I recently had the privilege to attend two very exciting Microsoft events: the ISV Architect Forum and the ISV Leadership Summit.
These events focused on various aspects of the latest technology and business platform offerings from Microsoft, with OBAs (Office Business Applications) being one of the more prominent ones.
I personally presented Xpertdoc at the Architect Forum as a complement to Javed Sikander (Director Industry Architecture, Microsoft Corporation) session on OBAs. You can download my presentation from the following link (PowerPoint 2007 File).
OBAs are a new breed of applications that utilize Microsoft Office as a familiar yet powerful user interface to Enterprise systems. Leveraging the expressing power and large distribution of the Office suite, their biggest strength comes from the fact that they minimize the “mindprint” imposed on end user. This is achieved by allowing them to use the same tool to create data bound reports that they are already using daily to produce all kinds of other “reports”.
In Javed Sikander’s own words, OBAs:
· Extend LOB functionality into Office clients for easy consumption and broader reach.
· Aggregate tasks spread across multiple LOB screens without major server side work.
· Capture business activity surrounding a business process.
· Drive agility and reuse.
· Unlock more value from existing systems and information stores.
Now, how many users of Microsoft Word do you think there are in the world?
Although there are no official figures available, sources indicate anywhere between 400 up to 500 millions.
How many hours per week do information workers spend per week, on average, creating documents?
According to a recent study, information workers spend no less than five hours per week creating documents.
Now even if only one out of five documents can be automated or semi-automated using an OBA-type technology like Xpertdoc, this could mean hundreds of hours saved by eliminating the retyping of information that already sits on enterprise systems. Add the benefits of reduced errors due to manual data entry and a more consistent output, and you can see that the business case for OBAs is quite powerful.