July 2004 Archives


I have not been writing in my blog for a bit because my family and I are traveling in Ireland. The house where I am staying in Ballina, County Mayo, has a phone connection to the internet. I can get a reasonably good line out. While here in County Mayo we have been doing lots of hiking and visiting megolithic tombs. I found Megolithomania tonight which will really help our exploration of the area. It is a great blog!
Also, I have been posting photos from our trip to this lovely island. Take a look.

Great blog about restaurants and wine. What could be better!

[Loic Le Meur Blog]

Shared Taxonomies

Please note:

Verity's Walter Underwood pointed me to Verity's Collaborative Classifier (the classifier formerly known as Quiver). Walter says "VCC allows separate topic experts to manage parts of the hierarchy. They can look at newly-classified docs and set thresholds for where they want to individually approve them."

Different SMEs editing the same taxonomy within pre-defined workflow and role constraints sounds pretty neat. Could even shoot some holes in my taxonomy-skeptical enterprise IA roadmap (46Kb PDF). Although I should add that VCC's approach seems to make sense in contexts with specialized domains that don't overlap much, and with few relevant facets to muddy things up further. Then again, the same could be said for any large taxonomy...

Any opinions on or experiences with shared taxonomies out there? Any of you ever tried Quiver/VCC?

For your further edification, here's a use case straight from Verity's promotional literature:

Use Case: Chemical Engineers Collaborating with Knowledge Engineers

Peppy Plastics is the leading manufacturer of plastic toys in the world, with factories on each continent. Mack, a manufacturing engineer in the Chicago office, has been assigned the editor of the entire Manufacturing branch of Peppy’s corporate taxonomy. Shortly after, Peppy gets its ISO 9001 certification. To accommodate this, Mack creates a subcategory called ISO Procedures directly below the Manufacturing category. He then places a dozen ISO procedure documents in the subcategory, and uses Verity Collaborative Classifier’s interface to control Verity K2 Enterprise’s automatic classification features and create the rules that define the subcategory based on those documents.

Verity Collaborative Classifier automatically routes the new subcategory to Sue, a knowledge engineer in Peppy’s London office who has been assigned the role of Managing Editor for the Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales branches of the taxonomy. Sue notes that there is already a subcategory called Procedures under Manufacturing, and rejects the modification but suggests that the ISO Procedures subcategory should fall under Procedures. Mack resubmits the ISO Procedures subcategory under the Procedures subcategory, and Collaborative Classifier again routes the new subcategory to Sue. This time Sue approves the new subcategory, Collaborative Classifier immediately publishes the change, Verity K2 populates the subcategory according to its business rules, and end-users across the enterprise are able to browse it for ISO procedures just minutes after Mack created it.

This package builds on the Microsoft Solution for Intranets (MSI) version 1.5 by introducing a flexible, highly-available intranet architecture based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, the Microsoft Office System, and Microsoft Windows Server 2003. The objective of the Solution Accelerator for Intranets is to enable partners and enterprise customers to quickly build comprehensive intranet solutions that provide enterprise search and document management, Web-based team collaboration, and tight integration with the Microsoft Office System.

[Last 20 SharePoint Portal Server Uploads on Only4Gurus.com]
I have said for some time that Microsoft will dominate presence and audio/video/and IM on the web. If it does not happen via this intiative it will happen another way.

So the Big 3 have decided to start some sort of interoperbility with each other, and Microsoft seems to be the glue.
Even if this just barely sees the light of day, and just in the enterprise at that, I believe it is an important insight into where IM is going. If Microsoft will push interoperbility it will be through SIMPLE, and the AOL and Yahoo! will probably implement SIMPLE gateways at first, eventually enabling the clients as demand for additional SIP/SIMPLE services are requested.
Where does this put the rest of us on XMPP. well not in a good position thats for sure. On one hand at least we are moving in the right direction, intropability on hopefully an open standard(if they all do use SIMPLE), and I do understand the argument that having your Audio/Video/Data using the same protocal as your presence/IM makes sence, I’m still not entirerly sold on retofiting SIP for the task of basic IM.
Of course this could be complete BS and nothing could come from this arangement…. which is most likely :-)

