New Shared Technology Research

ANTA – the soon to be abolished Australian National Training Authority – have published a new report titled New technology, training and public funding: The case for greater flexibility, that adds to their past Shared Technology research.

Even while these report are focused on the needs of the vocational education sector in Australia, they do provide some interesting insights into technology adoption and trends. The new report investigates the views of enterprises that are using new technology and how they respond to new technology training requirements. It includes a discussion of theory around technology adoption and some case studies.

Shared Technology: A Road Map for Traditional and Emerging Industries to 2008 looks at the technologies that are likely to have an impact in a range of industries in the next five years to 2008. The key technologies they identified to be influential across many industries were:

  • increased use of integrated voice and data communication;
  • increased use of wireless communication technologies;
  • continually increasing processing speed of equipment; and
  • use of independent power systems.
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Industry Update No.4: TeamFrame from Crux Cybernetics

Talking to Maarten Tentij, Managing Director of five-year old Sydney-based software developer Crux Cybernetics, is a refreshing change – rather than diving into TeamFrame‘s features and functionality, Tentij‘s initial focus is on business outcomes and how technology can support service delivery.

TeamFrame meets this objective by helping organisations to connect planning to action by providing an online work and resource management solution that is flexible and responsive to change in dynamic service industries. In this way processes can be captured in templates and workflow but adjusted to meet new need demands or situations. It is then possible to build common best practice standards over time.

By using TeamFrame‘s reporting tools, organisations can retrospectively mine past projects to look at what is and isn’t working. From this perspective TeamFrame also helps organisations to manage risk by picking up on issues before they become problems.

The functionality of the TeamFrame application is built around what Tentij calls the the Optimal Practice Methodology (PDF).

The actual application is provided as a hosted ASP service using the resources of ac3 at the Australian Technology Park (where Crux Cybernetics are also based). Users access TeamFrame using a Web browser and Macromedia Flash is used to provide a rich user interface. It is suitable for small teams and large organisations – for example it has been used by a small software development company as well as the marketing department of a financial services organisation. The software was successfully deployed at international financial giant HSBC in 2004 to manage its outsourced IT work.

In recent news, Crux Cybernetics used CeBIT last week as an opportunity to announce the release of TeamFrame version 3 with the following new features:

  • File Attach and Share for Teams (FAST – an easy way for project participants to securely access and share project files, no matter where they are)
  • Cross-company project sharing
  • Custom risk management
  • Expense reporting

BTW You can also check out an exclusive Chief Technology Solutions article on the TeamFrame portal, title The Sum is Greater than the Whole, that looks at the role of trust and technology in effective collaboration.

Disclaimer: Information on this site is of a general nature. Please seek advice for specific circumstances. Unless otherwise stated, please assume that I have no commercial relationship with the vendors or products discussed.

Previous Industry Updates:

Chief Technology Solutions Associates

My Website has undergone a minor update to put greater emphasis on highlighting my range of vendor neutral and strategic consulting services that include system reviews, strategy and planning, knowledge management, software and systems selection, and development.

Something else I’d also been intending to do for a while is provide a mention and some links to a few complementary businesses that I work closely with:

  • AdeptKM
  • Optimice
  • ThinkingShift

Read more on my associates page.

Observations from Redesigning your Intranet and CeBIT

As you might have guessed from my recent posts, this week I’ve been pretty much focused on the Ark Group’s Redesigning your Intranet conference and CeBIT, both of which are taking place in Sydney at the moment.

The Ark Group‘s intranet conference is always popular and its a good place to get a feel for what’s happening across a wide range of organisations from government to construction and finance to telecommunications. Some of the common issues I observed that are challenging many participants in all industries include:

  • Dealing with the ever present problem of getting management and stakeholders to engage with the different aspects of running an intranet;
  • The need to evolve intranets into extranets and a desire to reconcile the management of internal and external facing sites; and
  • The increasing use of intranets as platforms for delivering rich media, access to business applications and collaborative tools.

Some participants expressed dissatisfaction with the capabilities of content management system software and vendor support, but I suspect some of this has origins in the growing complexity of intranets and how people plan, acquire and manage their intranet “systems”. I was however a little surprised about the lack of awareness of social software like blogs, wikis and RSS.

As for CeBIT, it really is a rather overwhelming smorgasbord of different IT vendors (CeBIT itself divides them into about 15 or so major categories). I was interested to look at both content management solutions as well as other products for project management, governance, voice over IP telephony and web-based video conferencing and of course mobile solutions. However, just focusing on the content management system space, some of the companies I spoke to at CeBIT include (and in no particular order) Komodo CMS, ISYS, Crux Cybernetics, Intranet Dashboard, Solutione, Internetrix, Weblogics and Elcom Technology. Look out for industry updates on some of these vendors in the future.

PS Also look out for my latest article in the May/June edition of Image & Data Manager (IDM) article where I look at the advantages, disadvantages and technology choices of using wikis within organisations. A copy of this article will be available in my IDM archive in due course or pick up a free copy of the magazine at IDM‘s CeBIT stand!

Industry Update Extra: CeBIT starts today

Just a reminder that CeBIT starts in Sydney today. Some of the vendors I’ve covered or will be covering in the ChiefTech blog are exhibitors.

CeBIT Australia is Australasia’s leading Information & Communications Technology (ICT) event for the business marketplace and covers the entire spectrum of technology and the key elements that make up the ICT products and services marketplace. This is the only Australian event where you can explore the full range of next generation global technologies and solutions.

Previous Industry Updates:

Conductive organisations: Moving beyond automation to optimal collaboration

I’ve been playing with the idea of collaborative infrastructure and more recently collaborative ecology for a while now, however a new term in this field comes from Canadian KM guru Hubert Saint-Onge: Conductive Organisations.

A conductive organisation is one “that continuously generates and renews capabilities to achieve breakthrough performance by enhancing the quality and flow of knowledge and by calibrating its strategy, culture, structure, and systems to the needs of its customers and the marketplace.

That’s the definition they provide anyway. If you want to learn more you can read the book (co-authored with Charles Armstrong) or have a look Saint-Onge‘s take on the conductive organisation from the CIO’s perspective, which apart from being is free is perhaps a little more accessible.

I particularly like the point Saint-Onge makes in the article where he says “if all it took were wireless technology and data mining, every business would have the perfect collaborative environment. In fact, technology is absolutely required, but it’s insufficient by itself to build an effective knowledge platform. The right approach and process must be put in place to harness the full potential of a technology-enabled collaboration system

It fits in with my own ideas that “collaborative” ability and know-how is source of competitive advantage that can’t be easily replicated with technology alone.

Blogging@IBM

IBM is telling the world that it too is getting on board the blogging train…

IBM today is publishing an announcement on its Intranet site encouraging all 320,000+ employees world wide to consider engaging actively in the practice of “blogging”. This move follows several years of persistent grassroots efforts by an informal community of IBM bloggers.

Apparently they used an internal wiki (not Quickplace then?) to develop their own corporate blogging guidelines.