Industry Updates

Team Collaboration Report, June 16

WYSIWYG in Near-Time
Near-Time is working on a WYSIWYG authoring environment for the blog and wiki components of its hosted collaboration service. It looks like it will be released at CTC 2006 next week in Boston.

Source: CTC 2006
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Microsoft and Verizon Study on Collaboration
Microsoft and Verizon released a co-sponsored study on the impact of collaboration on business performance. The study attempted to create a collaboration index to measure the “collaborativeness” of a company, through a combination of two main factors: the adoption and use of collaboration technologies, and organizational culture and processes that encourage teamwork.

The study, conducted in March, found that the high impact of collaboration on a company’s overall performance was consistent across the , Europe and Asia-Pacific, and across the six key vertical industries that were examined: healthcare, government, high technology, professional services, financial services and manufacturing.

The study found widespread use of web conferencing technologies as a key component of a collaboration infrastructure.

Source: Microsoft
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BlueTie Releases AJAX-based Integrated Collaboration Suite
BlueTie released significantly revised calendaring and task management capabilities in its web-based collaboration suite. The use of AJAX for the user interface makes BlueTie’s offering desktop-like in its performance. Capabilities include: drag-and-drop rescheduling (with automatic notification to participants), color-coded overlay for free-and-busy scheduling, Quick Add, iCal support, and more.

Source: BlueTie
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Collaboration in Teams: Organizational Dynamics
Mike Gotta, Principal Analyst at the Burton Group, recently wrote about the “need to think of collaboration beyond technology and tools like e-mail, instant messaging, workspaces and such“. Key points:

  • Step 1 … Understand organizational dynamics around individual people across the groups, teams, communities and networks they belong to.
  • Step 2 … Think about how work is done today, and how it can be done better tomorrow and the next day. Consider how work will change due to major changes, eg, outsourcing, offshoring, virtualization.
  • Step 3 … Applying methods, practices and technologies to support enterprise objectives within those groups, teams, communities and networks.

Source: Mike Gotta’s Collaborative Thinking
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New Version of Gordano Messaging Suite Coming
Gordano will release the next version of its email, calendaring and task management software in July. New features:

  • Better integration with Microsoft Outlook, such as native support for the Outlook PST file type.
  • Improved PDA synchronization capabilities.
  • Improved security competencies.
  • Support for Firefox 1.5 on Linux.

Source: CRN
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Office 2007 Beta 2 Reviews
Review notes on Office 2007 (more correctly, “2007 Microsoft Office system”) Beta 2:

  • InformationWeek says that Office Groove is “a simple and easily understood application that works very much like a traditional instant messag-ing product–you have a list of contacts whom you can invite to a workspace using a launch bar that lists your active online and offline contacts. There, people can access shared files, work together drawing on sketchbook pages, engage in a text or audio chat, and even have an online meeting.
  • InformationWeek again: the Ribbon isn’t so hard to deal with. It makes some tasks easier than they were before. However, unlike the customizability of toolbars, icons on the Ribbon can not be moved or changed.
  • eWeek says that “Microsoft has addressed information sharing in a way that can scale from small workgroups to large enterprises, depending on the Office applications and back-end infrastructure deployed.“.

Source: InformationWeek, eWeek
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Google Spreadsheets
Google released a limited beta of its online spreadsheeting application. Features formulas and calculations (including vLookup), a built-in chat client, and simultaneous multi-editing options. Many are viewing it as an either/or with Microsoft Excel.

My take: it’s highly complementary to current and pending Excel versions. Develop your spreadsheet locally using Excel, and then collaborate on the spreadsheet with others using the collaboration capabilities in Google Spreadsheets.

Source: CNET News, Marc Orchant (ZDNet Blogs)
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Socialtext and wikiCalc
Socialtext announced a partnership with Dan Bricklin to exclusively distribute, redistribute and co-develop wikiCalc, an online spreadsheeting application that combines wiki concepts with spreadsheeting ideas. Users can combine text (using wiki markup), numbers, and calculations in an easy-to-share way.

Ross says:

Given the nature of spreadsheets, wikiCalc takes this one step further, creating a revision history of every single edit to any cell — not just when you save and the undos before. This not only holds the promise of tracking down errors, but provides an audit trail.

There’s a screencast on wikiCalc available. Looks cool! Well done to Ross and Dan.

Source: Ross Mayfield, ZDNet, David Berlind
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Categories: Industry Updates