Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (March 28, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Recent Australian research has found that the changing workplace is causing major stress for people. “The upheaval could take many forms, including dramatic changes in systems, technology, restructuring of the whole organisation or work groups within it, relocations and integration of new staff, she said. Role changes could be particularly hard on long-time employees who believed they were also losing prestige and power when new employees were hired above them. Many left their jobs – taking their years of valuable experience with them. Money was often the least of their worries. They were more concerned with the changed dynamic in their workplace and their perceptions of how they fitted into it.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • IBM announced a partnership with Forterra Systems, to develop a new graphical collaboration system for agencies. “To meet this challenge, IBM and Forterra have entered into a teaming agreement under which Forterra will integrate its On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE) 3D platform with the IBM Lotus Sametime software and the IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC2) platform. The new system would give online collaborators instant insight through the display and discussion of multiple data forms in parallel including documents, graphic displays, and human expertise via anytime, anywhere connectivity through the Internet or a mobile phone.
  • CalConnect opened registration for the June 2008 CalConnect Roundtable and Interoperability sessions.
  • ThinkFree is introducing new capabilities on April 7: offline editing of documents will be free for everyone, hierarchical document planning, a new workspace construct for managing projects and sharing documents with others, and a new Web Editor.
  • AIIM has released a market study on Enterprise 2.0. “The study of 441 end users, underwritten by CoreMedia, Day Software, EMC, OpenText, Socialtext, and SpringCM, found that a majority of organizations position Enterprise 2.0 as critical or important to business goals and objectives, but that few organizations have a clear understanding of Enterprise 2.0. The single greatest factor impacting attitudes, adoption rates and definitions is corporate culture.
  • Swarthmore is evaluating its email and calendaring system, with an eye to replace Postfix (email) and SquirrelMail (webmail). They had considered Zimbra, but are now unsure.
  • Mitch shares some thoughts from a recent interview with the CEO of Qwaq, about the use of Qwaq for virtual corporate meetings. “Qwaq is designed to provide places where teams can discuss and collaborate on documents. In that respect, it’s as much a competitor to Microsoft SharePoint or wiki software as it is to a virtual world. Documents save their states between sessions, so people can work on projects in Qwaq rooms and have the room be a reflection of the current state of the project. You can create forums using Qwaq’s own customizable templates for rooms and campuses, or start from scratch and build your own room.” Aliz; at WebWorkerDaily is not so sure about the offering.
  • Microsoft announced that Windows Live will be used as an integration for Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn, and Tagged. “The collaboration includes an exchange of APIs (application programming interface/s) that will create a two-way street allowing people to move their contacts and relationships between Windows Live services and social networks more safely and securely (Microsoft claims). With this, people can invite their Windows Live Contacts to join them on these social networking services, without the need for ‘screen-scraping’, or providing private user credentials to outside networks.
  • CollabNet announced CollabNet OnDemand, a Web-based online service for distributed software development projects. “Features of CollabNet OnDemand include a central repository, software configuration management, issue-tracking, task management, role-based access control, and a reporting dashboard. Teams can focus on software development without having to worry about administration, security, and maintenance, CollabNet said. Subversion is embedded for software configuration management.” See also ComputerWorld.
  • Brightside Software released Nuospace, an online collaboration tool. “Although the service is pitched as a wiki, there is more under the covers. It has basic blog capability, document management/storage and forums. This is a nice combination of tools that is easy on the eye, once you get used to the minimalist look and feel. There is an internal messaging system that sends email to those you choose to include for specific tasks like document sharing, which you can make confidential. This invite facility is available system wide or you can make it document specific – good if you’re working on something confidential.
  • Open Text announced that RedDot released an integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2007. Capabilities: (1) caching a document from SharePoint 2007, (2) linking a document from SharePoint 2007, (3) access different document versions, and more. “As organizations look to invest in SharePoint Server 2007, this integration release will help them create, access and publish assets out to the web with ease, with the added benefit of being able to extend their technology investment
  • One firm who was on the Notes to SharePoint migration path, is questioning its decision. “In general, SharePoint feels like a big old marketing scam to me. It doesn’t do as much out of the box as Microsoft would have you believe, but it does give Microsoft and their partners a good chunk of money. A decision to go with SharePoint is a decision to tie yourself into their full product line. Now, does that mean it is the wrong decision? Not necessarily. I don’t know. It depends on your requirements, I suppose. It certainly makes me nervous, though. Why shake up the status quo for a new technology that nobody is skilled in, that costs more money to deploy, that is guesswork for long-term costs, and that ties you to a specific vendor? Even if it did perform as advertised, I just don’t see justifiable answers to that question.
  • IBM announced that Sprint is using Lotus Expeditor to permit its mobile phone users to run desktop-style applications. “Sprint is providing the application developer community with a beta version of a new software platform named Titan based on IBM Lotus Expeditor software. It allows developers, for the first time, to move business applications using the Eclipse development framework from the desktop to most Windows Mobile 6 smartphones from Sprint.

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