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26 - Special Report From Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates States, Middle East

1. Continuous Collaboration Technologies. Imagine your desktop configured or continuous collaboration. A small box in the corner of the screen lists the names of key colleagues throughout the world. When any of these people are on-line, their name indicates their presence and you can immediately enter a chat, text or voice based, or send an immediate mail message. A number of technologies in this new category of Continuous Collaboration are hitting the internet. We've started to use a popular one, ICQ, to keep us connected with our office and colleagues as we are travelling in the Middle East. It creates a sense of connection that is unprecedented and far more real-time than email. Download a demo copy of this technology from

Training? Imagine using this technology to link the instructor to learners after a class (live or on-line). Imagine using this technology to create a virtual community of colleagues who are available throughout the day for short, chunks of advice or support. For example, starting in April, I will be on a continuous ICQ connection to the members of the TechLearn Collaborative (see story #4 below). It is a new model of consulting, to be available continuously. We imagine that this connection will allow organizations to share a much higher level of best practices and perspectives .

2. IP Based Telephone - Training & Connections. IP (or internet) Based Telephone usage will be a very hot and high impact vehicle in the near future. We are field testing one while on our trip. Using a technology called Net2Phone, we are making extremely low cost (15 cents per minute) calls from the Middle East to regular telephones at our office and family homes. The quality has been awesome. Using the microphone and speaker on my laptop, dialed into an ISP in Abu Dhabi at 28.8 kps, we type in a 800 number at our office or family and the phone rings in the US in about 10 seconds. We do need to press the mouse button to speak, but we have been using this technology for on-going office support and updates to the family on our travels.

Training? Once again, imagine using this technology, leveraging the existing network, for on-going collaboration without regard to the long-distance charges. We see this as a capacity that will also be built into future on-line learning technology to link learners, subject matter experts and facilitators. Download a copy from and search for Net2Phone. Watch for enormous investments and developments in IP based Telephone Technologies.

3. Salary Survey Response Enormous...A Couple More Please! We have had more than a thousand responses to the most recent TechLearn Salary Survey. Please add your input by going to We will be publishing the results next week. Thanks!

4. Wal-Mart, Ernst & Young, Chase Manhattan Join Collaborative. We are pleased to announce that Wal-Mart, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packer and Chase Manhattan are amongst the charter members of the TechLearn Collaborative that is beginning on March 26th. These groups are working together to explore the implementation of technology and learning on a continuous basis for the next year. There are only 6 spaces left in the Collaborative, which costs $5,000 per charter organization. Check it out at

Abu Dhabi Impressions: The Middle East Human Resource Development Conference begins on Saturday morning, opened by the Shiek Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. Over 200 HR and Training managers from across the Middle East are gathering to look at the issues of national and regional productivity of the workforce. Technology is a key topic at the conference and I am going to be presenting a speech on Working and Learning in the Digital Age. The Skills Gap is core to their progress, as they attempt to leverage technology as a tool for economic development and knowledge expansion. The decision makers in national enterprises are very supportive of leveraging technology foe learning. We'll post some pictures and findings from the Conference later next week.

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