Friday, May 2, 2008

Real-time collaboration in government and military

Instant Technologies' president Peyton McManus just returned from an IBM event in France targeted at government and military organizations. IBM has built a real-time communications offering called E-CollabCenter that enables government agencies, departments of defense, disaster response teams, and other such organizations to make fast, informed, collaborative decisions in real-time - based on up-to-the-second data supplied by team members from all over the world.

E-CollabCenter is a compelling demonstration of the value of instant messaging. But what makes it REALLY cool is the fact that several of our products are at the heart of E-CollabCenter:

Instant Team Sessions delivers encrypted and secure browser-based persistent chat rooms so remote and/or cross-organizational teams can collaborate on specific topics in the atmosphere of an open forum where both the chat room and the content— conversations, documents, files, bookmarks—persist over time. Access is controlled and password protected, and all conversations are time synchronized.

Instant Buddy List Administrator provides centrally-controlled, server-side buddy list management that effectively eliminates the administrative overhead of creating persistent chat rooms and managing their group memberships.

Instant IMtegrity Archives provides IM archiving, search, and discovery for auditing and oversight. If questions are asked about who said what to whom, Instant IMtegrity Archives will provide irrefutable evidence.

Now consider two examples of how these solutions are being used in the real-world:

Mission #1:
Interdict ships in hostile waters. Identify hostiles and take appropriate action.

Boarding team takes pictures of the target ship, its crew members, its equipment, etc. The pictures are instantly uploaded to the mission’s persistent chat room, where intelligence experts at command headquarters analyze the data and decide on actions to be taken.

The innocent are quickly freed to go about their business; suspects are detained for further investigation.

Mission #2:
Provide logistical support for military operations.

Persistent chat rooms are created for each logistical component (inventory levels, procurement, etc). Logistics support staff create keyword-based alerts relevant to their roles so they are instantly and automatically notified when someone in one of the ten or twenty persistent chat rooms mentions something that requires their attention.

Increased efficiency and improved response times in logistics ensures that personnel in the field have the resources they need to complete their mission successfully.

If you also consider the commercial applicability of these solutions, enterprise instant messaging finally has the power to revolutionize business communications to an even greater degree than email did in the 1990s. Enterprise IM, deployed with our solutions, eliminates all barriers of time and distance to deliver increased productivity, reduced costs, improved customer service, and more - it's business done better and faster than ever before.

Posted by Dan.