Who is this guy?

He is a luminary in the field of computer science. Does anybody know him?

To anecdotally attest to his popularity: back in the late 90s, I attended a sold-out presentation that he gave in NYC that was followed by a standing ovation. After his speech, I witnessed him being pursued by a pack of software engineers brandishing copies of his latest book – they followed him into the bathroom, where they demanded to get his autograph before he took care of his “business.” Maybe not on par with the rabid fans at a Justin Bieber concert, but it still ranks as the craziest thing I have personally ever seen at a software conference.

He is Ivar Jacobson, and his claim to fame is that he coined the term “Use Case.”

For anyone who works around technology products, the term Use Case flows in conversation like water off a duck’s back.

A Use Case is a simple way of documenting complex requirements as user scenarios. Use Cases unite everyone involved in the engineering process to focus on the ultimate value that the system delivers to users.

Of course, the Use Case concept sounds almost intuitive today – i.e., developers should build systems that help users achieve their goals – but in fact, the Use Case technique was a truly revolutionary method when it was first introduced (aren’t most innovations like that?) and its success was predicated on the notion that modern object-oriented development languages were finally flexible enough to support system development practices.

With respect to enterprise video, I have been thinking about Ivar Jacobson and Use Cases quite a bit recently. Up until a couple of years ago, it seemed that all enterprise customers wanted to achieve the same two Use Cases with video: Live (All Hands) Webcasting and On Demand Employee Generated Content.

However, with the revolutionary flexibility built into Qumu’s new Pathfinder technology, the number of business video Use Cases that Qumu enables for our customers has exploded exponentially; customers now turn to Qumu because our platform is flexible enough to help them use video to enhance all of their core business processes, including customer service, finance, protocol, consumer engagement, etc.

Just think of what video platform flexibility can mean for your organization. In a future post, I’ll talk about some of the unique Use Cases we are working on at Qumu.