Moving to an activity-centric approach
Frank Luksic, Director, Workplace Portal & Collaboration
Software, IBM Software Group, Asia Pacific, says that enterprise users should
move from a mail-centric approach of workplace productivity to an activity-centric
approach for greater efficiency. by Soutiman Das Gupta
How can workplace collaboration help enterprise users?
Customers have repeatedly told us that they no longer want to buy one
size fits all software. They prefer tailored software to meet the specific
needs of their industry, based on the individual roles of their employees.
Workplace collaboration can help the enterprise user in several ways. The collaboration
services include capabilities such as e-mail, scheduling, presence awareness,
instant messaging, learning, team spaces, Web conferencing and Web content management.
It accelerates collaborative business processes by bringing the right information
together with people who can answer questions immediately. This boosts revenue
because employees and partners can be trained more often for a lesser cost in
selling new products or services.
Do most enterprise users at the workplace have a mail-centric
approach to productivity?
Many enterprise users have a mail-centric approach to work. Users prefer to
work out of their mailboxes, and their personal productivity and communication
revolves around the mail system.
This behaviour is primarily because of the inability of most tools that exist
today to provide efficient features. Workplace collaboration tools should provide
a single unified environment so that users can move from a mail-centric approach
to an activity-centric approach.
What is an activity-centric approach and how does it improve
In comparison to todays e-mail-centric model, where users home state
is their inbox, the next major Notes client will expand beyond the constraints
of e-mail and provide the functionality and tools that map to a users
specific activities and projects. This delivers a new, more productive user
An activity-centric approach to the workplace will help improve productivity
by giving people the right capabilities in the context of their role and the
business activity they are working on. With this approach, you organise collaboration
around the way work is being done, rather than around the technologies that
are being used to do the work.
Most work will be done nowadays and in the future with the help of integration,
and activity-centric computing will allow individuals to access all the collaborated
information that has occurred for a specific activity. In this way, users can
look at each of their activities in a collaborative environment which will be
integrated by software.
This single, integrated collaboration environment will provide the flexibility
to deploy one, two or more capabilities in any combination with administration
and policy management easily controlled from one place.
Does this approach help CIOs?
CIOs can use a single product to give users the tools they need for their role
in the organisation, and that can be easily changed or adapted, all from an
The activity-centric environment provides a choice of client experiences ranging
from a standard browser to an optional full rich client based on a network-centric
approach that provides administrators a security-rich deployment model without
having to touch the desktop. With a single administration and policy-based management
model, managing end-users desktops is simplified, resulting in improved
business productivity and reduced costs.
What is the licensing policy of IBMs collaborative
workplace product, and whats your marketshare?
The licensing policy for IBMs Workplace Services Express
is on a server/CPU basis, and is based on the number of users. IBM has the power
of one architectural model, one programming model and one consistent tool, all
standards based, so we can better meet the organisations needs. In terms
of marketshare, there are categories such as the portal where we have twice
the marketshare of our nearest competitor. However, in 90 percent of the relevant
categories we are the market leaders.