Archive for the ‘Collab2.0’ Category

PBwiki snaps up Schtuff.com

March 2, 2007

PBwiki has been on aggressive move in the highly competitive collaboration for past few months. Last week they had disclosed their Series A funding round and today announced that they have acquired another collaboration space player Schtuff.com. Schtuff was founded and developed by the same team behind JanRain who are the developers behind OpenID. PBwiki claims that Schtuff has around 1 million users which would be a big jump for the startup.

As they have mentioned on their site and also is pretty obvious, PBwiki will be adding support for OpenID. It is a story for another day why I think that OpenID has a long way to go before it really clicks. Right now it is interesting to watch the pace at which PBwiki is growing.

Related:
Like I said, pbWiki raises $2 million

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Wiki leader Confluence finally gets hosted version

February 28, 2007

All along I had hoped that Atlassian will one day offer hosted version of Confluence, one of the best and most popular Wiki based collaboration platform. Given the fact that Google has been making aggressive moves in the hosted space with the recent Premier version release and buyout of JotSpot earlier last year, Atlassian has more than 1 reason to go online. Well today Atlassian announced that it has launched hosted version of Confluence. As expected Atlassian has not included a free plan in its offering although you are free to try out with a DEMO account for 30 days. Plans are priced from $49/month or $490/year for 15 users and go upto $449/month or $4,490/year for 500 users. Users get host of features along with the service including ability to create unlimited spaces and pages, upload files, create blogs, content and attachment search, robust ACL, and backups. Some important features that have been missed out in this release include Plugin support and LDAP integration. I am trying to get more details from the Atlassian team about the possibility of future addition of these features.

However the service is in DoA state right now. I think Atlassian didn’t plan for the rush it was going to get hit with. Once the site gets stable, I will try taking a deeper dive. As per Atlassian, only the hosted demo had issues due to application updates. The production paid version hosted on different set of servers is running fine.

Update: I finally got response from Atlassian team informing me that they do have plugin support some of the most request ones including IM Presence Plugin, Blogging RPC Plugin, Vote Macro, Google Calendar, RSVP Plugin, Excel Macro, Word macro, Chart macro, and will be adding the webdav plugin soon. Its just that they won’t allow users to be installing plugins themselves. They are also including SOAP / XML-RPC interfaces, and planning to add API access soon. Sounds great to me.

Links:
Confluence Hosted

Joyent partners with Corel; Newsgator Desktop launched

February 27, 2007

Joyent has partnered with Corel to provide data backup service for Corel WordPerfect Lightning, a note taking software from Corel. Any user backing up his/her notes from Lightning onto Joyent will get 2 complimentary Joyent Connector accounts and 200MB of storage for free. As always, good and bad news accompanies any new partnership. Bad news – Corel Lightning UI totally sucks. At least I can’t see myself using it. If you compare it to Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote, the software has lot of catching up to do. Good News – You get to try Joyent Connector for free for the first time. If you haven’t already tried Joyent, the product set includes web-based Mail, Calendar, Contact Management, Bookmarks, and obviously file storage applications.

Newsgator: The Colorado’s coolest startup has launched beta of its new product – Newsgator Desktop. As expected, any feed post you read from Desktop gets synced backed to your Newsgator account and will show up read everywhere including FeedDemon, Windows RSS Platform, and Newsgator Online. In my PoV, the application is targeted at users having maybe 20 or fewer feeds otherwise pop-up notifications loose their significance. Newsgator team does provide controls around this by adding support for choosing feeds for which you want the notifications to be displayed. So, in case you are not already using FD, Desktop can be good alternative to get tuned to RSS. Can we expect personalized push as the next move from Newsgator?

FONbucks, CrossLoop local, vMix+NBC, Skype’s wireless plans

February 22, 2007

FON: The worldwide WiFi community enabler in on the move again. Today FON launched WiFi connection manager for Symbian based phones. This will enable FONeros to easily locate and connect to the FONspots from their Nokia E60, E61, E70, N80, N91, N92, N93 y N95. Another fun partnership that FON announced is with Starbucks. People living above or near a Starbucks can get a FON router for free to being streaming the signal to Starbucks patrons and start earning some real bucks. Even though universal WiFi is a dream located light years away, I like the energy and enthusiasm displayed by the FON team.

CrossLoop: Remember the free remote access client from CrossLoop I had written about last year and expressed my doubts about how long the service will remain free? After exchanging few messages with Mrinal Desai at CrossLoop, it seems they are really serious about maintaining the free version while adding premium plan with additional features pretty soon. In the meantime CrossLoop team is cranking out localized version of the client which will be available in 21 different languages from 27th Feb. Supported languages will now include Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and Hindi among others.

vMix + NBC = Friends ? At least that is what the vMix site says. Did vMix sign a deal with NBC off late? Will need to dig more into this. In case you have forgotten, vMix had raised undisclosed amount funds in its second round last month. Traffic graphs go allover Alexa/Quantcast/Compete show a bit of uptick for this month, but stagnant for the previous 6 months.

Skype: The IM voice calling king is petitioning FCC to take down the rule that enables wireless carriers to prohibit use of Skype type voice service on their networks, according to Ars Technica. Skype basically wants to get the 1968 Carterfone decision, which currently enables use of  non-carrier provided devices be hooked onto the cable TV and Internet networks at home, be extended over to the wireless world. Idea is good, but FCC loves Verizon, At&t, and all. Good luck with that. Anyway, why doesn’t Skype build a mobile client for real that doesn’t eat the network and phone, and than try spreading the word around in Europe before moving to US?

