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Federation as a Service

Sometimes it's the smallest problems that cause the biggest headaches.

When communicating with colleagues, tools like instant messaging, presence indicators and calendar information make collaboration a quick and seamless experience.

While enterprise-level software enables this for organizations internally, it can be a challenge to collaborate with outside organizations due to software differences - particularly when cross-functional teams can span distance, companies and IT platforms.

Scientists at AT&T Labs have created a solution that federates - or unifies - calendars, instant messaging and online presence information across software and IT systems to enable businesses to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

The idea for Federation started when scientists at AT&T Labs recognized these communication barriers while trying to connect with external collaborators. They submitted the idea to The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T's crowdsourcing engine. The idea garnered immediate support, and they set out to create a Federation solution.

Since then, we've been testing and trialing the presence and messaging functions of Federation, with nearly 10,000 users to date. We're developing more features like video and dynamic teaming, which will allow users to create flexible organizations that can easily open and close connections based on project and team needs.