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Micro blog(Twitter) in enterprise #3-Implementation Strategies September 29, 2009

Posted by Terry.Cho in Enterprise 2.0, Micro blog.
Tags: , , , ,
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Enterprise Micro blog architecture

Here is enterprise micro blog architecture. I already described common micro blog architecture. Here I describes additional features for enterprise version of micro blog.

enterprise_microblog

Figure 2 Micro blog architecture for enterprise

User Interface

Micro blog support multi type of user interfaces.

(1)    Web interface
Most traditional common interface. It running on web browser in desktop.
(2)    Mobile device
Mobile phone or PDA. Depends on service country and device type service interfaces are different. 3G phone supports mobile application. 2G or 1G phone just support SMS and MMS. To support mobile device platform and interface type should be defined before designing architecture
(3)    Portal
Company has a enterprise portal (EP). To integrate micro blog with EP. JSR-160,WSRP(Remote Portlet spec) is used.
(4)    IM (Instant Messenger)
Sending a message to micro blog by messenger. Receive a micro blog message from messenger.
(5)    Other enterprise applications
Micro blog makes synergy by integrating with legacy enterprise system. For example notification of work flow (Like expense workflow process notification) is replaced with micro blog instead of email

IDM (Identity Management System)

Company has organization structure(Tree) and employee profile. We call it as IDM (Identity management system). Enterprise micro blog uses this user id. So the enterprise micro blog has connectivity for integration of enterprise IDM system. It also supports Single Sign On. (SSO)

Mobile gateway

Enterprise micro blog requires mobile gateway. Especially in case of global company mobile gateway is different in countries. Because career vendor’s integration style is different.

Enterprise search engine and social analyze tool

As I mentioned earlier messages in micro blog enables us to share knowledge. For sharing knowledge search is required. Company commonly has their enterprise search engine. Employee can search in micro blog system. But if the enterprise search combines message in micro blog. It leverages information sharing between employees.

In addition trend that is generated by analyzing message is important for risk management. This trend is reported by social analyze tool

Policy & Compliance Rule

Micro blog in enterprise has to solve security issue. In enterprise some group requires closed communication. For example discussion in HR team should not be opened outside of the team. Because promotion or expiration information is very sensitive to employee.

And to publish internal message to external micro blog (Twitter) It needs filtering based on company security & compliance rule.

(1)    Selective publishing

Filtering message when publish internal micro blog messages to external micro blog system. It automatically warn when prohibited keyword is detected during external publishing

(2)    Multilevel access & grouping

Support closed group communication.

Challenge in enterprise micro blog

Changing culture

Introduction of micro blog is not an introducing system but a change internal communication culture. Change communication style from vertical & closed to horizontal & opened. It can be faced on resistance from stakeholders

Security Issue

Message in micro blog can be confidential information.

If company try to use internal & external micro blog. Publishing is controlled by policy

In addition before deploying enterprise micro blog system legal issue should be reviewed. For example SOX law in US let company to store communication law 7 years. This kind of legal issue should be applied in the system architecture.

Implementation

Micro blog is quite new in enterprise. So product is not matured.

And requirements of WEB2.0 application in enterprise is different. Because it is not a formal business system. It is totally related with company culture. So customization issue is different in company.

Before choosing enterprise micro blog solution, customization should be considered.

Implementation strategy

From now I introduced use case of enterprise micro blog and overall architecture. But achieving benefit of enterprise micro blog is not so easy. It requires cultural changes. It is long journey. And people is getting smart during project is going with lesson learned. Indeed I recommend step-by-step approach.

Step 1. Implement basic micro blog system

Install basic micro blog system Integrate with legacy user profile system and messaging system (mobile,email,im integration)

Step 2. Revitialization

In this step convince stakeholders. Change a communication culture step by step. Pull value of micro blog system. After finishing this step enterprise micro blog is culture in the company. And many information is archived in the system.

Step 3. extension

Integrate with other system to make synergy.For example, enterprise search + relationship based search. Trend analysis ,Crisis monitoring

Step 4. Develop new model

Based on enterprise biz characteristics, develop new micro blog model

For example. With LBS(Location Based Service) construction company check up health of employee and represent it as status.  If a employee has a accident, management team quickly meet it.

Micro blog(Twitter) in Enterprise #1 September 28, 2009

Posted by Terry.Cho in Enterprise 2.0, Micro blog.
Tags: , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Micro blog in enterprise – #1

(Analyze common micro blog system)

Terry.Cho (byungwook.cho AT ORACLE DOT COM)

Most famous micro blog Twitter.com started service from 2006. And now number of monthly visitors exceeds 182 billion people. It impacted 2008 US election and Iran election. This article analyzes micro blog service in WEB 2.0 sphere and suggests strategy to adopt micro blog to enterprise.

