Why semantic collaboration is getting important
Reasons and selling points why open semantic collaboration, in general, is important -- be it for OSCAF members or non-members.
* Semantic collaboration is the basis of the Web 3.0
Machine-understandable data is going to be the future of the digital world. Legacy formats and systems are becoming obsolete. Make your way to computer-readable and exchangeable data and enjoy the benefits. Your computer network can reach its full potential only if it becomes a place where data can be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people. For the Web to scale, tomorrow's programs must be able to share and process data even when these programs have been designed totally independently.
* Web 3.0 will soon be everywhere
Requirements for data management and search technologies are growing more and more complex. Semantic collaboration is going to be a cornerstone of the next generation web: semantically working services and networks are facing increasing demand by IT users and web users likewise, facilitating more accurate and comprehensive answers to information requests and enabling much more convenient collaboration and social networking.
* Overcome data silos and software gaps!
Corporate applications and workspaces have been data silos so far. Data integration across sources will be most important for companies in the near future. Combine digital content from numerous and different organisations, providers, departments, disparate data sources, legacy data -- resulting in a consistent portable data model to build upon, making data interoperable and exchangeable.
* Integration of data -- the smart way
Existing group working environments only allow collaboration based on predefined data-types (e.g. dates in a group calendar) or on selected documents (e.g. document archive). An integration of data between these application is only limited possible and requires high integration efforts. Semantic technology can be used as a means for a flexible, scalable and economic realization of this integration.
* Cloud Computing
Computer applications are more and more shifting to the internet. Data storage and software operation will be increasingly run by means of the web's client-server structure. Even Microsoft is about to gear their new Windows 7 towards the cloud. However, when global information resources are linked together, new approaches in terms of data handling and networking are inevitable.
Tremendously increasing amounts of data require new methods of tackling this challenge and keeping control of more and more complex data systems. Semantics oriented technologies are scalable and flexible, coping with various data types, different applications and multiple sources.
* Corporate information for everyone
The social value of any computer network is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of the primary goals of OSCAF is to make these benefits available to many or all people in your organisation, whatever their department, position, computer & network infrastructure, location, or job tenure.
* Exploit the knowledge base you already have
Your computer desktop or your company network is not merely a big book where you can search, browse, and view information. It is also a vast database that, if designed carefully, can allow computers to do more useful work. By developing an open semantic collaboration architecture that holds information for both human and machine processing, OSCAF aims to enable people to solve problems that would otherwise be too tedious or complex to solve.
* Don't search, let find!
Don't search for proper search expressions, let the system do it for you or your customers by expressive queries. Don't search just for a certain literal string any more. Don't bother with synonymous or ambiguous search terms. Have the system know what you mean.
* Find out more than you were searching for
Discover related items and hidden information you did not originally search for but are happy to know now! Navigate accross data boundaries. Semantics empower you to find the information or data that is really related to your search -- not only the data mapping your search term. Semantics empower you to find all the relationships that really exist between your data items like emails, contacts, documents, tasks or events -- not only inside one application or database.
* More than corporate knowledge management
The proposed semantic desktop standards align personal information management with corporate knowledge management. Individual knowledge workers are empowered with tools for thoughts.
* Cutting IT costs
Lowering corporate IT expenses by making desktop applications interoperable as already achieved in last years' EAI wave (enterprise app integration).
Improve your business, customer satisfaction and shareholder value by means of semantic collaboration.
* Google, Microsoft and Yahoo already do semantics
In the near future search engines like Google as well as corporate information systems will more and more rely on standardised meta-tags and semantically enriched data structures striving to present better results. Microsoft who acquired semantic search engine Powerset Inc. in July 2008 for over $100 million, has started integrating the company's search and natural language features into Live Search in September 2008. Make your information representation ready for the future! Yahoo has been building its SearchMonkey framework for improving search results with open semantic ontologies and technologies like FOAF, SIOC, GoodRelations, Microformats, VCard, and so on.
* Semantic Web (aka Web 3.0) is a main W3C activity
The goal of the Semantic Web initiative is as broad as that of the Web: to create a universal medium for the exchange of data. It is envisaged to smoothly interconnect Personal Information Management (PIM), Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), and the global sharing of commercial, scientific and cultural data. Facilities to put machine-understandable data on the Web are quickly becoming a high priority for many organisations, individuals and communities.
* Take advantage of digital user relationships
Take part in the upcoming social networks. User participation is becoming a mass phenomen generating collaborative knowlegde systems -- many of them being voluntary. Semantics oriented technologies can smartly bridge the gap between applications and data formats.
* Getting mobile
Mobile phones and devices which are constantly gaining market shares require preciser search results. User do not want to fuss about ambiguous search terms or lengthy results. Moreover, the user wants to have all their applications and data resp. integrated on one device.
* Web on Things – Web on Everything
The number of different kinds of devices that can access a corporate web has grown immensely -- as well as the number of different types of connections to your network. Desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants, interactive television systems, voice response systems, kiosks and even certain domestic appliances can all access the network. Many large companies like Siemens or SAP work on connecting web services with physical devices. The goal of the OSCA Foundation is to make knowledge access from any kind of device as easy, compatible and interoperable as possible.
* Open Source
OSCAF supports open-source applications, systems and standards. As an organisation developing recommendations for semantic collaborative standards, OSCAF aims to act vendor neutral.