What is currently possible with Communications-Driven DSS?

For more than a week, I tried to use Communication and 
Information Technologies to coordinate my teaching activities and 
manage DSSResources.COM from various Internet connections in Hong Kong. 
DSSResources.COM is a "virtual" organization with a lot of outsourced 
tasks so I thought managing those relations would be an easier task than 
coordinating my teaching.  Both tasks are difficult. I have had both 
failures and successes.

The 13 hour time difference has been a special challenge that I'm still 
adapting too.  It is currently 9:30 p.m. on Sunday evening in Hong Kong 
and 8:30 a.m. in Cedar Falls, Iowa (home base for DSSResources.COM).  I 
can publish this issue of DSS News from here in Hong Kong or I can route 
this column back to Cedar Falls for publication in 6-8 hours.  The main 
advantage of publishing it myself using the Web interface at Topica.com 
is that less coordination will be required.

Task coordination seems to suffer the most with asynchronous 
communication.  Also, somehow I always feel ahead of or behind in the 
business decision-making process.  I have had a few chat sessions with 
the Cedar Falls group and the chat technology is better for decision 
support because of the question/answer dialog that is possible.  A good 
chat session seems to resolve more issues than 3 or 4 back and forth 

I've also learned that Web-based email is crucial for maintaining 
contact.  I've had some emails to DSSResources.COM summarized and 
forwarded because the power@dssresources.com account can't be read from 
a Web client and that "relay" approach has been totally unacceptable.

Also, I have been using the DSSResources.COM Bulletin Board and a 
course Bulletin Board.  A Bulletin Board provides a record of 
discussions, but it seems agonizingly slow for all but the most complex 
discussion of issues and decision alternatives. Any spontaneity seems to 
quickly get lost or defused.

I have even had to resort to an occasional phone call to personalize my 
long distance discussions and interactions.  All in all, the current 
technologies have not provided me with very satisfying management 

Today, I was lecturing about using Microsoft NetMeeting for Decision 
Support in a face-to-face MBA MIS class session here in Hong Kong. I 
wish I could have told my students the NetMeeting software (especially 
the video) worked over the Internet. Sadly that is not currently the 
reality of our networks. Instead, I had to show them screen shots made 
using a high speed LAN. I have discovered as have many others how much 
we really need Interactive Video, whiteboards, and screening sharing for 
effective Global collaboration and decision support.