Posted by: Adam Deane | 13/05/2011

BPM and Skypicrosoft

Skype MicrosoftI just wanted to tell you about (..cut off)

Sorry, I’ll start again… I just wanted to tell you about the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sorry, the line is breaking up all the time. I just wanted to tell you my thoughts on the Microsoft Skype deal.

Apart from the obvious buzz it has created, and apart from the sarcasm that comes with anything that Microsoft touches – it does have relevance to our BPM industry.

The biggest innovation in BPM is Enterprise Activity Streams. It’s the future.

It’s just a matter of time before organisations will be purchasing Skype-like software for their internal use, and BPM is already adapting to this new trend.
Tibco and IBM have already released their Tibco’s tibbr and IBM Blueworks Live

Now think of the powerful offering Microsoft Outlook and Skype could provide as a merged tool.

Skypicrosoft could be a fantastic solution for business process management.
It would provide a solution for both structured and unstructured processes.
Tasklists with phone call functionality. Structured processes with ad-hoc ability.
Integrating Microsoft’s Outlook with Skype features, Skype messages would be saved to the internal database. Audited approval cycles via chat. (BI – think of the amount of information that can be cut n’diced from the Skypicrosoft internal database)

Skypicrosoft – Collaboration, communication and less emails…
But even with Skypicrosoft, emails would still be used, although as employees use more skype messages – the number of emails should decline.
(By the way, Microsoft already has a project called OfficeTalk that applies the basic capabilities of microblogging to a business environment, in attempt to reduce email and increase collaboration).

Outlook will still be part of the day-to-day life in every organisation. That’s not going away anytime soon, but think of the powerful offering Outlook and Skype could provide as a merged tool.

But it won’t happen. I don’t believe that Microsoft is looking to use Skype as a tool for business. That said, I would advise that..
(sorry.. no more credits… cut off)


  1. Great points about Skype and the Enterprise Activity Stream. I have a strong suspicion that this will be a capability-map-level idea in the very near future. The conversations happen anyway, they just aren’t coordinated and don’t involve everyone. That will change.

  2. I like your thinking and bet that’s one of the reasons Microsoft ponied up such a large sum for Skype. But I wonder how well it will work. There’s always unexpected challenges in merging disparate products together, vs. having those capabilities designed to work together from the start.

    As for “Enterprise Activity Streams”, check out Appian’s Tempo interface ( It’s similar to the others you mention, but we’ve taken the concept WAY further and deliver much more. All of the tasks, actions, and activities done through our BPMS system can be accomplished in Tempo. Tempo runs on iOS, Android, and Blackberry so anyone building a process in Appian can simply check a box saying they want this to be a mobile process and it will work natively on all those platforms – without ANY mobile development.


  3. Really interesting perspective.
    I’m just trying to imagine how powerful this could actually become: think about merging the feature you mention with: automatic speech to text for full minutes of the conf. call (including who is in and out and when) + automatic summarization for quick notes production + integration with meeting scheduling + recording of shared screencasts, and so on.
    Really nice perspective, especially for knowledge workers (not necessarily involved in strictly-speaking formalized processes).
    … Don’t know, maybe it’s just a rant by one that could benefit a lot from it 🙂 but definitely intriguing.

    • Thanks Marco, and congrats on your Social BPM Handbook 🙂

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