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Live from InterACT: The Intelligent Enterprise (Air Products)

InterACT BlogI am attending InterACT San Francisco 2007 this week and blogging live (or nearly live) from the sessions. This session is "The Intelligent Enterprise (Air Products)" and Charlie Lewis gave an interesting discussion of the state of intelligent enterprise. Charlie defined an Intelligent Enterprise in terms of "Enabling integrated, intelligent processes to the edge, today and tomorrow, inside and out".

  • SOA - making it easier to connect things
  • Networks everywhere - making bandwidth available
  • Sensor Networks - so everything talks
  • Data Storage - so all the huge volume of data can be stored
  • Web 2.0 - empowering of people and their connection (Don Tapscott's talk on Wikinomics is relevant here)
  • People - the 'Net generation that Don Tapscott discussed are coming
  • Business Process - to share the knowledge from...
  • Analytics and rules (EDM)

Charlie pulled these threads together to discuss how all this might impact an organization.

For instance, what if you knew where someone had been before when they came into your store? How might knowing how someone drove impact your insuring of them (see this post on Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance)? Self-configuring sensors that enable you to have, say, one in every box and have the whole load be monitored as the sensors can talk to each other and pass the information out to the edge of the load. All this means that opportunities exist for new systems.

Charlie pointed out that the amount of data has grown hugely but storing it is really cheap. The computing power of "the cloud" such as from Google or Amazon is both accessible through APIs even though it is out of the enterprise. The world has changed from no data to huge amounts of data that is easier to analyze, from services only inside the company to interconnected services across the boundary. At the same time the complexity of problems being solved has exploded too as companies become more international, more connected, and more dependent on each other. Charlie's example of Air Products using EDM to add a decision service to SAP included the observation that the ability to automate skills and experience was critical as those skills are so rare. You must handle complexity to survive. You must be able to handle this complexity globally.

Here are some slides from his deck:

While Charlie's talk ranged pretty widely, you can read about how Air Products is using Blaze Advisor with SAP here . You can find the full set of posts from InterACT in this category.

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