Sunday, 29 March 2009

Overlapping functionality

Lots of discussions going on at the moment about how we integrate our services and present them to our users. We'll soon be live with uSpace our collaboration environment, our document management system is being piloted and should be live at the end of the summer, and we'll be replacing our email and calendaring client for students this summer. Friday saw a demonstration on Google Apps for Education - every time I see it there seems to be more functionality. One of the advatages that Google promote is delivery of innovation in small chunks - no more waiting until the next major release of the software. Of course that can lead to problems in an enterprise solution if releases aren't controlled, but Google seem to have made some improvements in that area. I particularly liked the few seconds you have to cancel sending an email after you've hit send. I once sent a mail to all staff at the University, instead of just to CiCS staff, and that would have been very handy!

All of the above services have functionality in common including the ability to share and collaborate on documents, workflow, chat. How we integrate these systems, and how we make them easy for users will determine how successful they are. We will have to be innovative in the way we expose functionality through our portal, and think about services, not systems.


Chris Willis said...

Having sent a rather endearing message to Alan C that was intended for my better half I'm with you on the "email panic button" ;-)

As much as I appreciate the no surprises approach to IT in a University environment it can sometimes feel like we lag behind; it's always nice to have new toys to play with!

Of course the day that mywidget/gwidget/iwidget is upgraded out of the blue and is no longer compatible with mydoohickey/gdoohickey/idoohickey I'll no doubt be most disgruntled.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Geek and Poke has a good cartoon on this - it's called "Extreme Undoing". (It does contain a rude word, so I won't post a direct link here.)

I think the only solution to mis-sent e-mail is a Men In Black style "flashy-thing". Perhaps all CiCS staff could be issued with one...