“What if my jet engine could talk to me and what would it say?” Asked Beth Comstock, General Electric’s Chief Marketing Officer, at the Dreamforce 2012 conference.
The idea of social media connected jet engine is strange, but the idea that a key piece of technology can talk to engineers, pilots, salespeople and management makes sense.
At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com were showing how their Chatter social communications tool can be applied to more than just salesteams, in GE’s case by giving their new GEnx engine the opportunity to talk to its support teams.
In flight telemetry is nothing new to the aviation industry, ACARS – Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems – have allowed airlines to monitor the performance of their aircraft over high frequency radio or satellite links during flight since 1978.
The difference today is the sheer amount of data that can be collected and who it can be shared with. If relevant data is being shared with the right people it makes managing these complex systems far easier.
More importantly, it helps teams collaborate. The GEnx engine is a new design that’s fitted to Boeing’s latest airlines including the troubled and late Dreamliner 787 so streamlining the design process of a new, high performance piece of technology pays dividends quickly.
Although things can still go wrong – one wonders what the final tweet from this engine would have been.
We’ve been talking for a long time about how social media and cloud computing services improve collaboration in a work place, the GEnx jet engine illustrates just how fundamental the changes these technologies are bringing to organisations.
If an industrial jet engine can be using social media it begs the question why service based companies and workforces aren’t. It’s where the customers and staff are.
These tools are radically changing the way we work right now – the question is are we, and the organisations we work for, prepared for these changes?
Paul travelled to Dreamforce 2012 courtesy of Salesforce.com