It's the 21st Century, and the relationship between customer and business has changed. I work with customers on designing solutions, creating support documents for both organizations, even FAQs and diagrams so that they can do their own internal training. All of this digital matter is shipped back and forth via email. A lot. Many times. Many revisions. Did I mention many times? I've got one document that I've been working on with a customer out of the U.K. for the past 6 months. Every once in a while, his boss in Singapore wants to see it, and a project manager located in the US wants to have a look as well. I have 18 revisions. Imagine how lovely it would have been to create a mini-secure wiki. Or any sort of shared space, out on the internets to make the collaboration easier. I love the idea of the pbwiki - with their slogan " It doesn't have to be hard to use to be hardened".
Or how about huddle, which let's you manage online identities, create shared visions, all in a secured environment?
It's easy, you say - companies set up extranets all the time. No, no they don't. Not when they are multinational corporations with a security policy that has more pages than a Wired Magazine. Not when you've got to *e-bond*, trade firewall secrets or get bio-scanned.
It's just too painful to collaborate securely with most customers. There are days when I wish I was a free-lance consultant, and could be responsible for my own security, and leverage some of the cutting edge collab tools available on the internets. Alas. I'm going to email version 19 this morning.
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, secure collaboration