Industry Updates

News Updates (November 2-6, 2009)

Long catch-up post today, with news from last week while I was busy in Singapore …

Microsoft BPOS Price Reduction … Microsoft reduced the price of its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). “The BPOS price tag has been dropped from $15 per user per month to $10 per user per month (minimum of five seats is required). Existing hosting customers will see Microsoft refund the difference to them. Microsoft claimed it is making the move as a result of rapid customer adoption, global scale and improved efficiencies from new software (such as Exchange Server 2010), but it’s more likely the company is simply making sure it remains competitive with Google and IBM’s offerings. The software giant says it is sticking to a schedule of rolling out new capabilities to Microsoft Online Services every 90 days.More
– Microsoft claims it has 1 million paid users, per ComputerWorld.

Xobni Enterprise … Xobni released an Enterprise edition of its Outlook add-in. “Xobni Nov. 2 took the plunge into the business market, releasing a secure version of its e-mail search plug-in to let IT administrators give their employees an easy way to sift through content in their Microsoft Outlook inboxes. Xobni Enterprise is shipping with prebuilt extensions for Salesforce CRM and Microsoft SharePoint, enabling Xobni to pull in info from those apps. Corporate developers can bring other enterprise data and applications from SAP, Oracle and other providers into Outlook through the Xobni client …. Xobni Enterprise includes a Web-based portal through which IT admins provision the app. From this portal, admins will have to click a check box to enable the Xobni Enterprise app to access Facebook, LinkedIn and the other social networks with which the plug-in connects. More

Novell Pulse … Novell announced Pulse, a real-time collaboration offering for the enterprise. It includes integration with Google Wave. “Available in the first half of 2010, Novell Pulse helps drive enterprise productivity and innovation by making it easier to communicate digitally, generate ideas and share information. People continents apart can share and edit documents, jointly browse websites, and have a digital conversation, all in real-time. Individuals can also manage content overload by filtering for people and topics to follow as well as storing files-both native and office type-along with their related groups and conversations. Novell Pulse leverages Novell’s expertise and experience developing enterprise collaboration and communication tools, as well as industry leadership in creating strong identity and security management solutions. Available on-premises or in the cloud, Novell Pulse gives enterprises the confidence to embrace real-time collaboration technologies.More
– Combines email, document authoring and social messaging tools, per eWeek
– Pulse includes employee profile tools, per ITProPortal

Traction Software 4.2 … Traction Software announced Version 4.2 of TeamPage, its social software platform. “The software now includes flexible mobile subscription and notification allowing road warriors to easily post content and comments with simple, secure two-way e-mail based collaboration. As the first release using an updated Traction platform architecture, Traction TeamPage 4.2 combines wiki, blog, social tagging, discussion and social networking capabilities in a secure, scalable collaboration platform.” Available immediately. More
– BlackBerry support is the most interesting new feature.

Google on Explaining Wave … At the Enterprise 2.0 Conference last week, Google focused on explaining and positioning Google Wave. “The fact is that many business people still regard social, collaborative systems — the heart of Enterprise 2.0 — as solutions in search of a problem. Skepticism about the utility of Enterprise 2.0 technology abounds, which explains why several conference sessions attempted to address the doubters. A presentation earlier on Thursday morning, for example, dealt with ways to get executives to back social initiatives in large organizations. Key advice: Start small and solve a problem. For all Google’s market clout and the evident support of developers and of market leaders like Novell and SAP, Wave faces similar uncertainty in the market, magnified by company talking points that have made Wave sound like a replacement for e-mail. Positioning Wave at this point in its evolution as a replacement for e-mail is about as plausible as asserting that electric cars represent a replacement for gasoline-powered cars. It could happen, but many years will pass before then.More

