Configuring a Google+ private Community as a ESN

In order to implement an ESN for my new company, ContextBase, I decided to configure a Google+ private Community as a Enterprise Social Network. An important part of this concept is the use of discussion topics configured as Company departments.

After the Community has been created as a private Community, (that cannot be set to Public), the company logo has been imported, the About section created, and the company members set-up, the ESN can be integrated as a Social Layer over the Company’s productivity programs.

The company members’ Google Drive accounts are configurable for data storage and productivity programs with sharing via the Google+ Community ESN, and Gmail with ESN sharing is a method for client database/correspondence functionality.

My methodology for working with a Google+ Community ESN is:

First, sign into the Company Member Google Account, then navigate to the Google+ Community ESN, (ContextBase), then open Gmail/Tasks, Calendar, Drive, & Google+ in separate tabs.

In order for business processes to not mire in information technology confusion, I recommend that all company communications take place through the Google+ ESN Community, all completed work is posted to a department discussion thread subgroup, Person to Person communications take place through the Google Chat dialog box at bottom right of the Community and Google+ screens, and Video conferencing takes place via Google+ Hangouts at the Google+ tab.

These photographs show the Moblie version of the ContextBase Google+ Community ESN:

1) The first photo shows an accounting file, (that had been posted to the Accounting thread), opened successfully in an Android mobile browser.

Picture0019

2) The second photo shows the mobile ESN with the Accounting thread selected.

Picture0021

Possibilities of Activity Stream Computing

This is my assessment of the possibilities of Enterprise/Consumer Social Networks as a Top Layer application, and an Activity Stream Computing environment. In the future, persons will sit down to work, and whether telecommuting or working from a specifically business-oriented location, start up their Activity Stream Computers. The Basic Layer of this Activity Stream Computer, the same as the Operating System, will be an Activity Stream Programming environment, (possibly similar to the website http://www.ifttt.com).

Starting with the Basic Layer Activity Stream Operating System, the Activity Stream Computer will launch applications based on Social Networking only. These applications will be the equivalent of present Social Networks – Google+, Yammer, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Enterprise Social Networks, like Yammer, will have become the same as personal Consumer Social Networks. In other words, in order to work, persons will operate the same Social Networking-based application as persons operate in order to shop, interact with government, plan their lives, socialize with friends, and read/listen/watch entertainment media.

In order to socialize, shop, conduct personal business, and for entertainment, persons will use multi-function Consumer Social Networking with the same capabilities found with Enterprise Social Networking. There will be no difference between a Consumer Social Network and a Enterprise Social Network. Both will be multi-functional, and contain within them the multiple computing applications required by persons to work, or live their personal lives.

With this form of Activity Stream Computing, employees using Personal Social Networks at Work will eventually not be considered in any way unusual. Employees will work and take care of their personal interactions concurrently. The personal Social Networking of Employees will appear in the Activity Streams of the same Enterprise Social Network they use for Work. The work they need to perform to earn an income will appear in the Activity Streams of the Consumer Social Network they use at home, for personal business.

When a Consumer, via Social Networking, is purchasing services from a Business, (via Social Networking), the Employees of that Business will see the relevant Consumer, and all the other Individuals interacting with that Business within a Social Network context. The Consumer will also see all the other Consumers interacting with the same Business they are mutually purchasing services from via the Activity Streams of the Consumer/Enterprise Social Network application.

It is possible that Twitter will become only a back end for Twitter-like dialog box Applications within Multi-System Social Networks. LinkedIn could become only a back end for employment networking within a Top Layer Social Network.

Therefore the Layers would be – ifttt.com Activity Stream Programming base layer, a Multi-Activity Stream Layer Social Network Appllication, multiple Single Activity Stream Social Networks providing integrated multiple Activity Streams for the previous Layer, Productivity Applications that operate within the Multi-Activity Stream Social Network, with the Files produced existing in a Social context from intial creation of the Files. Legacy concepts of Productivity Applications will eventually phase out, as persons and businesses switch to Productivity with Social Networking dialogs, including the legacy applications, spreadsheets and slide presentations.

