other person has nothing more to say – NOT that they are not open to you continuing to say something.”
I think the real answer is that organisations need to consider how users will react to new functions and ensure that guidance and information is available.
tags: consilient, mobile, email, push
Well there you go, I may be well behind the times but consilient are offering push email technologies to eneterprises and consumers. The consumer package is $5 per month. The differentiator here is the number of devices they will support:
- Nokia 3230, 6260, 6600, 6620, 6630, 6670, 6680, 7610, N70, N90, 9300, 9300i, 9500, E60, E61, E70
- BlackBerry 6210, 6220, 6230, 6280, 7210, 7230, 7280, 7290, 7100, 7130, 7250, 8700
- Coming Soon: Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo, LG, and other J2ME phones
I’ll keep my eye on these folks and when I manage to enter the 21st century with my own mobile may well consider their service.
tags: Ferris, Webinar, Collaboration
For the uninitiated Ferris are a small research house concerntrating on messaging and collaborative technologies. Every month Ferris host a webinar and every three months they host a free webinar. I would highly recommend them to everyone. The 2 free events I’ve managed to attand this year have been on Domino Unified Messaging and Emerging Messaging Technologies. Superb!!
The taking notes podcast recently talked to Rob Novak (president of SNAPPS) and Satwik Seshasai (team lead for Quickplace development at IBM). They announced Quickplace 8.0 is due in Q1 2007 and will, according to Satwik “bring excitement” into the product. The focus of their development has been in 3 key areas users, admins, developers. However 50% of their time has been spent on integration. What we are likely to see is (in no particular order):
- A new user interface
- Improved themes
- A richer experience (right click, drag and drop etc)
- Better Microsoft Office and Open Document Format integration
- Better integration with the Lotus Notes inbox
- Integration with IBM’s productivity tools (ODF editors)
And the more exciting elements as far as I am concerned:
- Use of AJAX for a better user experience
- Web services within places
- Integration with activities
We’ll hear more after the collaboration university events in September and then I suspect everything will be timed to coincide with Lotusphere 2007 in January. This is excellent news and shows another mainstream product is adopting Web2.0 technologies at its core.
Physical security, electronic security, identity security we try to lock ourselves down while web2.0 is trying to break our traditional views on these areas … this is one thing bothers me about web2.0. Â For example, many vendors are writing applications which allow companies to store all their sales leads, bids etc. in a single handy web2.0 application. Â Great I’m a small business and all of a sudden I’ve got an enterprise quality solution to use, I research about the vendor and all appears good, I even check their credentials with some references. Â But how do I really know they can be trusted with my data. Â An organised criminal organisation could quite easily gather all this valuable information from me and I’ll pay them to do it! Â So the question is how do we build brand trust and identity in the new web2.0 world. Â The newcomers to the market are quite likely to be the people offering exciting products which grab customers and spread virally. Â How can we as individual consumers or coporate consumers understand what is a legitimate business organisation and what could be a risk to me, my money or my identity?
As web2.0 moves into more areas where data was historically proprietary and locked in the enterprise how do we protect ourselves and our organisations from this risk? Â I think this is where a fully traceable “food chain” would be useful for customers to build trust in an organisation. Â Perhaps the financial and insurance institutions would be interested here? Â Could they offer an insured service which would safeguard customers against loss and offer web2.0 providors with a mark which potrays trust. Â Surely there could be a widget which goes back and verifies live whether the insurance is in place and generates a trust mark on the site you are working on. Â Trouble is going to be the bigger the risk the higher the insurance cost so less organisations will purchase it and those that do will pass the cost to consumers which will cause adoption issues.Â Well I’m no expert in the field but I can sense a problem moving forward as we move into a world where information is more valuable in some cases than a physical product.
With an eye to several beta programs from IBM for collaboration products over the next few months I’m hoping for some interesting new features to try (these have been well documented elsewhere).Â What I really hope is that IBM can learn something from the Office 2007 beta programme.Â They allowed users to install this utility to allow users to pass judgement quickly on features and bugs.Â Steve commented on this in more detail here.Â I hope IBM can do something similar.
I don’t know the answer to the question I pose but let me wrap some flesh around my thoughts.Â Today more and more workers are location independent.Â More and more organisations are moving to consumer led purchases of IT equipment and software.Â Many organisations turn a blind eye to public IM clients on their networks.Â Many employees turn to IM aggregators such as Trillian, Gaim or Meebo to enhance their IM experience.Â Now the major vendors are implementing gateways, some free and some at extra licence cost, to public IM networks.Â Some questions:
Will that gateway action be enough to ensure those enterprise IM systems survive?
Do I as an enterprise need an IM system?
If I as an enterprise allow free aggregated clients, use monitoring software at my boundary for any compliance issues do I need to have an enterprise IM system?
Does the cost of the enterprise IM environment justify the presence awareness I get in my email client?
Does the fact that clear text over the internet can be read make my corporate IM system a necessity on security or compliance grounds?
I think the answer in the short to medium term (say 5 years) is yes they do have a future.Â Pervasive presence awareness in applications, secure federation to business partnersÂ andÂ extended use ofÂ bots will be the keyÂ to success.Â Longer term when standards prevail for presence awareness rather than proprietary coding and better federation exists between vendors then we could see more use of hosted IM services.Â Â Exciting times ahead.
Apologies to those who read this twice, I posted a draft in error.Â