Tuesday, 28 October 2008
ICT = Internet Cooking Technology
Manufacturing software solutions resembles more and more to assembly line cooking.
What does it take to produce an easy to use communication platform for team members of a new project, coupled to an extensive document work flow and management application, a bug tracker and time-scheduler, a basic invoicing application, a mobile website for consulting information, embedded video conferencing and chat, LDAP synchronization and with possibilities for customer interaction? The project is limited in time and requires only collaboration during a period of 10 months. The budget is minimal and it should be up and running tomorrow!
Going to your kitchen you get creative with -for example- Alfresco, Scrumy, Task2gather, Assembla, Planzone, ZOHO, OOVOO, Laconica, RTM, Yuuguu, Userplane, Dipity, Getsatisfaction, Joomla, ... tying together the info with plugins or API's or embedding them in a portal solution. Taking a knife to cut away some fat, seasoning the dish with some templates or css and combining different microformats, et voilà: a delicious end-product.
This results is a highly configurable and flexible solution that may grow or shrink during the project ... whatever pleases the hungry client. It will be relatively easy to set up and easy to dismantle afterwards. The solution will not be expensive and perfectly fit the needs. The organization is not forced to invest in extensive courses to cope with this (assembled) product. Team members will not have a steep learning curve. Difficult tools just cut the appetite. The only requisite for end users is the ability to handle a micro-wave-oven or to boil water. There is simply no time and budget for cooking the traditional way.
In this era of focus on product-manufacturing in the long tail, this evolution (or production method) makes it easy to create fresh dishes *exactly* to the clients wishes, it's just a question of combining the wright ingredients in your meal assembly kitchen.
The "possibility of the solution" is not a criteria anymore, other criteria like speed, high touch and feel, userfriendlyness and flexibility come into play. Instant satisfaction is the criterion.
In analogy to TV-shows we may also see rockstar-like software-solution-cooks performing on gigs, producing a surprise assembly-task in front of a crowd, or producing a solution against the clock where the process is displayed on large screens. Show - cooking!
Choosing Web Tools: Best-Fit Versus Good Enough?
Get the max out of ZOHO
Google Gears, is software offered by Google that "enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser."
... and Cooking for Engineers: Step by Step Recipes and Food for the Analytically Minded ;)