Options for Sustainable Solar and Wind Power Generation

Although maligned for decades, and sabotaged by Oil Companies, (such as Atlantic Richfield Company – Arco), Solar Power and Wind Power, have made advances since the turn of the century, and are now optimally positioned to generate a large percentage or even major percentage of the Electricity requirements of the World.

The Benefits of Sustainable Power Generation are the ability to generate power without Blackouts caused by Storms, Hurricanes, Blizzards, Power Plant accidents, and Power Line/Transformer Station accidents. Solar/Wind Power is also immune from Blackouts caused by Warfare, and therefore more secure than centralized non-sustainable power generation. An already familiar benefit of Solar/Wind Power is Power Generation without use of non-sustainable and polluting resources, (i.e. Oil/Coal/Uranium).

I put together this blog on Solar/Wind Power mainly to create text in order to practice creating a Presentation with the online program, SlideRocket, and also in order to delineate my concepts of efficient Solar/Wind Power generation and Electricity Storage, utilizing CoGeneration.

Therefore, I advocate that entities that are interested in the end of non-sustainability regarding electricity generation, pursue the following CoGeneration options for Solar/Wind Power -

1) CoGeneration without Battery Storage. Instead of Battery Storage, the Solar/Wind power generation, and electricity use, by individual CoGenerators is digitally monitored. Extra generated electricity can be sent via a CoGeneration grid to cogenerators that are temporarily undergenerating electricity, possibly because of lack of sunlight or wind.

2) CoGeneration with Community Battery Storage. Individual CoGenerators would generate Solar or Wind Power without individual Battery Storage, the same as option 1. However, local community scale Battery Storage Facilities would allow CoGenerators to have locally available Stored Electricity, in case of temporary undergeneration of electricity. Also, the local Battery Storage could send electricity anywhere in the CoGeneration grid.

3) Cogeneration with Power Plant Scale Battery Storage. This option would involve Local Solar/Wind Power Generation with the availability of Large Scale Battery Storage Facilities that have replaced Power Plants, and are instead used for Electricity Storage. The objective of this option is the storing of large amounts of extra electricity, with the option of sending via the cogeneration grid extra electricity to CoGeneration customers temporarily undergenerating electricity.

The Boston Forms Party

Paper Forms are ubiquitous in the Corporate World. The volume of paper forms in storage is reaching a critical mass at the beginning of the 21st Century. Throughout the corporate world, paper forms are deteriorating in File Cabinets and In/Out Boxes. The more paper forms in storage, the more time is required for customer service that is dependent on retrieving paper forms. This state of inefficiency requires a streamlining of business processes. Because of only one stage of business processing, (the need to extract information from typed text and handwritten paper forms), the processes of businesses remain unnecessarily slow and plodding.
 
A recent AIIM study, “Forms Processing – User Experiences of Text and Handwriting Recognition”, has found that businesses could have a 54% improvement in processes if the incredible volumes and varieties of Paper Forms in storage were digitally accessible. This would require OCR, (Optical Character Recognition), and ICR, (Intelligent Character Recognition). Because of advances in graphical parallel processing in the last 5 years, it is now possible to efficiently convert paper forms in storage to digital information. The volume of Paper Forms has reached an intolerable state. What is preventing the conversion of these forms to digitized information is the non-recognition of the advances in OCR and ICR during the last 5 years.
 
What is needed is a Boston Forms Party lead by a new Sons of Liberty – Information Managers, Information Specialists, and other Information Professionals. The same as when the original Sons of Liberty left the meeting lead by Samuel Adams in 1773 to dump unwanted tea into Boston Harbor, (in order to reject Taxation without Representation in the form of taxed tea that the unrepresented Bostonians had to accept), Information Professionals need to leave their departments to convince decision makers to rid Small, Medium, and Large Enterprises of the taxing burden of Paper Forms that haven’t been digitally archived, or including in digital Business Processes.
 
Information Professionals need to inform decision makers of the new capabilities of OCR/ICR to extract information even from complex forms layouts and handwritten fields. Then, with Paper Forms having been turned into Electronic Records, businesses need to move to the next step – including OCR/ICR scanned data into their business processes. With the recognition of handwriting not presenting any problem to modern data capture techniques, the time is now to reject the potentially disastrous landfill of inaccessible Paper Forms being stored by businesses.
 
