Saturday, January 06, 2007

Web2.0 - Evolution or Disruptive Innovation

I wrote an article recently for the Innovation Management course I was taking examining whether Web2.0 and Service Oriented Architecture are an evolutionary phenomenon or a disruptive innovation. For those of you who care about stuff like that, you may find it to be an interesting read.

Summary:
Advances in the internet browser technology coupled with the deep penetration of high-speed internet connections and almost ubiquitous internet access are creating a new class of software applications known as Web 2.0. Web 2.0 applications range from calendaring and blogs, to text editors and spreadsheets, to social networking and wikis, to enterprise situational software, but usually have several things in common: they use internet browser as the platform, employ service oriented architecture, and implement some aspects of collaboration. While we’re yet to see the magnitude of impact of these new technologies on software publishing, media, and social models involving personal and professional relationships, the author of this paper believes that the impact will be profound and disruptive to a lot of the existing industries.

This paper will look at the key principles behind the Service Oriented Architectures and Web2.0 applications. We will then look at the technology and innovation driving these changes and how these new concepts are affecting various industries and what affect they are having on organizations. Finally, we’ll examine whether these new technologies and mere evolutionary extensions of the existing ones or whether they truly represent disruptive forces, and what the extend of these disruptions might be.

The research methods used in the paper cover Expert Interviews using the blogs and published non-scientific articles, ethnography, using the author’s exposure in the field, relevant case studies and literature search on the subject.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Microsoft OfficeLive

The good:

  • fast
  • makes extensive use of AJAX
  • seems to be built for flexibility
  • integration with Outlook

The bad:

  • lack of continuity
  • not very intuitive
  • lacks comprehensive functionality approach

Functionality Ratings (scale 0-5):

  • Usability (4)
  • Sales Management (3)
  • Sales Automation (3)
  • Marketing Automation (0)
  • Project Collaboration (3)
  • Project Management (4)
  • Calendar, Contact and Document Sharing (4)
  • Support Management (3)
  • Support Automation(1)
  • Accounting (3)
  • Billing (1)
  • Workflow Automation (1)
  • WebPresence (4)

With Microsoft joining the ranks of hosted software companies chasing the ultimate PIM/CRM/ERP solution for SMB market under the new leadership of Ray Ozzie, the OfficeLive platform seems to be getting some serious attention within Microsoft.

While not yet viable (in my opinion) as a replacement for MS exchange environment or to compete with other hosted specialized offerings, the foundation seems to be there with Outlook integration, extensive use of AJAX and what seems to be a fairly good and flexible platform.

It usually takes Microsoft 3 tries to get things right. This particular application might follow a different path as it competes with other MS offerings and we’re yet to see how Microsoft is going to reconcile its offerings. For now, it makes a fairly good choice for new businesses looking for an inexpensive solution for web site and email hosting with a few extra features that has good potential to grow with the company.