Inovis Launches a ‘Facebook’ for the Supply Chain
February 17, 2009 Alex Woodie
You’ve probably heard of MySpace. Your children might have used Facebook to stay in touch with friends. Now behold the Inovis Social Network, a new online entity unveiled last week by B2B software provider Inovis to help supply chain members stay in touch.
You might think that social networking sites like Facebook are primarily used by teenage girls to post pictures of themselves, talk trash about their teachers, and gossip about the new clothing store that just opened at the mall. But you would be wrong. In addition to serving the social needs of millions of teenage girls across the world, the technology is being utilized by hardened IT pros like yourself, to keep in touch with, well, other hardened IT pros.
Or, as Inovis CTO Inovis Erik Huddleston puts it: “Social networking gives individuals a direct link to one another, to stay in touch and receive updates about activities and changes in each others’ lives. We’re applying the same concept to business communities so that retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and vendors can better understand each others’ roles and responsibilities, and stay updated on changes in staffing, projects, or products.”
The new Inovis Social Network will not be a place for casual gabbing. You will not log on to post and view comments such as “OMG, my BFF just deleted the customer master, LOL!” or “Check out pix of my new blade server, it’s so HAWT!” Instead, it will be a place for serious inquiry of common B2B matters affecting supply chain operations.
For example, say some bad product data was sent from a manufacturer to a distributor in an EDI document via AS2 (the kind of software Inovis makes). Instead of blindly dialing the company’s 800 number, the IT professional can log onto the Inovis Social Network Web site and look up the right person to contact at the manufacturer, thereby saving time and reducing the chance of a shipping delay.
Inovis foresees its Social Network as providing “an always-up-to-date exchange that businesses can use to communicate changes in organization information, key contact information, roles, policies, and procedures.” The Web site is private and secured by passwords, preventing teenage girls from infiltrating the supply chain. Use of Web services standards makes integrating with existing back-end systems easier.
For more information on the Inovis Social Network, see www.inovis.com/solutions/bcm/social-network.jsp.