In order to defeat Paper Forms, a Boston Forms Party would require the bridging of disconnected decision-making, and the consolidating of scanning/data capture across multiple departments, possibly via the implementation of digital mailrooms. In the same way the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was the beginning of the Revolution against England’s control over the unrepresented American Colonies, a Boston Forms Party would end control by increasingly inefficient Paper Forms over a Corporate World denied the benefits of the volume, variety, and velocity of information processing that has become available in recent years.
 
The Boston Forms Party Revolution should resonate throughout Lines of Business within companies, and possibly even reach Outsourcing Services that haven’t upgraded to OCR/ICR, in order to free Business Processes of oppressive Paper Forms.

Emerging Enterprise Systems Social Networks

Enterprise Social Networks
With the advent of Enterprise Social Networking, businesses have an opportunity to organize their communications, collaborative processes, and interactions in new, improved, and more vital ways. “Enterprise Social Networking” is the use of one Online Social Network within the same Business. Enterprise Social Networking is one of the new forms of online software considered “Enterprise 2.0”. Besides proprietary Enterprise Social Networking, any form of online Social Software, (even consumer Social Networks), that are incorporated into business processes, can be considered “Enterprise Social Software” upon its use in a business, or commercial, environment.

The benefits of Enterprise Social Networks include increasing the productivity of knowledge workers (managers/professionals), improved employee relationships, open and collaborative recognition of exemplary employee performance, open sharing of ideas that can expedite the process of forming new programs and departments, reduced email volume, reduced time spent reviewing intra-company communications, faster dissemination of information to employees, better awareness of project statuses, inspiring of innovation throughout the company, the knowledge of employees becoming searchable, and improved internal/external enterprise collaboration.

With individuals having greater communications ability via Consumer Social Networks, (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Businesses need to participate in Online Social Networking to secure their commercial positions. Simultaneous to businesses engaging in Intra-Enterprise Social Networking, businesses can expand awareness of their products via external Online Social Networks, and create vastly more informative content. Content that can exist in a Online Social Context, and is therefore more vital.

Eventual Capabilities of Enterprise Social Networks
Social Networks emerging as an Enterprise Technology, (with the Social Network as the top layer of all the other enterprise applications), has been progressing for the last two years. The major software providers in Enterprise Collaboration, and in the Consumerization of Enterprise IT, are Salesforce, IBM, Microsoft, and Google.

With a Social Network at the top layer over all other Enterprise applications, the resulting Enterprise Social Network could possibly be called an “Enterprise Layer Social Network”. If the Enterprise Social Network contains within it productivity programs and accounting/database capabilities, it could be considered an “Enterprise Systems Social Network”. The final version of Enterprise Social Networks might encompass all of an Enterprise’s information systems, and would then exist as a “Whole Enterprise Systems Social Network”.

The Enterprise Social Network, Yammer, has the capability of producing word processing documents collaboratively within the network application. Yammer merged with Microsoft on June 14th 2012. Eventually Yammer, as a Microsoft Enterprise Social Network application, might gain the capability of having the entire Microsoft Office set of online productivity applications within a Social Network context. It is possible that Yammer’s internal collaborative word processor could be replaced by a collaborative version of Microsoft Word. With the rest of the Microsoft Office programs becoming internal, collaborative productivity programs within a Enterprise Social Network, the former Yammer Social Network can then become a Microsoft Office 365 top layer application, and possibly also utilize an internal version of Microsoft’s SkyDrive for collaborative file storage. Other possible additions to a Yammer-based Microsoft Enterprise Social Network could be Video/Text Conferencing, Calendar view of messages, activities, tasks, and events, and collaborative website creation and management.

The public Social Network, Google+, could become a top layer application incorporating Google Docs collaborative productivity programs, Hangouts for conferencing, Calendar/Tasks for a time based view of collaborative activities, Google Drive for collaborative file storage, and Google Maps for social mapping. Collaborative analysis, advertising, marketing, enterprise telephony, and website creation/management is also a possible capability of Google+.

