First PLM Lessons From Google Buzz

Google introduced a new product yesterday – Google Buzz. It is still very new, but I think, the message is clear. Google finally decided to step into massive social place allocated today by multiple social nets and communication tools. It is too early to say how Google Buzz will evolve in the open internet space. It is even harder to predict how Google Buzz will impact enterprise space. However, during the event, Google mentioned that they will roll out Google Buzz also to enterprise apps and will make it available inside of Google apps.

I’m sure, at the time you’ll read my post Google Buzz will be already available on your accounts. So, the simplest way, click on this link and try this out. You can watch some videos too. The following one is short and nice. I liked it.

However, I wanted to share with you some of my impressions and first “PLM lessons” from Google Buzz.

Communicate Easy
The same lesson repeatedly. People’s collaboration is all around their emails. When you try to create multiple streams by adding a new collaboration tool, you are in real danger to create frustration. Since, people are following emails much easier than other messaging systems Google decided to bring Buzz to the Gmail. I think, PLM made an enormous effort by trying to shift people’s way to collaboration from the email. Not sure this is the right thing to do.

Connect to Existing Processes
This is sort of continuation of the email story. How people can find right peers to work with? Buzz came with the simple idea – just ramp up on top of gmail accounts as a social net. Later, you can improve. PLM put huge effort on how to establish right processes and how to model processes in the organization. However, I think the missing point was about how to connect to existing processes in the organization. Since, in most of the cases, PLM comes to the existing company, they have processes set in place. To capture them is probably the most important thing to do.

Remove Walls
You can see how easy Google Buzz connects to the environment -web, pictures, twitter… What they are trying to do is to remove walls and artificial barriers in the organization. I think, this is the important lesson, PLM needs to learn. When I’m hearing voices like “who is more strategic in the organization?”, I can see huge barriers built around. Is it the right way to work in open social place?

I think, Google Buzz has a long way to go. However, this is a very interesting experience and lots of lessons to learn from how Google Buzz will be competing with existing social network giants – facebook and twitter. I will try to focus more on potential of Google Buzz in enterprise space and specifically related to PLM.

What is your opinion? Have you made your first Google Buzz steps?
Best, Oleg

PS. It is obvious to say, but Daily PLM Think Tank is coming to Google Buzz too. I will see you buzzing there :)…

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24 Responses to First PLM Lessons From Google Buzz

  1. Nawal says:

    I am already thinking, it is better than FaceBook.

    Because, I am still in my email and do not have to go outside. I personally prefer Apps that let me stay with my email and still do the job.

    Same is true for my expectation from PLM. :)

  2. Nawal, Thanks for your comment! This is the exact lesson #1. Don’t take me out of my email :)… This is still not happens in PLM. Most of Enterprise vendors is taking long roadmap towards “facebook”. You can see – chatter (salesforce.com), 12spring (sap), social innovation (ds), social product dev (ptc), yammer, vuuch and others. All these companies are trying to bring social networking into enterprise. Best, Oleg

  3. Jovan says:

    Out of topic but though: Here is a link that shows the collaboration in the Twitter engineering team… Interresting visual perspective of the ocllaboration I think

    Jovan, thanks for the link!

  4. I already saw the buzz enabled before seeing this post and was thinking how Google is capturing the attention right in ‘inbox’.
    I would fully agree on first point of ‘communicate easy’. I believe there are tools/technologies other than PLM also, which is trying take user away from their primary means of communication and the user adoption is slow and usually driven by mandate and policies. This leads to suboptimal utilization of the real power and intent of those systems.

  5. Tom van Oost says:

    #1 “Don’t take me out of my email”: http://twitpic.com/qzpye, http://twitpic.com/qqvrf, http://twitpic.com/r543q.