Micro blog

Definition

Micro blog is very simple 1:N communication system. Microblogging allows people to send brief text updates to stay abreast of activities within a group by receiving frequent published updates, typically of 140 characters or less. Basic mechanism of micro blog is author post short message and other user subscribe the message by “Following” the author. This is difference with other messaging system. In case of email and IM, author choice subscriber. But in micro blog,  subscriber choice author. So message written by author is not for specific people but for anonymous. It also has filtering mechanism. For example micro blog commonly use “Hashtag”. Author post message with this hashtag. So the other user can search message which he has interest in with this hash tag like keyword.

What do people do with micro blog?

Why people use micro blog. We have to consider this. Followed by report from “Consumer Internet Barometer” (TNS and The conference Board. 2009/Q2) 41.6% of user uses micro blog for communicating with friend. 29.1% users for updating current status. 25.8% users for searching news and information.

f1

Figure 1.Why people use twitter? (Source:“Consumer Internet Barometer” from TNS and The Conference Board”)

This means 70% of users are using twitter for managing personal network. Human network management and communication are main purpose. It is emotional perspective object not a reasonable perspective.

Here are some scenario about effect of micro blog.

Message in twitter has the other value. It is about “What I am thinking about? What is my status?” It can be a information to others. For example a user has interest in WEB2.0. He will write a message with external link for the information with hash tag. He will gather the information If another user want to get a WEB2.0 information. He will search WEB2.0 in twitter. The search results provides external link about WEB2.0. One of interest thing is if some information is useful (external link) many other user saved link. It shows quality of search result.

If a user wants to find expert ,he can search people who wrote message related in the issue. And then review his history. “What he did”, “What his interest” by doing this the user can find expert. Finally send message to the expert and can make a relationship with the expert.

The other usage of micro blog is by analyzing hash tag or re-tweet we can aware trend. Many announce tags and re-tweeted message means many people have interest in the issue.

Twitter is very simple communication tool. Just posting message and subscribe. But as I mentioned above its potential is very high. It is a reason why people is raving in twitter.

Success factor of twitter

Even though we already have alternative messaging solution like email, phone, IM, why micro blog is getting popular? Here are reasons.

Easy to use

In emai,l to send a message “start email client” à “Log in” à “Write button” à “Select receiver” à “Write title” à “Write mail” à “Press send”

In micro blog “launch micro blog client” à “automatically login” à “write message” & enter or in your mobile phone “write message” à “press send”. It is very simple and very easy to use.

Can use anywhere anytime

One reason of popularity of micro blog is free from place and time. Mobile device enables this. User can post and read status anywhere anytime by using mobile device. Furthermore smart phone provides rich user interface like desktop application. User posts status with photo with smart phone. It enriches quality of message. Message length constraint of mobile device and asynchronous messaging of mobile text message goes well to micro blog.

Near real time

Message of micro blog is 140 text characters and with mobile support it is free from place and time. So user can update the status frequently and the content is real time. For example airplane crash news in Hudson River in US was happened in 2009. User takes photo with mobile phone and post a message on Twitter. The other user re tweet this message. The news is spread very quickly. Formal medias (Newspaper, TV) news are beyond twitter.

twitter-hudson-airplane-crash-picture-0

Photo posted in Twitter with Hudson plane crash news by citizen

Support Open API

As I mentioned above, micro blog is very simple system but has a lot of potential. Open API exposes this potential to outside and makes a value. By mashing up micro blog with other WEB2.0 applications new value is generated.

By using Twitter Open API TweetStats.com and HashTags.com analyze RT & HashTag and make a trend report. It is a case of re-use of information in Twitter with Open API.

Summary

We have reviewed success factors of micro blog. Even if it is very simple system it has a little difference in communication. Basically it is 1:N asynchronous communication with short message. That is free from place and time restriction. It expresses current status and emotions with near real time. Sometimes it doesn’t have any specific objectives. But the twit message can be useful information to others.

Here is summary table about difference with other communication tools.

table

Common Micro blog architecture

Commonly micro blog system has 6 components.

microblogging

(1)   Authentication

It handles user authentication for logging.

It also provides integrity with other authentication system like Open Id. And support Open API authentication and id mapping. For example user can change status of Facebook with Twitter message. It needs integration between facebook and twitter.

(2)   Search Engine

Find user. Find message with hash tag etc.

(3)   Posting System

Manage messages in micro blog system. Micro blog system is not complex. But it has a lot of transaction. User posts short message frequently. And search message often. So performance and capacity is important

(4)   Link (Shorten)

Micro blog has message length restriction to support SMS. So it is hard to use original HTML link in the message. (It can be very long..) So micro blog system supports “Shorten” . It is alias of URL. It shorten the long URL to aliased short URL.

(5)   Mobile Gateway

To integrate with mobile device. Mobile gateway is required. Depends on mobile phone ,mobile gateway supports Text based SMS, Image based MMS, and custom protocol(Like REST and WebService) with TCP/IP for smart phone application.

In addition mobile career vendor provide different integration interface. So micro blog system has mediation layer for converting internal protocol to career supported protocol.

(6)   Open API

Expose micro blog functionalities to external applications.

Architecture of micro blog system is not complex. But because it has a lot of transaction and provide connectivity for integration(OpenAPI) the system should have high performance requirement and capabilities & scalability.