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I made a couple of posts the other day (post 1, post 2) about my (our collective) nightmare with respect to calendar and contact and social network management. Boris Mann responded with:

Google Wave, under all the magic, is actually based around XMPP. I’ve been predicting the second coming of XMPP as a protocol to rival HTTP since before it was called that (or, about 3 years).

I have some ideas about the identity piece, and I actually think (yes, crazy, I know) that SXIP was partially headed in the right direction.

Troy is totally spot on about data flows, although it is logins (i.e identity + permissions) plus data flows that is important. “In the future”, one might imagine a composer like Yahoo Pipes where you can “pipe” data workflows between different apps. An email is an email is an email, whether in the billing system, the PM system, or the support system.

None of these are islands, they’re already leaking into each other. We just (for now) have this terrible tool of “synch” rather than connected flows.

First let me say that Boris has always been my  bellwether of what’s coming up next. He taught me about Drupal about 2 years before anybody else cared.  And he has done this repeatedly so I trust him when he says that real-time communication and XMPP based systems are coming.

In thinking about his comment above, I realized that I needed to start a meme in the Saas world:

Integration, Integration, Integration. It’s about the Integration. (Crikey, I sound like Ballmer.)

As a business, you DO want to move to the web, but in order to actually get more benefit than just the supposed (and sometimes difficult to realize) benefits of Saas vs. on premise, it’s important to minimize the number of platforms that you adopt because every extra platform you bring on gives you more identity headache and worse, more data flow headache so your ability to have your people use those systems and flow that data around in a meaningful business process are blocked.

You want MORE Saas on FEWER platforms where everything is PRE-INTEGRATED so you can have single-sign-on and flow the data in a simple way. Salesforce + Google Apps + Echosign = bliss. Google Sites + Dropbox? Nope. Can’t do it. They don’t connect. So to achieve what I wanted the other day, namely finding a simple cloud based file server that integrates with Salesforce and Google Apps in a clean way from an identity and data availability perspective – that sounds like a business opportunity for somebody because it’s not there (or I haven’t found it yet.)

KEEP IT INTEGRATED STUPID (KIIS) – pass on the meme.

And by the way, yes, I’m aware of the Cast Iron’s of the world who help companies with these issues but defaults are important. Something like 99.999999% use the defaults (yes, I made that number up) and so if it’s not built in, then it won’t get used by the broader market.