    Maybe you can take it a bit more broader, people want to use the apps they are using all day long. They do not want to switch to a complex app for a simple and small task. They expect enterprise software to work like gmail, linked in, facebook etc. But usually enterprise software doesn’t work like that…

    So we should make it work like that :)

  6. What if i don’t use gmail for my email? am i just out of the buzz ?
    Why these features can’t be just not integrated to one email management system, but instead of this, being able to integrate with any system (could be webmail or software client) through webservices?
    I just disagree with the principle of integrating everything from one provider without giving options to the users. Europe has been fighting Microsoft for years about that (don’t get me wrong, i’m a microsoft Fan) and now what? do we need to do this again for Apple, Google, etc…???
    Maybe i woke up again on the wrong foot this morning!
    Regards,

  7. Kedar Kanago says:

    Well,
    I just went to inbox yesterday and saw this new application. For personal use, it is as good as twitter..
    i liked it as you can communicate whilst in gmail..and don’t have to open another tab to communicate…

  8. Kedar, Thanks for your comment! In my view, it just confirms strategic importance to keep connection with email. Best, Oleg

  9. Yoann, Thanks for your thoughts! I like your position. I can give you my pros and cons for Google mail. In my view, this is different from what you said about MS and (may be) Apple. You prob. find similar tool that works for your other email. However, Google is more focusing on your Personal Profile and not on gmail as an application. You can use only Buzz (don’t use gmail). Btw, you can connect your Gmail account to MS Outlook and have all buzz coming to your Outlook client. Does it make sense? Best, Oleg

  10. Tom, I think, the concept of “single” app is a good one. What is confirmed, in my view, email is a very strong integration point and Google just proved it. My biggest problem with Google Wave was a need to open another tab in the browser. With Buzz, I’m fine now :)… I see the multiple efforts of companies to come with “Facebook-like” user experience now – Chatter, 12sprint, DS blueKiwi, PTC/ProductPoint, Vuuch etc. It is hard to say, who will be the final winner. We’ll see it in 2-3 years from now… Best, Oleg

  11. Lokendra, Thanks! I agree, PLM is not unique. Other enterprise apps are also trying to take customers off the road from easy communication. Best, Oleg

  12. Amod Ghangurde says:

    Hi Oleg,
    PLM tools have provided different ways to integrate notifications generated inside PLM ( on accept of workflow, etc..) to an organization’s default mail applications (Outlook, Lotus Notes, etc..). But such notifications still pose a barrier between the users of these tools. I have seen many examples where people would prefer to talk with their counterparts, over and above the default notifications sent by PLM tools.

    It is a human tendency to work through collaboration by talking with people rather than working in silos. Applying Buzz-like technology inside PLM will surely help in removing the barrier and make working in PLM more fun!

  13. Amod, Thanks for your comments. Agree! Again, again and again. We need to collapse into the single stream. Josh Mings from solidsmack.com wrote “collapse buzz”. This is what happens when you keep your email as a primary channel for every notification. PLM need to move and adopt it, in my view. Best, Oleg

  14. George Lewis says:

    Hi Oleg-

    I definitely am intrigued with the Buzz concept of collaboration as well. We all know the PLM value of “collaboration”, but imagine change requests, project management, and change order approvals all included in your email! No longer do you get just an email notice, but a true interactive way to talk to your business associates in one location. How soon can PLM get there? Once it happens, the value is obvious. I wonder if PLM vendors will get there first, or will it be Microsoft, Google or a SaaS company? There are obvious reasons to pick any of them, but I suspect cloud applications have the best opportunity.

    Best,

    George

  15. George, Thanks for your view! However, what do you see so special in cloud apps in this context? I think, Microsoft learned the lesson when bundling SharePoint 2007 with Office and getting huge success out of the fact that all was connected to the same working environment Exchange/Office/SharePoint/ etc. And this is not cloud app. On the other side, Google did it on cloud with Gmail. I think, the main point is not “cloud”, but the ability to allow to mainstream app for user to integrate services around. In case of Microsoft, it was Outlook/Office and in case of Google it was Gmail … Best, Oleg

  16. Chris says:

    As you say changing the habits of humans is one hard thing to do. I wonder if people will change their Facebook habit? Even though Buzz may be better and may work from a better place, email. I wonder if people will move from Facebook to Buzz. Facebook is now a habit. How long will it be before there is a Buzz Facebook add-in application?

