Tackling Time Management

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-04-07 Email Print this article Print

Are you familiar with RSS?
The company that can aggregate Weblogs and combine them based on topics instead of based on the person?
No, that would be a Bloglines or Technorati. Im really talking about this emerging identity-based platform and real-time infrastructure. If you look at Google, for example, its essentially providing useful results based on the dynamics of page rank, a trusted authoritative reputation derived from domain expertise. Youve talked about an alert mechanism youre developing… The proactive business event network. That seems to be the true platform.
I think thats probably about two or three years away, but that my vision—the goal of what were doing. Were shifting from different drivers for why the businesses are building their fabric—the infrastructure. Whereas before it was about management of resources, then it shifted to management of information, [now] were shifting into management of time. The biggest driver is time to change. It could be a small event: Somebody writes me a note, and I need to respond to that note. A customer is calling in and their product is not there. Or an XML message comes in that says, Im doing an RFP, and I have 30 minutes to respond to a TI or an AMD. Can you respond to this in 30 minutes? Its beyond identity management. Its now: Who deals with this event, the systems and the people? And the relationships exist already in the information space. They are the drivers for finding these pieces of information. The first thing I do… Is that product in inventory? Its an exception. Who deals with this exception? Whats the relationship between this product and this customer and the people that I have in my business, and how do I drive that event to resolution within 28 minutes and counting. And you look at these short events—they happen so often in business. Were dealing with millions of events a day. They propagate and they will create more and more events—and were dealing with it in e-mail. Which is … Hopeless. Ninety percent of all collaboration applications are built on an e-mail infrastructure by default. The worst thing about it: Its not predictable. You may succeed seven out of 10 times, but the other three, you lose the deal. Now, that time fear is going to start driving companies on the small events, but on the long events—a merger, a project, a product life cycle—the time to change from one design to another design, from one company to the merger of the two companies—its about managing that time, being able to shrink that down. Whirlpool—they can finish a design and the R&D of a product, and it takes them a year to get the product on the market. You know what happens during that year? All the Koreans get to the market before them. Why? Because they copy their designs—they see them in a show, on the floor, and they copy them—and they have a three-month time to market. Same thing happened to Philips. Philips invented all the key innovations in the consumer electronics space, and they always were three months behind Sony. Even on stuff they invented, DVDs, they came in after. Manage that time to change, and you become Dell. You dont manage it, you become dealt. Strategically, how do you move forward in this space? The fundamental engine underneath this I call the business event network. Its the fundamental engine that drives events at all layers, propagates them and aggregates them. Next page: Using XML beyond the protected garden.

Steve Gillmor is editor of eWEEK.com's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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