If you have one of the newer versions of the iphone then you are more than likely familiar with Siri; the “personal assistant” on your phone that you can talk to get help with anything from directions to recipes. Unfortunately the concept is at this point, much more valuable than Siri itself. Now while Siri still does have some value it’s not exactly capable of being called an “assistant,” in fact if you had an assistant like Siri working for you, you would either go insane or quickly find a new assistant. But like I said, the concept is valuable, especially when we think about it for the enterprise.
In 2011 I wrote about “the future of collaboration as being smart platforms” where I first mentioned the idea of “siri for the enterprise.” Imagine having that type of an assistant who can work with you to get things done inside of your company. This type of assistant would help you figure out who should be on your team, who needs to be invited to a workspace, and could help project manage something and assign tasks. From what I have seen there is really only one company that is uniquely positioned to deliver something like this and that is IBM with Watson (their jeopardy winning super computer).
I see a big opportunity in the enterprise collaboration space for this type of a collaborative or “social software assistant” and think we will start seeing more “smart platform” emerge in the next few years and I’m excited to see what happens here.