The Enterprise RSS Tidal Wave

Attensa CEO Craig Barnes recaps his recent invite from Microsoft to discuss the impact of RSS on the Enterprise.  Last week he spoke to ~30 people across several groups at Microsoft presenting Attensa, his thoughts on RSS and lessons on enterprise use.  As Craig considers Microsoft’s strategy and the launch of Vista, IE7 and Outlook 2007 (VIO), he believes:

  • VIO is going to make RSS HUGE…because right now it isn’t. Adoption is very, very small.
  • VIO will force IT to redeploy new hardware (client and server) and RSS will be standard issue
  • RSS for getting news feeds and blog updates is minuscule…business has bigger fish to fry
  • This of course leads to information overload like IT has never experienced as RSS is used for competitive intelligence, for internal blogs/wikis/collaboration, and by enterprise applications

"Yes thousands of items per day via hundreds of feeds. This will dwarf email volume and rest assured it is already happening in the more technically progressive companies. What was eye opening to me was that many at Microsoft seemingly have no idea the impact RSS embedded in their next wave of offerings will have. The way I look at it is that millions of business users will cut their own throats with RSS unless their forward looking IT departments realize that their Exchange servers will not be enough to handle their users individual or collective use of RSS. NO wonder some of the biggest companies in the world are already testing out our stuff…some of them see this RSS tidal wave coming. RSS is still for geeks now, but in business it will again transform the enterprise just as significantly as email has over the past twenty years."

Craig highlights the tidal wave of new feeds to be managed across the enterprise.  Attensa’s approach to prioritizing a user’s feeds based on "relevance" – that is, giving priority to those feeds that are determined to be the most important and relevant – offers an interesting alternative to Information Overload.   I believe we’ll need more.

Intelligent filtering of RSS feeds to determine relevance is one component of a broader solution that determines relevance based on user context and prevalent conversations. 

The enterprise solution that can prioritize the relevancy of information based on presence, availability, context and conversation is the holy grail for next generation attention engines.

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