Social Collaboration for Asset & Product Communities

Social collaboration involves communities of people with common interests working together to solve common goals by sharing information that assists in achieving those goals.

A Google search on “social collaboration for business” will show you how some of the world’s leading companies are leveraging social collaboration to foster continuous innovation and add value to their customers.

Today Assets & Products are disconnected and by extension the communities that should support them are fragmented. Social networks can build communities that can collaborate to deliver continuous innovation to organizations.

How much time do you lose waiting for information?

When it comes to asset information, companies waste enormous amounts of time waiting for information to be released from one organization to another. Information is given a status and based on that status it is released to the party requesting information – for example, “Issued for Review”, “Issued for Construction”, “As Built”. Historically, documents were the containers of this information and each container was given a status like this before it could be released. This means that those waiting for that information have to wait till every piece of information within the container is given the same status before the transmittal. End result is that countless man hours are lost waiting for people to provide information before they can complete their tasks as processes built for paper are still followed.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Imagine if all the information I needed for my job was available to me within my Social Network and each granular data item had the status attached to that item. I could make a decision as to whether that information in its current state was useful to me. I could subscribe to a news feed that alerts me when the status or any other relevant information about the objects changes.

Of course we need to define communities within which we would want to share this information. Maybe we have communities within our plant or within our company to carry out projects such as a field audit or equipment overhauls. We could perhaps even establish communities that include the Manufacturer and other Operators of a particular Brand of Product that we are operating to share best practices or troubleshoot issues we might be having.

Social collaboration brings together communities and content to enable collaboration in real time. This connected enterprise is able to harness the collective knowledge of communities built around a common interest – the products they manufacture and the assets they operate.

“ORDITAL provides the Social Network to enable Asset Communities to share”

ORDITAL: Collaboration in Asset Communities

ORDITAL has been established to create a Social Network connecting Assets & Products. The process involves an Operator or Contractor making a claim that one of their Assets originated from a Manufacturer, or a Manufacturer making a claim that one of their Products is being used by an Operator. Once the claim has been accepted by the other party a connection is established within the Social Network linking the Asset & Product.

Communities can be built around these relationships – within a company; between an Operator and their Contractors; between Operators and Manufacturers; and between Operators of a Manufacturer’s products. These groups can be either public or private and participants decide how and what they will share with the group.

Collaboration supports complex activities such as approval processes within or across groups to ensure the status of information only changes in an authorized fashion.

Collaboration within communities provides a number of capabilities to an organization – Receive data feeds – that is to subscribe to an object and be notified when there is a change (for example, a Manufacturer issues a new technical bulletin); Messages and chat with people in and across groups; Posting information to groups in the network; Share files with groups in the network; Establish Topics for discussion with groups in the network.

The ORDITAL Social Network establishes communities and allows social collaboration to harness the knowledge of those communities whilst removing the waste associated with waiting for information.

Stephen Crampton