Monday, September 17, 2007

Virtual Collaboration

The book has been around for some time now, but the ideas presented in the book still hold true, to a very large extent. I am talking about a book titled Working Knowledge - How Organizations Manage What They Know by Davenport and Prusak. This is a book which I think is a must read for anyone seriously interested in Knowledge Management (though if you are not seriously interested, you should maybe read the one I am writing! :-D).

At one point in the book, they are talking about a scenario where BP got the problem with a drilling equipment from an expert using video and audio. Quite impressive, considering most help desks or call centres dont do this. In fact, at times I wonder if they use computers as well or not. On the other hand, this brought to mind experiments IBM has been doing in the Virtual World, a la Mayapur, and much more. I have written about this earlier ... And, the fact is that the possibilities are immense. Consider the possibility of a customer, calling from her mobile phone, being able to see the the person she is talking with, describing the problem, and the two of them working together to solve the problem in real time. This promises to enrich the customer support experience to a large extent, and help in simpler and speedier closure of issues, as demonstrated by the people at BP.

A lot of companies in the Information Technology space (hardware, software, as well as services firms) are already doing this when they provide remote support by taking control over your computer, and diagnosing the problem (as opposed to looking at the problem from the layman's perspective), but this interaction can be taken to a new level of richness with the virtual worlds technology.

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