Collaboration technology is coming

Recently, I attended the IBM Rational Software Development Conference (RSDC2007) in Orlando, Florida. Apart from the typical presentations about the products, there was a lot of attention for Organizationally Distributed Development, or Globally Distributed Development (GDD). ODD/GDD is about crossing the organizational boundaries, which many people find scary.

At the RSDC they showed a prototype of a product called Team Concert, a tool to support collaboration between people to build software. It is based on the Jazz technology, which is

Jazz is a joint project between IBM Rational and IBM Research to build a scalable, extensible team collaboration platform for seamlessly integrating tasks across the software lifecycle.

New and exciting is that the Team Concert product is developed as a commercial product in an open source manner – see the press annoucement. People from the global community can join in to the development team. Thus, the project is deploying the potential of the global community.

Another exiting thing is that the Team Concert is a collaboration product, creating full transparancy and integration of technical and control information. And since this is a collaboration project, they use (pre-released) versions of Team Concert to support the development (globally distributed). So they are using the product that they are making.

But this is not the only thing that illustrates that IBM is taking collaboration technology seriously. On IBM developerWorks they have introduced spaces and wikis, next to the discussion forums that have existed for many years. For company communication this is not new, but what is new is that they also allow non-IBM people from the user community to create a space. The Configuration Management space is the first one.

Coincidently, at NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors) there is an initiative to create a Common Collaborative Core (C3), a set of applications (e.g. wikis, forums, website, IM) to support the – internal – community with collaboration, sharing and building knowledge and competence. NXP happens to be the customer that I am assigned to currently.

Apparently, both NXP and IBM recognize the same thing – unleash the power of the mass instead of trying to build competences with the (small) recruited crew.

Transparent collaboration across organizational and geographic boundaries is a necessity to survive the ever growing technological and organizational complexity.

About Frank Schophuizen (fschop)

Hi, my name is Frank Schophuizen and I am working as a consultant in CM, Agile and ALM for TOPIC Embedded Systems. I have over 30 years experience in software development in the technology industry, with the last 15 years mainly in process improvement, deployment and integration of methods and tools in the area of Agile (SAFe, Scrum), CM and ALM. I am strongly interested in the complexities of collaboration and integration in multi-project and multi-site organizations. I have worked with various technology companies such as Philips, ASML, NXP and Vanderlande, and with various tool vendors such as Atlassian (e.g. Jira, Confluence),IBM Rational (e.g. ClearCase, Synergy, Jazz products) as well as open source tools (e.g. SVN, Git, Jenkins, Trac, Eclipse). I am living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with my wife. We have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are classical music and photography.
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1 Response to Collaboration technology is coming

  1. Peter says:

    Great to see the growing interest and articulation of the need for “Professional Collaboration Beyond Enterprise Boundaries”. Expensive enterprise collaboration platforms are only affordable for large organizations and limited by corporate firewalls and identity management.Collaboration needs beyond and outside the firewall until recently remained underserved . The only collaborative options were email or very restrictive server platforms, with data hosted at third parties, no offline capabilities and only browser-based access. The evolution of the internet as a global platform,coupled with the introduction of free enterprise-class solutions, such as Collanos Workplace ( and, remove these obstacles altogether. Best practice collaboration tools are now available, not only for large players but also for small, globally distributed teams, such as start-ups and small firms.It is our ambition to deliver new unified collaboration solutions facilitating this new way of work all over the world and beyond enterprise platforms.


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