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31/07/2014 08:22:54
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Collaboration Networks

Intelligent management of collaboration networks
The kBOS approach is to view a collaboration network as part of an organisational system which is regarded as a loose coupling of various interest groups, and capabilities. Management of interdependencies in collaboration networks is far more difficult compared to engineering or natural systems in which the relationships between their consistent elements is well defined and even time based variations follow predictable trends.

kBOS provides powerful facilities for managing business networks  with both tightly controlled and loosely coupled members.

Consequently, kBOS was designed from onset to support the design and subsequent “intelligent” management of collaboration networks through  modelling techniques and dynamic integration technology.

 

Flexible business networks
kBOS supports the definition of organisational models within which the operational processes run. Collaboration networks can be specified with different types of members and common processes. Processes within different networks can then be specified with various degrees of autonomy. Parts of the network can be tightly controlled using work flow based techniques and parts are loosely coupled using web services.  

Intelligent agents are used to co-ordinate networks based on real-time monitoring of process status, output or other performance criteria. If required, authorised users can supervise progress, resolve exceptions, and take action to improve performance.  Adjustments and extensions can be made in real time as conditions change. The relationship between network elements can be linked to specified outputs.

 

Process networks involve the participation of a large and diverse set of organisations and individuals on a global basis. However often such networks are forced to restrict the number of members involved because the complexity of coordination rises exponentially as the number of participants increases. The kBOS intelligent co-ordination approach tackles directly this problem.                           

Competitiveness through Business networks

 

Business networking emerged as a competitive strategy in the mid 90s focusing on the critical importance of external processes linking the enterprise with its customers and suppliers.

The new goal is to develop organisations consisting of constantly changing project teams, task forces, alliances and other informal structures.  This is the adaptive model and can be pictured by the ‘musical’ example in which dancers form a flower on the stage, disband and in seconds regroup to form a flag or their emblem. The adaptive enterprises will be supported by web service orchestration frameworks and technologies.

Competitive advantage in a business network comes from creating dynamic capabilities that for a specific project are better than competitive capabilities. Instead of owning assets, a company leverages specialist assets of other enterprises, capturing value for itself as the co-ordinator.  The key to success is the ability to perform intelligent co-ordination of the network partners and their subcontractors. 

Advantages of kBOS Knowledge Networking Solutions
Using a kBOS business networking solution, users do not merely follow work instructions or wait for  tasks from their managers.  Instead, they understand and examine the process in which they are contributing and both provide feedback for improvement and if necessary participate in ad-hoc teams to find solutions to any challenge or problem the network is facing.

Apart from the competitive considerations, kBOS networking solutions offer three productivity benefits. First, it frees up many people who otherwise would be involved in the time- consuming (and error-prone) tasks of managing interactions between companies and trying to  establish the status of various activities.

 

Second, it provides a knowledge development process that exploits the collective capabilities of all the network participants. It provides instant messaging, shared documents, forums on subjects of interest and process related experience sharing. It provides the means to quickly mobilize the right participants to address emerging performance issues, even if they are spread across many different companies around the globe.


Process Networks

On the same theme of business networks,  Hagel’s  Process Networks are groups of highly specialized companies that are mobilized to support core business processes, typically supply-chain management, customer relationship management, or collaborative product development.

 

Process networks are still a relatively new management approach, but there are some promising early examples of this approach in action. Service providers can play a critical role in supporting process networks and, in doing so, configure their own process networks. Process networks require connections across many enterprises. These connections support mission-critical business activities and, as such, must meet stringent performance requirements. They must be fast, secure, and reliable. Many different networking capabilities must come together into "service grids" that are optimized to support these performance requirements. 




   
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