Mike Badley Interview

PDM interviewed Collaborative Technolgies’ founder and chairman Mike Badley and learned more of ‘Unite IT,’ the motor inside Schlumberger’s knowledge management offering, MindShare.

PDM - Why the new company?

Badley - Collaborative Technologies has been set up as a separate entity from the other Badley Earth Science companies to allow for separate development of horizontal software.

PDM - How is Unite IT customized?

Badley - Unite IT sits on top of an existing intranet and is delivered with basic tools. It can ‘metamorphose’ into a domain specific application. For instance we are currently targeting the educational market for distance learning.

PDM - What’s the competition?

Badley - There are some competing products for collaborative solutions - notably Equus and E-Room, but they are different, and are all web based. This thin client approach has several disadvantages – it allows for unrestricted access and it requires different software for content generation at the client.

PDM - So the fat client is a good thing?

Badley - In some ways yes, but we are planning a web browser version of the Unite IT which will be available in the second quarter of 2001.

PDM - Has Java proved a satisfactory development tool?

Badley - We have used Java 2 and are quite pleased with it. No significant portability issues, and there are now lots of development tools.

PDM - MindShare does not as yet seem particularly tailored to upstream – not much database connection – just fancy document management.

Badley - The verticality will come – we expect Schlumberger to provide all that soon.

PDM - Does Unite IT support full text search?

Badley - No we do not have that yet – but we will provide full text in a future release – this will probably come from a third party plug-in.

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