“It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.”
– Spock (Star Trek)
No. I’m not a trekkie – nowhere near! I found the above quote while asking Uncle Google a few questions about how Vulcan was related to Star Trek. It may sound like a slightly odd thing to do on a Tuesday evening, but the explanation is quite simple.
IBM Denmark hosted a local version of “Lotusphere Comes to You” today and one of the things they presented was something called Project Vulcan – hence the Spock reference.
Admitted – I was quite apprehensive before going to the event and this is probably rooted in my daily interactions with big blue which are rather far from innovative and thought-leading. The room was full of IT people and being a comms man, I felt a bit like the odd one out…
Project Vulcan was featured as a part of one of the presentations and that confirmed to me that IBM still are remarkably close to the cutting edge when you look at their projects. What I found particularly interesting about this project, albeit only seeing a very brief demo, was the addition of what I would call a “stream layer”. This sits on top of your email, your activity feeds, but also your BI tools creating a continuous stream of updates some of which you need to act on and others which is just information.
This is obviously a big change to the way we work today and certainly not something that will happen overnight, but with an increasing demand (and supply) of information this could very well be one way to solve the everlasting, crowded inbox problem by supplementing it with something more nimble. This something will ultimately make us more effective by providing relevant info when we need it – and we need it!
Sadly, an event like that reminds me that IBM the sheer size makes it considerably less realistic that I will ever see a solution like that inside “my” firewall: We are simply too far removed from the thought leaders. This means that all the great ideas are lost somewhere on the road from there to here, and that’s a real shame.
For my part I hope that Project Vulcan will live long and prosper 🙂