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Ben Kepes
Ben Kepes
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Integrating Google Wave into the Enterprise

The one we''d all been waiting for - ever since the Rasmussen brothers announced Wave at Google I/O in May, we''ve been waiting for some hard examples of the power that Wave can bring. Gregory D'Alesandre (Dr Wave), Product Manager for Google Wave ran presented three examples of Wave integrations from Novell, ThoughtWorks and SAP.

Every time you use any sort of communication technology you''re trying to achieve a goal, to get something done. With Google Wave the idea is that rather than understanding the "end goal", users can start a Wave which can conform with the shifting objectives over time. D''Alesandre gave an introduction to Wave for the one or two people in the audience who haven''t seen it before. He explained that Google use Wave internally a lot and they find that all current communication technologies are a poor replacement for face to face interactions however every now and ten it''s better to interact electronically (he gave the example of a 12 person meeting with everyone trying to talk at the same time) - Wave enables this mass interaction without so much noise (although I''d have to say it does introduce significant dissonance as heavy users of multiple person IM will know).

The Wave team has purposely avoided giving lots of lock-down options to Wave - if you allow people to lock their content down, Wave becomes very email-like - openness and flexibility increases the collaborative potential.

D''Alesandre talked about Wave as a platform and invited their platform partners to show their offerings.

First up Alexander Dreiling, Program Manager from SAP who demoed two gadgets that SAP has built - Gravity is a gadget that allows business process modeling to be collaboratively built. See the demo video below;

Second up, Chad Wathington, VP, Product Development, ThoughtWorks demoed the integration of Wave with a software development project management tool. I covered the offering in more depth in another post but basically it allows for tasks to be created relating to a project all from within Wave and have them reflected in the project management tool. As I said in my post - this integration doesn''t show much more than could be achieved with a standard email/PM integration.

And lastly Andy Fox, Vice President Engineering from Novell showed their integration using the Wave federation protocol - Pulse. Pulse aggregates multi channel communication as well as a list of relevant contacts - it''s effectively a social CRM/communication offering. It brought to mind Gist''s offering and, while it helps aggregate lots of data, it does little to ease the burden of the firehose of information. The addition it does bring is the enablement of visibility in real time - but it does raise some question as to the value of asynchronous vs synchronous communications.

Some interesting integrations... but yet again nothing entirely ground breaking.





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