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.
-- James R. Borck
Convenience trumps everything for the end-user. Add a soupçon of fun, and you have a killer app.
Netflix is the prototype for this rule. Having stepped into a field of competitors built on low price through volume as the One True Faith, Netflix is succeeding by delivering superior convenience. IT would be wise to consider how investments in convenience can stimulate superior levels of productivity.
To make the low-price model work, you have to strip out all costs related to people or product quality, getting rid of “cost centers” such as customer service and technical support. What you can’t cut you foist onto the customer; for the remainder, you hire the cheapest replaceable slackers you can. It’s an empty, industrial experience for both customer and staff. And once you start, you can’t change -- strip-mining is your brand.
The bulk of IT dollars spent in the past decade has been focused on this “more with less” cult crud, not qualitative improvements. “Lean and mean” systems designed to squeeze out costs or dump IT effort onto end-users are undermining organizations in the same way that the practices of video-store chains have, saving immediate dollars but eroding suppleness. And staff tasked with supporting these systems under the “more with less” mantra will be as desultory as Blockbuster clerks.
Netflix is applying technology to add value to process. For example, its catalog app allows buyers to easily surface titles they might have forgotten or never knew existed. If someone wants to see every movie Helen Mirren ever made (omit Bob Guccione's Caligula, trust me), the front end makes it easy. Exploration is part of the “product” customers pay for. The feature that delivers the most convenience, the ability to create a list of rentals in advance, is also fun, allowing customers to curate and anticipate their own private film festivals. Rather than making the search for the next cinematic escape an industrial grind, it’s almost entertainment itself.