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Monday, November 08, 2004

It's not just the nature of business that's changing; It's the nature of work itself that's changing - Ray Ozzie

Ozzie is the founder and CEO of Groove Networks Inc,which makes collaboration software, talks about the new Groove Platform and its relevance in the emerging business world. Excerpts:

With Groove, the aim is to move beyond an organization's boundaries.Notes was significant because of the changing nature of the organization as defined at the time by Michael Hammer and others re-engineering the corporation. When we started Groove in '97, it was largely based on a viewpoint that the nature of business was changing not just the organization, but that business itself was restructuring from big, vertically oriented corporations. It was becoming more of a mesh of companies interacting with one another. This was based on my experience of what people were trying to use Notes for and were having a hard time doing, in terms of deploying Notes across organizational boundaries. So Groove was based on the fundamentally changing nature of business. Essentially, what we've learned in the past few years of people using Groove is that it's not just the nature of business that's changing; it's the nature of work itself that's changing. You're working with multiple companies, and you're working with people in a geographically distributed manner. You're working at home and in the workplace. The trend of decentralization that Notes started within the corporation is moving between corporations, and now it's touching individuals.
A lot of what we've had to build up with Groove to make it more useful is infrastructural -- getting the security, the systems management, a lot of the things in the base infrastructure up to the level they're at has consumed a lot resources. What really makes Groove valuable to businesses is how quickly they can adapt it to their business processes, the way that they work. The thing that makes it useful to an individual is how much they can integrate it into their work environment -- it's true of both businesses and individuals. A lot of what you see us doing is working in the area of our forms package and working on our integration to different back-end systems such as Siebel, SAP and PeopleSoft, Oracle databases -- things people have already made investments in. The quicker we can integrate with those business processes, the quicker we can return value to corporations
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