What the enterprise can learn from TiVo

Ensure relevant data gets channeled to the right people by giving users greater control over the data flow

Digital video recorders have forever changed TV viewing habits. TiVo, the product now synonymous with “digitally recording TV,” has led the charge -- outlasting rivals such as ReplayTV in part due to a trouble-free setup and a novice-friendly UI.

In addition to features for time shifting, powering through uneventful content, and multitasking, TiVo’s appeal has been fostered by value-added facilities for content filtering. Its search mechanisms sift metadata to auto-record programming and reduce missed opportunities -- an intelligence yet to be widely implemented in competing boxes.

IT departments can take a cue from TiVo in an effort to ensure that relevant data gets channeled to the right people at the right time by giving employees greater control over the contextual flow.

Reports and analytics juiced by this proactive science are already cropping up in BI products such as Hyperion System 9. Desktop alert subscriptions and an intuitive Smartspace UI allow knowledge workers to tune to custom data channels. SaaS controls for BI will soon be big business.

Enterprise RSS readers, such as Attensa Feed Server and Attensa for Outlook, also help tune and prioritize feed streams. Much like TiVo’s user-controlled program weightings and suggestions, Attensa prioritizes internal and external data based on user behavior, monitoring activities such as feed selections and time spent reading a feed, as well as articles tagged, deleted, and forwarded. Weighted rankings then push key data to the top of your workgroup’s display stack.

Behind the scenes, network backup could benefit from TiVo reliability -- specifically D2D (disk-to-disk) backup. As costs for hardware have fallen, the idea of tossing tapes while improving access times looks appealing. Yet existing tape solutions don’t always play well with disk backups. D2D must be better integrated -- even TiVo offers backward compatibility to VCRs.

Much can be gleaned from TiVo’s operating model, as well. Poor QA testing has seen TiVo pushing broken software updates to users. And its dire customer service efforts could fill a playbook on how not to run a call center. So take heed: Technology alone provides no insurance marker in Enterprise 2.0.

If well applied, however, user-subscribed access to smart-filtered business data -- delivered how and when it’s needed -- can hone efficiency, insight, and thus your company’s competitive edge.

More consumer tech wisdom:
YouTube :: iPod :: Netflix :: Flickr :: MySpace :: Segway :: Multiplayer Gaming :: Gaming Consoles

See the slideshow: What IT can learn from consumer tech

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