Industry Updates

Team Collaboration Report, Jul 28

Jabber XCP 5.1
Jabber updated its instant messaging and presence server, the Jabber Extensible Communications Platform. Version 5.1 includes a new Javascript client, integration with Macromedia Breeze, wider database engine support, and more. Available immediately.

Source: Jabber
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Exchange as Appliance
The Microsoft Exchange team is mulling the creation of an Exchange appliance, to simplify deployment and implementation.

… for the version after this, Exchange 14, we will be standing in front of the team and asking why someone can’t buy Exchange Server from Dell or HP’s Web site, plug it in, test it for 30 days and return it if it doesn’t work for you.

The team is also facing how to balance the competing demands of its three main audiences: the IT decision maker / CIO, the administrator, and the end user. Each constituency has differing demands.

Source: eWeek

Field Perspectives on Collaboration
Interview with Mark Tanner of CollabraSpace about the challenges of collaboration in a virtual world:

  • The total lack of face-to-face interaction makes interpersonal collaboration difficult.
  • The tools for collaboration are many and varied (no kidding!).
  • Online workspaces have changed collaboration by permitting contribution and interaction anytime, not just during conference calls.
  • Collaboration breaks down when there is a lack of trust.

Source: Washington Technology

Collaborative Editor for the Mac
The authoring and editorial people at TidBITS are looking for a better document collaboration system, that is essentially a program developed to collaborative editing on the Mac platform. They have reviewed a number of alternatives, but found all lacking.

Despite the utility of these tools, they haven’t been designed with the needs of a group of decentralized professional writers and editors in mind. Or more to the point, they haven’t been designed by professional writers and editors who spend their lives immersed in creating and editing text in collaboration with others. These tools understand the basic concepts, but miss completely on key aspects of implementation – they see the forest, but miss the trees.

They have prepared an RFP for “GroupEdit”, the code-name for their “we-want-this” application.

Source: TidBITS

Mirapoint Seeks Novell Customers
Mirapoint launched a trade-in and migration program to rescue Novell customers “stranded” on the “obsolete” Novell GroupWise platform.

With the Zero Downtime Trade-In program, qualified customers will receive a free 30-day product evaluation, Zero Downtime migration and a 30 percent discount on professional services. Effective immediately, the program will last through October 31, 2006 ….

Customers who have made the switch from Novell to Mirapoint have seen a demonstrable improvement in their email maintenance and administration time, ownership costs and system reliability. What is more, Mirapoint will always provide full support for its award-winning platform, Message Server, to handle any customer needs both now and in the future.

Source: Mirapoint

Zimbra Collaboration Suite 3.2 Beta 2
Zimbra released Beta 2 of Collaboration Suite 3.2, its messaging and collaboration offering. New features:

  • A new Zimbra Documents application, offering the ability to create, organize and share online documents. Traditional documents can be uploaded, and each Documents repository can be organized in a wiki-style format.
  • Shared Address Books.
  • Zimbra Assistant, offering access to core functions via quick shortcut commands.
  • Zimbra Mobile, offering native two-way synchronization for mail on the Treo 650, Treo 700w and Windows Mobile 5 devices. Calendar and contacts sync is current functionality. See also Zimbra’s separate post on its Mobile capabilities
  • … and much more.

This is a good list of capabilities in a maturing platform.

Source: Zimbra

AOL Releases AIM Pro for the Business Market

AOL is trying again to get a recognized foothold in the corporate market for instant messaging, and has released AIM Pro with integrated Web conferencing support through WebEx. Key features:

  • Integration with Microsoft Outlook for calendar reminders and sending email.
  • IMs are encrypted for security and privacy.
  • IM chats can be escalated up to a screen and document sharing session through the integration with WebEx.
  • The client is free.

As I wrote previously when I was an analyst at Ferris Research, AOL has a major problem in its attack of the enterprise market: its current customers are the individuals within the firm, not the IT department who has sanctioned and approved the use of AOL’s IM offerings. A free client like this will be attractive to those individuals, especially since they’ll be able to hide their use of it and the integrated WebEx conferencing on an expenses report, but in terms of a full-scale for-fee attack on the enterprise … I have strong reservations about AOL’s ability to compete with Microsoft and IBM because it lacks the business-level relationships.

Source: AOL, with analysis at RED Herring

Near-Time Gives Back
Congratulations to Reid Conrad, the insightful CEO of Near-Time on his appointment as chairman of the board of directors for the Council of Entrepreneurial Development.

CED identifies, enables and promotes high growth, high impact entrepreneurial companies and accelerates the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina.

You’ll do a great job Reid!

Source: LocalTechWire

JotSpot 2.0
JotSpot released a major upgrade to its application wiki platform, adding the ability to create rich web-based spreadsheets, calendars, documents and photo galleries. Here’s the plan from Joe the CEO:

We have combined the familiarity and functionality of desktop applications like Office with the collaborative power and flexibility of wikis so that users can quickly and easily collaborate on all types of information.

Key capabilities of the new JotSpot:

  • HTML coding skills or the use of wiki markup is not required. Just type like you normally do.
  • There is integrated support for sharing pages with other people. JotSpot includes a granular permissions capability.
  • Wiki sites can be customized for a corporate look-and-feel.
  • Jot offers a number of add-on tools/applications for project management, discussion forums, blogging and more. Users can also create their own applications (but don’t CIOs and IT managers hate custom apps?).

Pricing starts at $9.95 per month for 10 users and 100 pages.

Source: Jot Blog and Jot, with analysis at Mercury News, VNUnet and InfoWorld

Tris Hussey: Online-Offline Syncing of Documents and Files
Tris reflects on the proliferation of Web-based applications and concludes that “online services are a great way to augment something like Office, but client software is the core of working effectively.” He sees a huge need for synchronization between online services and offline (or local) storage:

In my world, there needs to be online-offline syncing of documents and files. Maybe a light editing client to go in tandem if you really don’t want Office. I’ve always been tempted to use AbiWord, and I’m downloading the PortableApps suite right now ( happen to have been given a 256 meg flash drive at Gnomedex). Regardless, as cool as online suits and platforms are, you still need something local. And if you can sync between the two, that would be killer.

Sounds like further endorsement of Pillar 2.

Source: A View from the Isle

Categories: Industry Updates