The Files sections of future Enterprise Social Networks would need to have inter-Social Network sharing capabilities. Google+’s eventual integration of Google Drive for collaborative file storage will need to have the ability to share files with a Microsoft Enterprise Social Network’s integration of SkyDrive.

Proprietary Apps
Many business will possibly find the first Enterprise Systems Social Networks incompatible with their unique business needs, and will use Enterprise Social Networks only for the purpose of email volume reduction messaging, and then rely on external applications for business processes, creating word processing and spreadsheet files, and for storage of files.

An actual Enterprise Systems Social Network, (that encompasses an entire Enterprise I.T. Department), will not exist until enough applications are available to account for the various requirements of businesses. Therefore, developing proprietary applications that work within competing Enterprise Social Networks will become a vital industry. Third Party productivity app stores within Social Networks will become more popular.

Enterprise Systems Social Networks can also benefit from social analysis applications, social marketing, social mapping applications (derived from Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, etc.), social news posting, and leveraging of other Web 2.0 online software, including online, collaborative knowledge based applications.

Competitiveness of Enterprise Systems Social Networks
With the advent of Enterprise Social Networks, and then Enterprise Systems Social Networks, new proprietary capabilities will emerge, and will possibly give pioneering Enterprises an advantage in driving business. Engagement across the entire spectrum of consumer social services will become more efficient. Improved content will result, and the potential of internet communications will be further realized.

Seamless integration of advertisement, analytics, marketing, engagement, and online data, will exist for the first time in one place. When placed in the context of online collaboration, an organization’s structural, procedural, and cultural processes will be affected. Enterprise Systems Social Networks will require new work methodologies by employees of companies. These new methodologies require the leadership of the top of the hierarchies of Enterprises. Leading this change in the business world is, interestingly, a greater task than the technical implementation of Whole Enterprise Systems Social Networks.

Social as a Layer Enterprise Technology

Social Layer Enterprise Technology
The “Systems of Records” structure of Enterprise Software was the utilization of Database/Accounting Programs to assist the interactions of businesses and customers with processing and storing data as finalized records. Eventually, Software as a Service, (such as Salesforce.com), allowed Database/Accounting Programs to evolve into Customer Relationship Management – CRM Software. With Customer Relationship Management as the main layer of business software, Businesses first interacted with Customers, and Accounting/Database functions existed behind the Customer Relationship Management interactions.

Database/Accounting Software evolving into CRM Software was the beginning of the transition from “Systems of Record” to “Systems of Engagement”. After Customer Relationship Management, the next structure of Business Software is possibly the merging of Social Business, Social Media, data storage, and productivity programs into Social Enterprise, or SocEnt. What is revolutionary about Social Enterprise is the concept of “Social as a Layer”, with the main business software application being a business Social Network that exists across all the other Enterprise applications.

This primary layer Business Social Network will have greatly expanded Customer Engagement capabilities, and business productivity programs will exist within the context of Internet Social Networking, with even the capability of messages having business processing functionality. The possible benefits of Social Layer Enterprise includes an unprecedented capability of connecting the activities of customers and businesses with mutually beneficial real time engagement opportunities.

History of Social Layer Enterprise
Two years ago, in 2010, it was recognized that the existing social networking technology, (FourSquare, PlanCast, Siri, etc.), could be connected into a combination technology to benefit the processes of enterprises. At that time, standards and protocols existed to connect these technologies. Eugene Lee and Robert Scoble were the first to speculate that social technologies could be a “Layer” across applications. The demands of business would require that Social become a primary layer, instead of only a new business communications method.

Therefore, with Enterprise 1.0 being Enterprise before Web/Internet online software, and Enterprise 2.0 existing as the utilization of the new Software as a Service technology of Web 2.0, then the Social Layer Enterprise configuration of Enterprise Technology could be considered Enterprise 3.0.

When introduced in June 2011, Google+ was planned by Google to have Social Enterprise capabilities. An example of a Social Network based on Google+ would be the use of Google+ to access Google Docs for productivity related to customer engagement, and to access stored data in Google Drive. One year later in 2012, Google Docs has been significantly improved, and Google Drive has been introduced, however the Social Enterprise interconnectivity for Google+ has yet to be realized.

