Process management is an important elements of PLM implementations. PLM systems usually offer a variety of solutions for process management – from simple message routing to complex workflow management systems. However, regardless of process and workflow complexity, all customers are interested how to integrate processes and workflows with their email system.
Email is fascinating topic, in my view. Many companies are still literally run by emails. The fight over the email is one that usually happen when enterprise system is implemented in a company. Usually companies recogniz the problem of email communication and even try to implement Zero Email Policy. However, the typical end of this fight is to integrate their enterprise system with with email solution.
Earlier this morning, I’ve been skimming Google I/O news stream from the last week. One of them resonated with the idea of PLM workflows and email integration – Google makes email more interactive with customizable Gmail action buttons. The original gmail blog article is here. Take few minutes of your weekend time and have a read. Here is the passage that explains what this feature does:
New quick action buttons in Gmail, designed to help you tackle your digital to-do’s as quickly as possible. These buttons appear next to certain types of messages in your inbox and let you take action on an email without ever having to open it. For example, you can RSVP to your friend’s party invitation or rate that restaurant you went to last night all right from the inbox. You’ll be checking things off that to-do list in no time.
Here is an image showing the appearance of customized action buttons.
I found this Gmail update very cool. What makes me specially excited about this feature is the fact Google implemented it using schema.org actions. Schema.org is a collection of schemas (ontologies) that can be used to describe actions. For example, here is a definition of RSVP action. As you can see, you can make it completely customizable for your application.
What is my conclusion? Few weeks ago, I attended an interesting session EOL 4 Email at COFES 2013 in Arizona. One of the topic during that discussion was about future of email as integrated messaging system. I think actionable extension of email is a perfect example of how you can design your future PLM implementation and system to manage processes and keep you in the loop of your email. Ask your PLM vendor or service provider if your system can be extended that way. Important. Just my thoughts…
Image courtesy of TechCrunch article.