    Allowing people to work within the applications they know/use is a very powerful concept. This is something we focus on with Vuuch. In the new version of Vuuch due out next week we took this one step further adding an Outlook plug-in. The analogy we used for the new release was “Facebook for files”. The idea is if you have a file you need to work on with other people then create a Facebook for this file. Rather than having a Facebook that represents a person you have a Facebook that represents a file/deliverable. This way when you want to know the status or what is going on with a specific deliverable you can just go to its Facebook. Being a WEB application we make the data available where the user needs it. See the example where everything is synchronized between SolidWorks http://www.vuuch.com/media/sw.png, Outlook http://www.vuuch.com/media/outlook.png and the WEB http://www.vuuch.com/media/part_page.png.

    Want to track an email? All you do is drag and drop and you are done. Example: Someone emails you about an issue on a part being designed (you know what I am talking about – one of those daily fires you are paid to put out). Well check out how simple it is to now track this as a real-time issue http://www.vuuch.com/media/quick_outlook_demo.wmv.

  17. Chris, Thanks for your comment! I liked an approach to follow files, since if all your work is around a file in the specific app (like SolidWorks), this is what you want to do. However, in case of Outlook, my concern is that you are creating a new stream of information – vuuch items. The question is if what you presented on part_page can come directly into my outlook mailbox. This can be easy, since I’ll need to track only one message stream. This is exactly what Google Buzz is doing…. Does it make sense? Best, Oleg

  18. George Lewis says:

    Oleg, yup I see your point and agree about integrating around a single application. That single location becomes the nexus for that user to connect and collaborate around social, personal, or business issues. My view point really comes from that of a small or mid-sized business (SMB). For them, it is unlikely they can take advantage of internally installed solutions because of the need to install servers and maintain them. Now, if you have an effective way to put SharePoint in the cloud for these companies, you’ve moved the mark. But for the same reason, natively designed cloud applications that can connect to the SMB user’s desktop (email? word?) provide a realistic way for them to leverage say PLM services, or just general collaboration. For large companies, the same benefits of cloud computing don’t really apply since they can and want to manage their own infrastructure in most cases.

  19. George, I agree with you. SMBs will go to SaaS and bigger companies will keep inside (or how they call it – private cloud) up and running. However, both, in case they will be doing “collaboration” work, need to remember the power of email. Thanks for your comments! Best, Oleg

  20. Roberto Picco says:

    Oleg, the only thing I don’t like of Buzz is the will of becoming the centre of the universe. Which is the pro of having twitter, picasa, blogger and flickr MIRRORED in Buzz? I want to have FULL control of what I buzz…

  21. Roberto, Thank you for your comment! The point with the “center of the universe” is the tricky one. The positive side is usage of Gmail / Google Profile as the universal identity. Personally, I’d be happy if I could use “any email” as my universal identity for my virtual world. That’s why I liked the idea of Google Wave (including Wave servers). In my view, it was the next step from SMTP- exactly how it was told. What “next email” should be. So, I see Google Buzz as the first industrialization of Google Wave idea. This is not bad for the beginning…. Could you explain what do you mean by “control of what I buzz”? Best, Oleg

  22. Roberto Picco says:

    Just an example.. maybe I’m dumb, but… I linked my Blogger blog to Buzz and instantly all my connections were able to browse my posts. It’s not a problem, but why isn’t it built to allow deliberate cross-posting instead of automatic one?

  23. […] PLM Social Disruption – Whom Should We Follow? I want to get back to social applications and PLM topic. You can ask me why? Last week was the week Google Buzz was born. In my view Google did it, as usual, in  a very disruptive way. I remember, last year or so, Google introduced Google Profile. Nobody clearly understood what is that. I did one for myself. Last week everybody finally discovered what is Google Profile about – it is about your social identity. Btw, if you haven’t had a chance to read my Google Buzz notes, please find it here. […]

  24. Roberto, I think there is an option to make buzz public or limited to the specific group. I didn’t discover it enough, but it sounds as a direction… Make sense? Best, Oleg

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