Industry Updates

Tuesday's Team Collaboration Report, May 23

We, the people, have to work with others to get stuff done. Often these people are not in the same physical space as us, and they may also work in a different time space. Team collaboration software and services helps us work across these distances of space and time.

CollectiveX introduced its namesake Web-based hosted group activity management and social networking service. Offers a private and secure space for groups to manage a calendar, have discussions, send email, share files, and get to know one another.

CollectiveX is a web-based service that enables members of organized groups — such as alumni associations, non-profits, membership and social groups — to maximize return on involvement through private, secure communication and social networking …. CollectiveX was designed with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind. Features include: member profiles with objectives and key connections, group calendars, discussions, email blasts and file sharing.

The CEO of CollectiveX is Clarence Wooten.

Source: CollectiveX, InfoWorld, CollectiveX Blog

ShareMethods and

ShareMethods announced that its tools for the management and secure distribution of materials to prospects, employees, customers and partners is being used by more than 100 companies as part of the AppExchange.

ShareNow and ShareFree provide powerful capabilities for customers to securely manage and distribute sales, marketing, and support materials. Capabilities include full document version control, review and approval workflows, user roles and permissions, Google-like full text search, customizable sales and marketing taxonomies, linking of documents to CRM data, community ratings and reviews, and deep integration with Customers can quickly deploy a sales, marketing, and support knowledge center that can be securely shared across an extended network of users inside and outside of a company.

Source: PRWeb
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Lotus and SAP

IBM announced integration between IBM Lotus Notes and SAP, available at no extra charge to Notes customers. The integration combines business processes managed in SAP with the Lotus Notes front-end.

IBM Lotus Notes access for SAP solutions help customers integrate SAP data and business processes with Lotus Notes tasks including vacation/leave workflow, time reporting, contact management, report generation, approval workflows — all within the view of their familiar Lotus Notes client. Using the powerful replication and security rich capabilities of Lotus Notes, users can take SAP application data offline, helping to keep employees productive regardless of location. SAP sites can re-design the flow of information easily to give its users an opportunity to manage their information in a more efficient, tailored way.

Available immediately.

Source: Ed Brill, Rocky Oliver

SharePoint Server 2007
At the SharePoint Conference last week, Bill Gates talked up SharePoint Server 2007. Key points:

  • SharePoint is becoming the key Microsoft platform for collaboration of all types.
  • SQL Server will become the common data storage platform for all Microsoft server applications.
  • Gates said that IBM/Lotus hasn’t done anything new in the productivity software space since Ray Ozzie left in 1997, and claimed that Notes applications are not going to run in Workplace.
  • SharePoint includes blog and wiki support out-of-the-box.

Sources: John Fontana at NetworkWorld, NetworkWorld Community, IT Jungle, CRN, Ed Brill (“FUD from the top”),

Are Wikis a Waste of Time?
Steven Vaughan-Nichols argues that wikis are just another form of groupware, and are therefore not all that useful to most people. The key reason is that someone has to take on the role of editing the material and keeping it up to date, which adds to workload. Steve argues that email mailing lists are the best alternative for most collaborative work.

Rich Schwartz disagrees, and argues that the key reason collaboration tools fail is the lack of training, and organizational and cultural change.

Pat Polinski from Near-Time authored an article entitled Eight Step Recipe for a Successful Wiki for those interested in more ideas.

Here’s my $0.02 … wikis, Notes, SharePoint, Foldera, etc, etc, etc, can help a team be more productive, BUT (a) there has to be clear buy-in by the people in the team that the software/service will be the way they manage their work, and (b) they have to get to the point intuitively that they know what do to as second nature, just like where people are at with email today.

Sources: Steven Vaughan-Nichols at eWeek, Rich Schwartz at The Power of the Schwartz
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Zimbra and Jive Software Partner
Zimbra and Jive Software announced a technology partnership, involving the integration of Jive’s real-time collaboration technologies into the Zimbra Collaboration Suite, an open-source email and calendaring server. Jive offers software for community forums, knowledge bases, and enterprise instant messaging.

I had a good chat with Barry Tallis, Director of Business Development for Jive Software a while ago. Jive has some great technology that it is bringing to the table. Congrats to all involved.

Source: Yahoo
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Spicer Corporation Released ViewCafe 4

Spicer Corporation released Version 4 of ViewCafe, its collaborative document viewing software. Enables multiple people to look at the same document at the same time, and jointly make annotations thereon.

The ViewCafe Server runs on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Red Hat Linux 7.2. Available immediately.

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Roundup of Other News
Novell is looking for a Product Marketing Manager to “promote Novell’s vision and capabilities for collaboration”. Based in Provo, UT with periodic travel required.

Netviewer is offering free trials of one2one and one2meet, its online meeting, whiteboarding and video communication services. Free trial runs through June 15.

NextPage released NextPage 2 Document Retention, a new product that tracks document versions, uploads documents to a central repository, and notifies users of old document versions to delete. Currently available to selected pilot customers.

PostPath announced PostPath, a new Linux-based email server that enables drop-in compatibility with Microsoft Exchange Server. Aim is to give companies an easy migration path from Exchange to a Linux-based alternative.

Microsoft released the beta of Windows Live Messenger, the next version of the MSN Messenger instant messaging client. Includes Windows Live Call, a voice-over-IP service, and enables users to send messages to contacts when they are offline.

Google released an API for data in Google Calendar, enabling programmers to write client applications that can interact with Google Calendar.

Simpler-Webb introduced MailMover for Server Data 3.0, enabling migration of data from Samsung Contact, Scalix or HP OpenMail to Microsoft Exchange. OpenMail development ceased at HP, and Samsung took it on as Samsung Contact. Continued development shifted to Scalix when Samsung stopped the project.

Categories: Industry Updates