Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam, Kevin Jackson, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

Application Collaboration Goes Virtual

Using virtual war rooms, distributed teams get more real work done

OK, raise your hand if your team has ever traded ten emails to address a problem that could have been solved in two minutes. Take one step forward if you’re spending eight or ten hours a week in unproductive conference calls, trying to work with peers in different locations. Don’t worry...you’re not alone.

Most employees today will tell you they’re drowning in email and meetings, and their teams are still struggling to work together efficiently. Not that long ago, most enterprises got work done in person between the hours of 9am-5pm in office buildings, and complex enterprise applications were handled by IT or specialists. Compare that with today - flexible work hours, telecommuting, distributed teams, and outsourcing are the norm, and employees increasingly rely on a collection of applications to get their jobs done. Unfortunately, many enterprises are behind the curve in helping their teams to collaborate in this new environment.

However, a new class of online application collaboration tools is emerging to help distributed teams communicate and cooperate more effectively, while saving money on travel and wasted meetings. These tools combine “presence” technologies like online chat, VOIP, and webcam video with virtual “war rooms” to let workers collaborate on multiple applications in real time. \

Inward Bound

Today, there are a growing number of services that are jostling to address the enterprise collaboration gap. Online meeting services such as Cisco’s WebEx, Citrix’ Go2Meeting, and Microsoft’s Office Live Meeting, which typically have been used for online sales presentations, are pitching enterprises to use their services for internal meetings and collaboration. For executive teams that can afford a $300,000 system, Cisco’s Telepresence delivers lifelike video conferencing. Legal firms and M&A teams often use services from vendors such as Merrill Corporation to build shared document repositories for each project. Some organizations have even experimented with consumer-oriented services like Second Life and Facebook to enhance team communication. Recently, a new class of enterprise-class application collaboration solutions has been getting traction.

Qwaq, a Redwood City, CA-based vendor, provides its application collaboration solution to over 100 enterprise customers, including large global firms like British Petroleum and Fuji-Xerox. Qwaq offers a solution that can run in the cloud or behind the firewall, and users interact with applications and teammates in an intuitive virtual operations center, much like a 3-D NASA control room. Features such as integrated chat, VOIP, multi-user application sharing, persistent workspaces, and virtual sticky notes help employees quickly drill into data and avoid wasting time.

Greg Nuyens, CEO of Qwaq, points out the business challenge: “As soon as distributed teams need to work together on three or more applications, traditional collaboration tools like email and conference calls break down. We worked closely with our customers to build a multi-application collaboration environment that could really stand up to enterprise requirements. Best of all, end users tell us they enjoy their jobs more when they can focus on real work instead of endless emails and meetings.”

Virtual Collaboration, Real Work

Let’s examine how a large manufacturing firm might use application collaboration to speed up the production lifecycle for a new product. Initially, design teams might build a virtual war room incorporating product requirement documents, CAD diagrams, ERP applications, and project timelines to develop a prototype and draft schedule. Experts from multiple offices could join the meetings, and actively participate by voice, chat, and editing documents. Later, marketing and sales teams could build a launch war room incorporating prototype images, supply chain forecasting applications, and CRM planning tools, with small group and large group discussions. Selected materials could be copied to an external workspace, enabling collaboration with offsite advertising agencies and reseller partners.

In order for enterprises to run their mission-critical applications and data in a collaboration service, the new generation of platforms needs to meet a number of key requirements. All applications and communications must be secured in an encrypted channel, and access controls must be enforced throughout the system. Administrators need to have powerful control over policies, configuration, and user privileges, and the system should be able to synchronize with enterprise directory services. Many organizations will want the option to run the service behind their corporate firewall for internal teams, and use an Internet-hosted version to work with selected partners and consultants. As companies ramp up their usage of the service, scalability and compatibility with a wide range of applications will be critical.

In today’s economic environment, it’s a good bet that getting real work done more efficiently will be an interesting topic. Just don’t send me ten emails for a conference call to discuss it.

More Stories By Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is CEO of Coraid, Inc. He is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive, with experience in the networking, storage, security, and virtualization sectors. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Kidaro, a desktop virtualization software vendor, where he led the team to a leadership position in this emerging segment. Kidaro was acquired by Microsoft in May 2008 and incorporated as a key element of Windows virtualization.

Prior to joining Kidaro, Brown served as a vice president on the original executive team of storage security vendor Decru, where he led worldwide marketing, business development, and product management. As one of the leading experts on storage security, he served as an advisor to the U.S. Congress, Federal Trade Commission, and U.S. Department of Defense.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...