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Analysis

Mvine - The art of effective collaboration
David Norris By: David Norris, Practice Leader - Analytics, Bloor Research
Published: 23rd September 2011
Copyright Bloor Research © 2011
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When selecting a commercial off-the-shelf solution (COTS) the selection process is almost invariably to assemble a list of desired functional attributes, and to rank them on a priority basis, and to then match the available offerings to that list. As a selection process that used to work, because the lack of maturity meant that there were discernable differences in what most packages did. However today most packages at a functional level are more than capable of meeting just about every need one can conceive of. A modern solution has to offer more than just a basic functional fit, to meet today's' business demands a solution must offer agility, adaptability, security and above all intelligence, few do, but Mvine exemplifies what they should be doing.

Mvine is an enterprise collaboration solution. One of the most critical keys to success in a fast moving, global, commoditised market is an ability to collaborate both within a company and between companies to share knowledge and develop ideas. Anyone can use email or something similar, but how to do that in a secure, auditable fashion that not only passively aids the flow, but also is capable of actively promoting effective collaboration is the essence of Mvine.

Mvine, and its associated Exvine, a solution based on the core capability but tailored to be more specifically orientated to the need of the insurance market, are enterprise collaboration solution, enabling communities to share knowledge, within a secure, auditable, and highly intelligent framework. That they should tackle Insurance as one of their first vertical targets is telling, because insurance is a highly complex nexus of peer-to-peer complex interactions. There are very few simple transactional workflows, and as a consequence the artefacts that are created as a by-product of those interactions are similarly complex, and their contents are full of data that have specific context sensitivities requiring a complex web of role and context security requirements. Those security requirements must be rigorous but at the same time must not act as barriers to the flow that is essential if the business is to be effective and capable of growth and evolution.

We are familiar with social networks at the personal level, with Facebook, Twitter etc, but Mvine is taking that to the enterprise level. So as well as the basic functionality it has to exhibit the traits that are required at an enterprise level, identity management, data management, data security, security management, robust audit trails, and enterprise intelligence to report on what has gone on and to assist in the identification of quantified new opportunities. To meet the demands of its audience it must not only offer those functional requirements, like others in this market such as SharePoint etc. but to really satisfy the needs of the business as opposed to the requirements of the IT department that functionality has to be delivered, rapidly, flexibly, affordably and tailored to individual needs, the full gamut of what is now seen as agility.

Mvine is a truly agile solution capable of meeting those demands and being able to evolve intelligently and dynamically, because at its core is not a set of static business rules but an intelligence platform. The intelligence engine captures all facts and makes them available for reporting to ensure that everything is auditable and understood, and just as importantly those facts are being used dynamically to provide new insights into what is happening. Identifying new emergent groupings, spotting how the security will have to evolve to meet the emerging patterns of use. This is important because intelligence enables management by exception, only identifying those things that demand attention, and analytics can promote innovation by identifying when disparate groups are working on common ideas and bringing them together.

Besides intelligence the other major attribute required of any modern solution is comprehensive security, that recognises not only the importance of being able to identify the true identity of all actors within a workflow, but also can assign different levels of security to an actor dependent on role and context within an individual workflow. Again this is enhanced greatly is those business rules are not static, but are linked to the intelligence platform and are evolving dynamically to meet challenges as they arise.

Mvine and Exvine are solutions of immense capability, and that capability is being delivered without so much of the baggage that encumbers so many IT solutions, it is affordable, flexible, adaptable and intelligent. Clearly anyone who is looking to create a collaborative framework in the Insurance sector, or beyond, really should look very carefully at Mvine and Exvine. Compared to the current established players they do tend to make the others look dysfunctional and reflective of the needs of a different business environment. I would think there would have to be a very compelling reason not to go with Mvine.

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