It’s impossible to speak about collaboration these days, in my opinion, without touching Google Wave. I analyzed multiple presentations, demos, videos, analyzes and would like to present my take on the 6 top reasons as to why Wave will change today’s PLM collaboration world.
1. Real Time
Everything happens at the same time. You are typing, uploading, searching. You can be absolutely synchronized with your colleagues and other people involved into this collaboration process. Real-time is important because in today’s life, many forms of asynchronous collaboration and/or communication create more problems rather than benefits – and this need to change. If you look at products like 3DLive, you will see the initial appearance of online collaboration. But with the invention of GW, you will get additional performance and adaptation boost.
2. Online Content
Staying connected online and in real-time, actually, opens additional doors for people who are interested in online content – IP, documents, Bill of Materials. Since Wave facilitates storage of documents on the cloud, this is will be an important overall shift toward such technologies.
Everything you are doing in GW can be embedded into the content with which Wave operates. So, from this standpoint, future PLM implementations will be able more easily to include 3D models and drawings and documents in your Collaborative Waves. Even though I still want to see how this will happen, in my opinion, it will still give an additional push for the development of technologies which will be able to merge the collaboration of one set of data with other sources of PLM data.
4. Playback History
This is the killer function, in my view. The ability to play back everything you do will be the ultimate goal for all people in PLM dealing with the comparison of history (i.e. what WAS done) vs. the future (what is being proposed by the current user).
Wave will be unique and be able to run and be synchronized on multiple instances of Wave Servers. The only association that comes to my mind in this context is past SMTP implementation. I think that GW will provide a new communication model with distributed services. So, I will be able to host my GW server, let people work with this server, and collaborate with other servers.
6. Automation and Extensions
This is the golden age of everything. The ability to extend GW will bring many additional people and implementations so that end-users will gain even greater benefits.
Please, note, there is no order of importance. The current order is absolutely not scientific and reflects my memory of Google Wave stuff, and not the memory of Google itself (whom I cannot compete withJ).
So, even if GW is still not available for a wider audience, I think we can already learn a bit about how collaboration will occur in the future.