Is This Also A Dream of Notes’ Future?

At Dreamforce 2015 Salesforce.com and Microsoft came together to announce a number of initiatives to integrate their products and services.  This included a demonstration of SalesForce data being integrated into the Office Graph and then surfaced via Delve.

Salesforce Integration with Office Graph and Office Delve: Enabled by the Office Graph, an open ecosystem for sharing, collaboration and discovery, Office 365 users will be able to view BN and discover Salesforce content in Office Delve, such as sales opportunities, customer accounts and service cases. Availability is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

As Alan Lepofsky of Constellation Research noted in his review of DreamForce 2015:

Perhaps the most significant news is the Office Graph/Delve integration. When Microsoft first introduced Delve, the premise was that people would be able to easily discover relevant content across a variety of tools. Today’s announcement solidifies that claim, highlights that Office Graph extends beyond just Microsoft products, and shows how Delve can surface content from other key business platforms

Red Pill NOW has been anticipating announcements such as this for a number of months now after our own discussions with Microsoft identified what we think is a compelling vision for how organizations can leverage their investments in information. This may very well be the first blow that ultimately brings downs the walls of data silo, uniting organizations around the globe as they stive to empowered their knowledge workers with quick easy access to all the relevant information held within their domains. We expect to see more announcements from other Microsoft partners in the coming months as the potential for this approach becomes more evident.

Architecture

The concepts involved are quite simple:-

  1. Yes, it starts with a graph! In this case it is Microsoft’s Office Graph. Rather than build a data warehouse that duplicates data we merely add meta-data to the graph allowing information held in a wide range of sources to be united.
  2. Next we need common data schemas such as those provide via schema.org so that we can determine how best to display the underlying data.
  3. We also need a search engine and/or portal to provide access (search)  information as well as navigate to related information.
  4. In the case of Delve we also see examples of how social capabilities can then be added.

Delve Saleforce Card

The Dream For Notes

It makes perfect sense to use this same approach to unify data across Notes databases and between Notes databases and other data sources such as Salesforce, SAP, SharePoint etc. The results of this can then be surfaced into Office 365 using products such as Delve. It may even be possible to surface Notes data into IBM Connections or IBM Verse using the same approach.

The large investment that many organizations have made in the Notes platform is reflected in the large amounts of data that is now being held in an estimated 10 million Notes databases. There are ways to unlock the full value of that investment that do not involve the need to update or replace the existing applications. It involves surfacing the data held in those applications in new ways that allows knowledge workers to make decisions based upon that data without the need to touch the underlying applications. If you attended MWLUG and saw Red Pill NOW’s presentation A World Without Applications. You would have seen some of the concepts involved in making Notes data part of that opportunity.

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Peter Presnell
Peter Presnell
CEO at Red Pill NOW. Strategist, technologist, blogger, presenter, and IBM Champion 2011/12. For years many companies have invested heavily in the Notes/Domino platform and I see my role as helping to find paths forward for that investment.

4 Comments

  1. Bruce Elgort says:

    Peter,

    Can you cite a source for the “10 million notes databases”?

    BE

    • Peter Presnell says:

      Bruce the number of 10 million Notes applications is regularly quoted by IBM at various User Groups and conferences. When I worked at GBS they also conducted research on this and concluded the number (at that time) was in the range of 10 to 20 million. I am not aware of any other number being regularly used for this. We know from our own research IBM has around 50,000 active accounts for Notes/Domino so this would equate to an average of 200 Notes applications per customer. This number is totally consistent with our own experience working with a wide range of Notes shops around the globe.

  2. how much support are you getting from IBM in this? also a world with 1 supplier of graph technology for Notes does not have so much value for the whole platform.

    • Peter Presnell says:

      @Patrick… If you connect the dots it is obvious Microsoft has a clear advantage in making this happen. It is difficult to imagine anybody but IBM being able to make graph databases an integral part of IBM Connections.

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