Workflow Goes Social

I was amused this week to see two examples of workflow getting sexy. That’s not how the developers describe their efforts, but the departure from old groupware notions is clear.

In daring defiance of Zawinski’s proclamation, Jeffrey McManus, with, and Karen Greenwood Henke, with Nimble Net (as reported yesterday), are tackling workflow and approval processes.

Combine the increasing numbers of people who are self employed or working in very small businesses that can’t afford those old enterprise groupware “solutions” (but who nonetheless have to get a job done) with the combination of luck, pluck and smarts these two seem to have applied to the challenge, and there’s a chance these new products — groupware 2.0 — might have legs.

Still not sure how will get somebody laid (the true definition of social software)? I’m just waiting for somebody to submit for approval a document titled “proposal for licentious relationship including sex and other carnal acts.” With tools so easy to use, and a willing approver, how could it go wrong?

You Mean Other Businesses Handle Acquisitions Too?

Art Rhyno confused my by calling it ERP, but he just rocked his code4lib presentation and I realized he’s talking about the same thing that’s been itching me: libraries are not unique, but our software and standards are unnecessarily so.

In my introduction of WPopac I made the point that I didn’t want to replace the ILS — certainly not the acquisitions management functions or other business processes. Art today explained that he wouldn’t want to have to develop or support those features either, but that we don’t need to. He reminded us that other people have to buy stuff too, and that buying books really isn’t so different from buying plumbing supplies or toys.

The market segment is called ERP, enterprise resource planning, and Art pointed out a few open source solutions. I’m waiting for his slides to go online, and I’m hoping we hear more about this.