[Feedster.com Results For: microsoft voip]
Here are several good links to collaboration software and their capabilities to support communities of practice

In the May June issue of KM Review there is a comparison of Community of Practice software. CoPs and related software is one approach to supporting collaboration and communities. The Tomoye site, a CoP vendor, offers the following definition of Communities of Practice (edited down a bit):

“CoPs are distributed groups of people who share a concern, set of problems, or mandate. Often informal groups of experts, CoPs serve to reconnect individuals in self-organizing, boundary-spanning communities. They complement existing structures by promoting collaboration, information exchange, and sharing of best practices. A great deal of knowledge creation happens in these less visible groups. They are useful in environments where domain knowledge develops dynamically and future knowledge requirements are not yet met. Organizations also formalize CoPs when the content is highly reusable, of high strategic value and/or the source of significant competitive advantage.”

The following are CoP vendors are included in the KM Review article. These descriptions are taken from their web sites, not from the article which I encourage you to look at. I simply deleted the hype parts from the vendors’ descriptions.

ERoom (Documentum) allows people to work together on content, projects, and processes across their extended enterprises. eRoom.net provides a subscription-based, hosted version of eRoom, primarily for mid-sized businesses or department usage. For larger organizations, eRoom Enterprise unites two related sets of capabilities: enterprise content management (ECM) and collaboration. eRoom Enterprise uses Documentum’s workflow engine to integrate formalized, structured workflow processes within ad hoc, collaborative project efforts. This allows the development of content workflow processes that include the automatic generation of preconfigured eRooms.

Sitescape Enterprise Forum 7.1 is a collaboration environment that allows for group communication - both asynchronously and real time - and the sharing information in a secure, Web- based environment. SiteScape Forum facilitates knowledge management, document management, project management, communities of practice, workflow and e-learning. Users can also host online discussions; share and revise documents and files; chat; schedule meetings using shared calendars; organize tasks; and send instant messages. The integrated workflow makes collaboration more efficient by automating repetitive processes. Using the Forum eMeeting real-time collaboration add-on, users can facilitate Web meetings, virtual presentations, white boarding with mark up, application sharing, voice over IP (VoIP), and video conferencing over the Web.

Enable2 collaboration tool has been specifically designed to help companies collaborate across their supply chains. Easy setup of shared team areas by any authorised user. It provides secure document management and intranets, configurable email / SMS alerts that keep everyone in the loop, customisable discussion areas, and full audit trail.

Business Workspaces (Vignette) offers Web-based collaborative capabilities that support, simplify, and coordinate group efforts across multiple locations. It blends with and extends current productivity tools like e-mail, desktop document folders and calendaring. It can be used as a stand-alone collaboration software solution, or integrated with Vignette Application Portal. Business Workspaces has automatically indexing of incoming documents and attachments to help ensure access through searches on text, metadata, or many other options. There is also automatic notification of document changes, events of interest, even to specific searches, through a search agent feature.

SigmaConnect provides a platform for communities that allows you to: Distinguish Communities by type, Create Sub-communities (to any level), Search by name or topic, Distinguish between Member and Visitor information, Add links, documents and images, and Manage Community Membership. It also keeps track of personal expertise across the organization. Users maintain their own information, offering what they feel confident to share and each user has their personal page.

Simplify, by Tomoye, provides a platform for CoPs that offers administrative features such: Customizable Identity & Templates, Dynamic Community Taxonomy, Community Role Delegation, Approval Processes along with member features such as Awareness reports, Featuring & Highlighting, E-mail based Subscriptions, Community Calendar, In-Context Discussions, and a Knowledge Rating Tool. It also provides features to promote growth including: Customizable Contribution Types, Customizable Lexicon, Customizable Language Settings, and Customizable Security.

The article also discusses products from Microsoft and Lotus but appears to leave out Groove and Plumtree, among others. From these product descriptions it appears there has been a convergence on collaboration from several starting points. The content management vendors (e.g. Documentum, Vignette) have added these features. At the same time the portal providers (e.g. IBM, Microsoft, Plumtree) have also added collaboration. There are also some niche players.

[Feedster.com Results For: microsoft voip]

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