 

It’s Live: Google Docs @ Google Apps

February 22, 2007

First to Hit

Just as I was finishing my previous post on Google Apps for Enterprise pricing plan, discovered that Google has flipped the switch for Google D&S integration. Below are some snapshots as I went through the activation process.

 

Google announces pricing for Google Apps

February 22, 2007

First to Hit

Google has come out with the pricing plan for the long awaited Enterprise version of Google Apps for Domain(GApps). GApps would come in 2 flavors, Standard and Premier. With Standard you get everything for free just like now. As for the word “Everything”, it would include Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, Page Creator and Start Page. Premier Edition just blows away the competition- for $50/user/year companies will get

  1. 10GB email accounts instead of the regular 2 GB,
  2. 99.9% uptime guarantee for email,
  3. Email migration tools
  4. 24/7 support
  5. Access to APIs for Single sign-on, user management, and support for email gateway.

Interesting point to note in this release is the focus on Email migration which is clearly aimed at wooing SMBs hooked to Microsoft Exchange. With 99.9% uptime, which even companies themselves find tough to maintain, complete backups, and a browser based toolset available at fraction of cost should make Google a lucrative option to switch to.

No word right now on when the integration will go live. Also Google Powerpoint killer will not be part of the release, which I highly doubted in the first place ’cause Google Apps team will be working hard on getting the integration and scalability of the platform right in the first place.

Another point to note is that there is no limitation imposed on disk space used Google Docs&Spreadsheets(D&S). Maybe Google is still analyzing the usage behavior before setting limits. Also after the integration of D&S, domain owners will have the ability to restrict sharing of documents by users with people outside the domain. Seems like a logical move.

Also, Google will be switching on the mobile access for Google Apps Gmail users as part of the new release for both Standard and Premier users.

If your company is looking to try out the APIs and migration tools, Google is giving trial access for the Premier edition till April 30th, 2007. For rest of us there is no fun in trying out the Premier Edition, since all the basic features remain the same.

Now how I know about all the pricing info? Elementary my dear Watson. Just look at the Google Apps for Domain help pages 😉

Like I said, pbWiki raises $2 million

February 21, 2007

My speculation from last week of pbWiki raising more cash has come true. According to Valleywag, pbWiki has raised $2 million in its Series A round of funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures. pbWiki had raised $350K in seed funding last year. This is another collaboration space high of the week, which was started off by CD/EditGrid integration and followed by news of upcoming Google Docs integration with Google Apps. Stay tuned for another big news on this front later today or early morning tomorrow 🙂

Update: Apparently the big news has been delayed by couple of weeks as beta tests take place at the un-named startup 😉

Related:
pbWiki traffic climbs; Launches plugin support

Links:
pbWiki

CentralDesktop integrates with EditGrid

February 20, 2007

CentralDesktop team is making sure that they don’t end up reinventing the wheel and still integrate the best web-based applications in their solid collaboration platform. So last month CentralDesktop got together with EditGrid in a new partnership that enables CD users to create spreadsheets right from their workspace. From EditGrid standpoint, this served as the 3rd major revenue generation hookup in the past 40 days for the best web-based spreadsheet provider. Earlier EditGrid had announced pricing for Company/Team based access and also launched its integration with Salesforce. CentralDesktop had also done similar integration with Salesforce earlier this year in form of Customer Extranets.

With the introduction of this new feature set CentralDesktop users will be able create, edit and share online spreadsheets in real-time. Besides this users will have access to all the standard features from EditGrid including real-time multi-user editing, ability to import and export spreadsheets to and from Microsoft Excel, and export spreadsheets as XLS, XML, PDF, CSV, and other file formats. Basically users will get all the niceties of EditGrid working in tune with the comprehensive access controls provided by CentralDesktop. Real deal of this feature release is that it comes free to end-users, while CD and EditGrid teams settle those rev share details among themselves. So, while GoogleSpreadsheets/Jotspot combo plays out the catchup game, CentralDesktop with EditGrid becomes one of the best and cost effective collaboration platforms to work on.

Links:
CentralDesktop

pbWiki traffic climbs; Launches plugin support

February 16, 2007

pbWiki, the angel funded wiki based collaboration platform provider, has been getting lot of traction with educational institutions and businesses for the its peanut butter manifesto. Last time I talked with Ramit at pbWiki in November 2006, they had just disclosed their $350,000 in funding and they were a team of 3. Within a short span their team size has grown to 6. Which means either they are doing exceedingly well with their paid plans (plans ranging from free to $9.95/month to $34.95/month) or they have raised more funds.

Speculation aside, lets get to the real point. Earlier in this week pbWiki finally added support for WYSIWYG editor. Also as part of the change is the support for plugins. pbWiki plugins enable users to add Youtube videos, 30boxes calendar, Google Gadgets, slideshow from Slide, chat box…..It was only few weeks back that Wetpaint had announced similar support for external widgets, and Atlassian community had done that sometime last year. On the whole it feels like a general direction everyone is moving towards. Actually any platform not being able to support widgets feels like a misfit in current times. Let me think who can’t do this right now. ammmm. