15 April 2002 IBM Global Services has launched a new service to help organisations confront the challenge of building dynamic, virtual and fully collaborative businesses.
Called Dynamic Workplaces, it will help organisations build “next-generation corporate intranets” that give employees a consolidated platform to enable them to work at any time, anywhere and with anyone, says IBM. The ‘platform’ includes tools for holding virtual meetings, e-learning, instant messaging, online conferencing and remote working.
Drawing on Global Services’ experience in the areas of e-workplace consulting, ebusiness software and wireless e-business, the package will be based on an array of collaborative technologies from IBM Lotus and IBM’s WebSphere application suite. These include WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Application Server, Lotus Domino Extended Search and Lotus Sametime. Other components include Quickplace, Tivoli SecureWay and DB2 Universal Database.
However, potential customers should be wary that Dynamic Workplaces will not provide a quick fix. Indeed, Ron Hulman, IBM’s lead principal in knowledge and content management, said that building a ‘dynamic workplace’ is more of an “ongoing journey” than a one-off technology implementation.
But he defended the concept with the argument that failed customer relationship management (CRM) or supply chain management (SCM) implementations, for example, would have benefited from the higher productivity provided by a dynamic workplace.
Yet while Dynamic Workplaces encapsulates the spirit of the “virtual business” prevalent during the dot-com boom, in the current economic climate it is doubtful whether businesses are willing to make such a large strategic commitment to what is, in essence, a highly customised package.
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