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


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