Open Permissions in Wave … Google Wave includes no sub-wave user permissions, on purpose. “A puzzling attribute of Google’s new open-communication sandbox is the complete lack of permissions. As it stands today, if a person is invited to a Wave session they have full editing privileges on absolutely everything. And with Google intending Wave to become a serious collaboration tool for businesses, there’s clearly some potentially disastrous situations ahead if an army of underlings can simultaneously fiddle with something like a quarterly report or grant application without permission. Speaking at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference today in San Francisco, Google Wave’s product manager Gregory D’Alesandre explained that leaving out access controls is part of Google’s agenda to wean users and developers away from restricted email environments.More

Glasscubes and Zoho … Glasscubes and Zoho are working together, so Glasscubes users can do online editing via Zoho technology. “As a newcomer to the collaboration space, Glasscubes is naturally going to have some cracks that need filling in. The company is going about sealing them up pretty quickly with the announcement that it has tied up with Zoho to allow users to edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents online. Zoho is a well known online collaboration productivity suite offering a number of services including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, crm, mail, projects and much more. The company updated its Partner program back in February providing a partner API to allow companies like Glasscubes to use Zoho services within their own applications.More

Aconex Opens APIs … Aconex released APIs for its collaboration platform, to allow others the ability to develop complementary applications. “Aconex is a web-based collaboration system that allows the companies involved in a project to access, distribute and track documents, correspondence and other information in real time using a single, central platform …. [It] has released a fully-featured set of Web Services APIs to enable integration between its system and other software products used by its clients. The APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) also allow Aconex or third parties to build additional applications for desktops or mobile devices such as iPhones. More

ShareMethods on Salesforce … ShareMethods announced that its collaboration service, ShareSpaces, is now available in the AppExchange. “ShareSpaces enable companies to connect everyone in the sales and marketing value chain – prospects, customers, salespeople, partners, and marketing teams – into social workspaces where they can collaborate and close more deals, faster. ShareSpaces’ three-step wizard makes it easy to set up fully brand-specific ShareSpaces by creating document categories and inviting users with defined roles for collaboration. Content can be easily copied and distributed between ShareSpaces, allowing companies and partners to create hierarchical and interconnected networks of social workspaces. ShareSpaces also include support for document versioning, workflow, and community features such as rating, reviews, and tagging; furthermore documents in ShareSpaces are directly accessible from Salesforce CRM accounts and opportunities.More

Socialtext Partner Program … Socialtext announced aServices Partner Program, to help drive adoption of its offerings. “As enterprises purchase social software to improve internal collaboration, Socialtext has launched a new Services Partners Program to increase the business value that customers gain from its platform. The first participants in the program are Future Changes, Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0, SiftGroups, SpanStrategies, The Adoption Council and Winkwaves. These services and consulting firms specialize in different strategic practices for deploying social software in the enterprise, not only ensuring fast adoption by employees, but driving positive business results in the process.More

Other Items
– The RIM Bold 2 (“BlackBerry 9700”) is coming in Australia and New Zealand in late November.
– Review of the Motorola Droid.
– Siber Systems released GoodSync for Mac, a beta of its file sync software.
– About The Urban Hive, a co-working space in Sacramento.
– The Motorola Droid will be able to be used as a wireless broadband modem next year. The Apple iPhone can’t do this.
– Review of using Document Connection on a Mac, to connect with SharePoint.
– CubeTree was the winner of the Enterprise 2.0 Launch Pad last week.
– IntraLinks and Adobe announced a partnership to support paperless clinical trials.
– More on the Office Mobile 2010, including additional insight into SharePoint Workspace Mobile.
– SugarSync announced new business plans for its synchronization software. It looks like you can’t disable access to the files sync’d locally after an employee is removed from the account.
– NewsGator introduced a new blog, Everyday Enterprise 2.0. The lead author is Christy Schoon.
– Owners of the new iMacs are reporting some problems.
– PBWorks is adding real-time and voice collaboration tools to its collaboration service.
– Coveo released the beta of Expresso, a new entry-level search tool for enterprise users.

Categories: Industry Updates