The World Is Flat

In today’s world where literally the borders have been lifted, everywhere and everyone has become accessible. That is the point of the “The World Is Flat”.

Some of our customers ask where the slogan “The World Is Flat” under our logo comes from. That the story its based on the book “The World Is Flat” published by the author Thomas L. Friedman in 2005.

The book is telling us how the globalization has accelerated with the technological leaps that started in the 21st century and how this reflected on the business life. Well, a few centuries ago, the world was thought to be a flat place. With the developing mind, it was discovered that the world is actually a sphere and the subject is closed. Until the 21st century.

In the 21st century, the term globalizing world became an understanding that everyone accepted. With the developing technology, it has become very easy to communicate and do business with anywhere in the world. That’s why, ironically, the world has turned into a flat place that you can easily reach anywhere.

Today, as we meet with someone from Konya, we can communicate with someone from Kenya or Canada, promote our goods and services, and negotiate and make business deals. In today’s world where literally the borders have been lifted, everywhere and everyone has become accessible. That is the view, “The World Is Flat”.

Meanwhile, in addition to technological developments, one of the issues emphasized in the globalizing world economy is; “Business Process Management / Work Flow Management”

Process management, which you will find examples from the book below, is of vital importance for both small and large businesses in the business world, where conditions are constantly changing. Sustainability, maintaining competitiveness, the formation of corporate memory are some of them.

To get to this point took a lot of new software innovation piled on the shoulders of earlier innovations. Here’s how the work flow revolution developed: When the walls went down, and then the PC and Netscape browser enabled people to connect with other people as never before, it did not take long before all these people who were connecting wanted to do more than just browse and send e-mail, instant messages, pictures, and music over this Internet platform. They wanted to shape things, design things, create things, sell things, buy things, keep track of inventories, do somebody else’s taxes, and read somebody else’s X-rays from half a world away. And they wanted to be able to do any of these things from anywhere to anywhere and from any computer to any computer—seamlessly.

The first big breakthrough in work flow was actually the combination of the PC and e-mail. Remember, before the diffusion of computers and the Internet, work flow consisted of your sales department taking an order on paper over the phone, walking it over to your shipping department, which shipped the product, and then someone from shipping walking over to billing with a piece of paper and instructing the billing department to churn out an invoice to the customer. But as a result of the Wall-PC-Netscape innovations, work flow took a huge leap forward.

Your sales department could take an order over the phone or by mail, enter it into a computer system, e-mail the order to the shipping department within your own company, and then have the shipping department send out the product to the customer and automatically spit out a computerized bill at the same time. and sent to the four corners of the world as never before.

“But then,” added Microsoft’s Mundie, “we said to ourselves, ‘Geez, if we really want to automate everything, then we need to make it much easier not just for people to talk to people, but for machines to talk to machines—for machines to interact with other machines about any subject without any humans involved at all or any a priori relationship between the different companies whose machines were communicating.’ “That was the next work flow breakthrough.

Technically, what made it possible was the development of a new data description language, called XML (extensible markup language) and its related transport protocol called SOAP (simple object access protocol). Together, they allow any two computer programs to exchange formatted data or documents that contain any form of information — whether billing records, financial transactions, medical records, music, pictures, bank records, Web pages, advertisements, book excerpts, Word documents, or stock sales. Microsoft, IBM, and a host of other companies contributed to the development of XML and SOAP, and both were subsequently ratified and popularized as Internet standards.

This took work flow to a whole new level. Suddenly I could write my own invoice program, using XML and SOAP, and know that my computers could transmit that invoice to your computers, without any human beings involved or any a priori agreement between our two companies. The net result, added Mundie, was that “the industry created a global platform for a global workforce of people and computers.”

For work flow to keep advancing along these lines, though, and deliver the productivity enhancements we want, “we need more and more common standards,” said IBM’s strategic planner Cawley. “These are standards about how we do business work together.”

The more we connect everyone through common communication standards, like XML, and then, on top of those protocols, connect more and more people through standardized business processes, said Cawley, the easier it is to chop up work and send pieces of it to be done anywhere in the world, and the more it increases productivity and enables my whole digital ecosystem to collaborate better, cheaper, and faster, and the more energy my employees have to concentrate on the high-touch, high-value add, customized innovation or service that differentiates one company from another.

Standards don’t stop innovation, added Cawley, they just clear away a lot of extraneous stuff so you can focus on what really matters.

“Work flow platforms are enabling us to do for the service industry what Henry Ford did for manufacturing,” said Jerry Rao, the entrepreneur doing accounting work for Americans out of India.

“We are taking apart each task, [standardizing it,] and sending it around to whoever can do it best, and because we are doing it in a virtual environment, people need not be physically adjacent to each other, and then we are reassembling all the pieces back together at headquarters [or some other remote site]. This is not a trivial revolution. This is a major one.

It allows for a boss to be somewhere and his employees to be someplace else.” These work flow software platforms, Rao added, “enable you to create virtual global offices—not limited by either the boundaries of your office or your country—and to access talent sitting in different parts of the world and have them complete tasks that you need completed in real time.

And so 24/7/365 we are all working. And all this has happened in the twinkling of an eye—the span of the last two or three years.”

Jeff Wacker, who works as the futurist for Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS), once wrote a company memo predicting which jobs would not be around in fifteen or twenty years. His first category was the CIO. “There will still be a CIO,” he wrote, “but the chief information officer will be replaced with a chief integration officer. Information technology will be so fully embedded in every aspect of a business that the IT organization will move away from technology to the integration of business processes.”

Murat Akçiçek 
Sales Manager