Present Social Layer Enterprise Technology
The structure of a Social as a Layer Enterprise Application would be, 1) “Connectors” that connect Applications to the Social Layer, 2) Annotators that apply social and business logic to connector data, (therefore annotating/promoting messages through the Social Enterprise), 3) AppBots for interaction with enterprise data and processes, and 4) Application Streams that make application data interactions part of the Social Networking stream.

The functionality of enterprise applications are becoming increasingly social, and allow for the following of/updating the statuses of persons, across applications used by the business world. This functionality exists as a series of protocols that are now emerging:

1) Standard and Custom Content, (Javascript Object Notation, JSON), that provides a defined vocabulary for representing common types of social software actions – friending, following, posting, editing, liking, etc. Aggregation of these common social gestures will become possible.

2) Annotations that allow businesses to define their own embedded data in social messages.

3) Interactions that enable enable social messages to contain business actions, like sharing the message further, or configuring a customer’s record to complete a transaction.

4) New open protocols with two way pushing of feeds in realtime to subscribers over the network, and the ability of application developers to create event types that clients can subscribe to. That would allow applications to maintain data, (in the form of status updates), synchronized in realtime over a company’s virtual IT network. This would enable realtime alerts/interactions, with immunity from data communication restrictions.

5) Cloud-based Social Enterprise would also transform Identity and Authentication. Social Networking single Sign On would replace LDAP/ActiveDirectory for corporate Indentity/Auth credentials, thereby creating a new standard for accessing a defined set of applications behind a corporate firewall. Internet Standards for identification will eventually replace corporate standards, as Social Networking becomes a corporate applications layer. Delegated authentication, (for example, OAuth, within OStatus), will possibly solve the problem of multiple usernames/passwords outside of corporate virtual IT firewalls.

Convergence of Social Networking Technologies
The standards and interoperability of Social as a Layer requires universal support for the Social Enterprise Era to legitimately exist. Social considered as independent services will have to end, and Social considered as the interconnection of multiple services will have to become the only acceptable configuration. Organizations will only have genuine problem solving capabilities, (and therefore value), by optimizing the peer-to-peer connections of people across applications, departments, and organizations.

Open Protocols, and their supporting standards, are starting to converge to enable the beginning of Social Layer Enterprise. The initiative, OStatus, was formed to test interoperability of Social Networking tools in order to possibly invert Customer Relationship Management into “Vendor Relationship Managment”, with the consumer having control over relationships with Corporations.

In order to enable people to engage in social interactions across tools, standard Actiivity Streams are needed to represent social actions, like posts, follows, likes, and checkins. Applications will need to subscribe to updates from other applications in real time. The ability to find the same person, or the same group of persons, across social sites is needed. The ability to gain authenticated access to other applications, on the user’s behalf, is also needed.

Adoption of Social Layer Enterprise Applications
Social Layer Enterprise will create a new paradigm of commercial interactions. Social as a Layer will shift the emphasis of commercial interactions to User-Centric. All information in Social Networks, and in the Cloud, will become business critical information. Information, because of requiring sharing or interaction for legitimacy, is already social. Social layer data processing by businesses will allow business opportunities to appear in information landscapes at the time that is the most convenient for the critical persons.

When social experiences occur there is usually, in parallel, a business problem to be solved. Social as a feature isn’t enough to make this into a business paradigm. Social as a layer has the required capabilities to bring about new, more expedited, methods of business problem solving. This can be termed, “the socialization of business and information”. Social experiences will be preserved to create the information to conveniently solve business problems, and enrich the ability to solve subsequent business problems.

A lot of businesses have concluded that noninterconnected social networking tools are more of a problem than a solution to business problems. Besides businesses that haven’t incorporated social networking tools, businesses that have banned social networks are at a disadvantage in reconceptualizing customer engagement with Social Enterprise in order to stay competitive.

These businesses will need to prepare to make a transition to Social Layer Enterprise when it becomes available. They will possibly need to adapt the required skills ahead of the advent of Social as a Layer Enterprise. Luckily, employees might adapt the skills required for the new business methodology themselves, with consumer social networking applications. An all-encompassing merger of consumer social networking skills, and business productivity skills, will possibly occur, with an extreme expansion of the information, and opportunities, available to businesses.