Later on, when we get into what will collaboration do, it will make, I think, changes to those kinds of business processes; more essential, but probably more frequent. And that’s what I think one of the key things that collaboration can take us through eventually in terms of changing much things – is sort of, let’s call it continuous improvement in real time – as you keep adapting information systems. Because the points where both collaboration and social interaction happen will be typically at the exception points of business processes. If everything is working smoothly and works well, you don’t really need much interaction, much feedback, etcetera.
And I think this is that kind of point Sameer Patel and others have been making. It’s really exception handling, it’s where you have the potential for improvement. That’s in the business process world. What I also want to mention, I guess, is that I think that in terms of collaboration there are two large worlds.
There is collaboration externally, with customers and suppliers, and there is collaboration internally, working. And I think that, by and large, many people are just in a place doing a job, there is the exception handling and other aspects and routine, banal information exchanges with colleagues to get things done inside a business process. Where I see more opportunity then is as business processes always get refined and changed, exception handling comes into play mostly in some form of customer service. Is that fair to say?
And there again, I’ve been coming out from the North American point of view, you see changes and saw a wave over the last 10 years – there are a lot of customer service training. You can recognize that because it becomes a routine in how you get responded to. And now you’re seeing another wave of, I think, probably better training where the customer service is more about asking questions, and trying to get to the root of the problem, and find out the exception or the problem handled. And I – excuse me, I’m just checking my notes here. You see that mostly in the retail areas and in basic services. So, I’m thinking about going downtown in Vancouver or Toronto or whatever, and I typically get annoyed by retail people. France is a whole different thing; I mean, I’m always struck by… if you go to Paris, if you go inside the door then people expect in little retail stores you to buy something and if you just say, “I’m looking.” They get annoyed.