I’ve written before about the need for an integrated approach to applying Web 2.0 ideas and tools to the enterprise. While navigating the plethora of point solutions and complex interfaces might be fine for the early adopters, most folk just want something that makes their work easier and can’t be bothered with navigating a convoluted technology and solution landscape.
I’ve been playing with Google Wave for a little while now, and initially thought that it fell into the same bucket; it’s an impressive piece of technology, but it’s also to complicated for most people to be bothered with. That was before Daniel Tenner put together a thoughtful post on the pros and cons of Wave, pointing out that Wave is a communication platform rather than a communication channel. It’s a tool for people to work together, rather than a tool to communicate.
Putting one-and-one together, what if we used Wave as a solution platform? Plug transactional data and workflow processes into Wave, rework the UI to be more task or problem centric and less messaging centric, and it would make a nice platform to build the sort of collaboration and knowledge rich solutions we need.
Bruce, a colleague of mine, has taken this a step further and built a little PoC, creating a Wave enabled leave application process. You can find the blog post, Using Google Wave for Workflow Tasks, over at his blog, and he’s put together a nice screen cast of the leave application solution, included below.