Google Wave Server – Is It the Next Collaborative Process Engine for PLM?

Picture 1130 September was time for 100’000 happy individuals to get Google Wave invitation. Even I’m not part of these 100’000, internet is full of updated reviews about Google Wave. If you remember, my initial short Prompt about Google Wave – Google Wave is ringing bell for PLM collaboration. So, I will wait for the next portion of Wave invitations, but for the moment I’d like to share with you some additional thoughts about Google Wave and possible applications. Until now, email remains the most widely used collaboration and communication tool. Designers and Engineers are not exclusion from this space. They are using emails too. Interesting, that even if an organization implements PDM/PLM/BPM/ERP, email keeps going as an interface between these applications and people. And I think, simplicity is a key word why people continue using mail for multiple purposes.

Now, let’s think about collaboration between designers and engineers. I think, the following characteristics will turn Google Wave to ultimate design collaborative process engine. Here my four characteristics:

1. One line per item/discussion – “wave”. All communications are in single wave. Single line in your user interface. This “wave” is going up and down as much as discussion and communication is progressing in this Wave. So, wave is a very good boundary for new type of design and engineering processes.

2. End to end visibility (including search and hierarchy). The information inside of Wave is completely available – you can browse and even search, which make it even more powerful.

3. Multiple ad-hoc participants. You can add somebody to the existing wave any time. For groups of designers and engineers, this is a very strong capability.

4. History and play-back. And, finally, wave can keep history of everything you did. This is your discussion summary. In addition, history can be visually presented. No more additional screens with histories and logs. You can see this video.

What is the top missing part in Google Wave from my standpoint to apply this technology for product development collaboration? In my mind, this is a connection to product content – information located in CAD/PDM/PLM software.

Let me know what do you think? Maybe somebody got Google Wave invitation and already is trying it live. Please let me know.

Best, Oleg


Share This Post

  • I have not got it.
    I wish to see how powerful it is!

  • Vik Paranjpe

    I have been following your Blog for a while. I have to tell you that your very first post back in May generated my interest in exploring Google Wave. I had applied for a sandbox account and received one in mid June.
    Did not get time to play around with the features, but my account is now switched over from sandbox to live Google Wave.
    I work in the PLM (Enovia MatrixOne) arena, and I see a huge potential with using GWave for PLM collaboration.

    I will be trying the features as and when I get time. Will keep you posted..


  • Roberto Picco

    I second Vik’s point of view. I see a huge potential in the wave, and I hope y’all invite me in your waves as soon as you can 🙂

  • Vik, Thank you for comment! Will look forward result of your work. Let me know how it’s going. Hope you to have GW invitation soon. Best, Oleg

  • Roberto, Thanks for commenting. Hope to be on GW soon. Oleg

  • Vik, Since you are in MatrixOne area, will be interesting to compare waves with routes in Mx1… It sounds like compelling capabilities, however, I do believe Wave can be more interesting because of flexibility, web and search. Best, Oleg

  • I see big potential for Google Wave. And it my opinion it will also have impact on PLM. This is my prediction:
    1) The idea of collaborating in real time on data (google apps already is very close to this idea) will be taken over by all big business applications including PLM. But this is long term.
    2) On some shorter notice (will still take some time) PLM applications will make Wave extensions. like e.g PTC currently has done with their ProductPoint (

    I don’t have an Wave account yet. If a Wave user can invite me, I would be happy 🙂


  • Alex, Thanks for your insight. Extension is a good idea. However, I see also potential in GW technology – there is a potential to deploy GW servers. So, I see it very similar to what happened to SMTP and mail servers. They spread around the world. But GW server is much more powerful. Let me predict, GW have a good chance to become next mail server.
    Regards, Oleg

  • Vik

    Thanks Oleg…
    You got that right about Routes. In fact, that is one of the areas I will be looking into.
    The Routes functionality in matrix is static (non-collaborative) and I have seen customers complain more than once about how they would like it to be more interactive. GW can certainly help in that regards.

    P.S. Send me your email IDs if you are interested in an invite for a GWave account.

  • In an astonishing short number of years we’ve seen online communication or cloud delivered communication revolutionize the way we connect and discover in our personal/social lives. This transformation has changed culture and redefined our definition of devices. The change is fueled by placing the content at the center and making access ubiquitous, allowing participants to access when, what, if and how defined on their terms. To think about this in another light or classify in another way the cloud has allowed us to filter based on interest. Where your inbox just spews at you. I can read PLMTWINE when I want versus when it arrives in my inbox and I get to decide if it even ends up in my inbox. WHICH I DO (I am a RRS subscriber).

    Blogs, Wikis, gmail and facebook are all message based services that have placed the data in the middle.

    But these habit changes have impacted our personal life more than our work life. At work the message culture still sits on email. The message culture is so strong voice mail is all but dead. Clearly we will all WAVE in our personal life but will we WAVE professionally?

    Thinking from an inner enterprise point of view I would say blogs have been used to express an external business point of view but not to improve internal communication, wikis have been used to improve group development of deliverables but I would say have failed somewhat due to a lack of structure, gmail has little professional penetration due to security concerns and facebook has some professional usage connecting teams (I have seen this at Dell).

  • Chris, Thanks for your view! I agree, the acceptance of cloud technologies is very much different in our persona life. The main reason, in my view, is faster personal decision (no approvals :)) and less security concern. I think, pattern of many new innovative tools in the enterprise or working space if your will (and I clearly see vuuch as one of them) is very much to innovation we see in Web 2.0 and other cloud initiatives. So, trend toward new type of communication and collaboration is clear. The obvious question is adoption speed… Best, Oleg.

  • Social based communication solutions for the enterprise will take off and once they due I beleive the curve will increase. Blogs (Outward facing) have taken hold in the enterprise. Marketing is on twitter. The next phase will be to turn this inward. I think the biggest hurdle or pervention at this point is the limited number of applications that target this case. Vuuch started targeting Design but we have found people see Vuuch as applicable to many other organizations and processes within the organization. Why not Vuuch customer service, sales and field service???

  • Chris, if I understand, you simply position “flexible collaboration with complete track record” (this what I know about Vuuch) as a solution for customer service, sales etc.? I see many custom process oriented applications doing similar things (on top of SharePoint, but not only). Also, I see various BPM-based solution targeting different industry and horizontal solutions too. Where do you see lack of applications? Best, Oleg.

  • Francois


    I always like looking at situations were an initiative failed, analyse the reasons, and try to find a solution. That’s the way I try to look at IT solutions. GW is for me a really promizing approach, in the trend of collaborative applications like PLM applications.
    I just would like to emphasize one capability of GW, which can solve a situation we have all encountered, which is the first step in setting up a PLM application for users, in other words to make the users get into the PLM train.
    This capability is Play back. In the current PLM applications, and before PLM applications, we use Revision indexes. In order to make it work, we usually consider a suite of indexes, which represent the time, and some special instants were the user take a “photo” of the current work. And we associate this indexes with some scenarios were we “freeze”, “approve”, “cancel” the document, ie we link indexes with business process.
    When we ask the users to take the train of revision indexes, the stair to climb up has only one step, and usually we need a number of support people to train, convince, support. User adoption.

    I see in Playback function a much easier way to reach the same goal, first as the frozen states are created by the system itself, and there is as many frozen state as the number of characters in the wave! It should be sufficient for any quality responsible in a company!

    I think Oleg you talked about “transparent” business processes in one of your previous talk, I think a part of this paradigm is reached with GW Playback fonction.

  • Francois, You are right “transparent process” is something that GW playback fits very well. Still hope to try it live with GW when I’ll get it. Best, Oleg

  • Pingback: Google Wave in Design and Process Collaboration « Daily PLM Think Tank Blog()

  • At this time it lkoks like Drupal is the top blogging platform out therde
    right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on yoir

  • Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out more details.

  • Pingback: Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) Blog Real-time collaboration is coming to CAD & PLM - Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) Blog()