Monday, August 18, 2008

Globalization at 5 a.m.

You know, it's pretty amazing where your mind will take you in the wee hours of the morning. As I write this, it's 5 a.m. and I'm waiting on a train platform to hop a commuter train to work. I'm killing the time by reviewing nominations for this year's Oracle Excellence Awards and the review has me thinking. I'm struck by the level of globalization in this year's nominees. There are lots of enterprises out there using Fusion Middleware in very creative ways to conduct international business.

Thomas L. Friedman, in "The World Is Flat", explains that globalization is driven to a great degree by the decomposition of business processes and the distribution of non-localized, decomposed activities to the low-cost provider (regardless of that provider's geographic location). For example, a dentist pull wisdom teeth is a localized service - not work that can be distributed to a provider other than that dentist. However, answering phones, scheduling appointments, developing and analyzing x-rays, and billing (all part of that dentist's work flow) are all components of the business process that can be distributed to the low cost provider.

Anyway, this has me thinking that maybe one of the big value propositions for enterprise apps should be the ability to support the decomposition and distribution of work at increasingly lower levels of granularity. This could be a very appealing business proposition to global enterprises (and, when it comes down to it, aren't we all global enterprises?). I see the potential for this type of thing with Fusion Middleware, especially BPEL and composite apps. Don't see it so much in the packaged apps world, although Fusion Apps may eventually represent an incremental move in that direction.

Related to this is the idea that maybe the big value propositon of social networking is to bring all those suppliers, partners and customers in this distributed, global value chain together...but I don't think this is a new idea. I just think it's still looking for real fruition.

So that's what my mind is running through at 5 a.m. Aren't you glad you don't ride my commuter train? In fact, aren't most of you glad that you're not up at this time of the day?


OCP Advisor said...

Great thoughts arrive at the most unlikeliest of moments:
[1] Past midnight, when it's all calm and silent
[2] In dreams
[3] During the 5am commuter train journey to work
[4] During the 5pm commuter train ride home
Please keep posting your wisdom every week!

Tim said...

Ahh 5am - I almost missed it over the summer. Now the kids are back to school and because we live a stupid distance from the school its up at 5am to get ready to get the bus.
Its great this time of year, sun is just rising and warms you up, the dogs get a long walk ... nice! Come January, when its 10F and you're wading through 3 feet of snow its not much fun at all - dogs still want a walk thou :0)