Tools for Business in the Flat World...

Memorial Day in the US has just drawn to a close. It’s the day that commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service. It also marks the unofficial beginning of summer and families spend a long weekend enjoying recreational activities.

While enjoying a wonderful afternoon at the beach here in Florida, I was discussing the flat world with a friend of mine who is a medical doctor. In our conversation I told him about how I wake up talking to China and go to bed talking to China and he proceeded to tell the story of several radiologists working the night shift at the hospital where he works. Radiologists are in demand for diagnostic imaging and other needs but they hated the night shift work they were assigned to. What did they do?

They moved to Spain and by using communications and collaboration tools (e.g., IP Phones, portals, emails and IM) they are able to provide their services remotely during more “normal” working hours while enjoying the wonderful culture that Spain has to offer.

So that does this have to do with Utilities?

While Utilities and their people are not exactly doctors, they certainly have a tremendous need for talent and especially engineering talent. Microsoft partners like Bentley ( are using solutions that allow Utilities to create virtual teams of engineering talent to work collaboratively on projects for building things like power plants and substations. Using Bentley’s ProjectWise – an engineering project team collaboration system which is used by teams to help improve project quality, reduce project rework, and meet project deadlines – Utilities are able to plug engineers into a project from all parts of the world. So whether a Utility needs talent that it cannot find locally or it needs additional resources to complete a project on time or ahead of schedule, having the right tools can turn a flat world into a tremendous business asset. - Jon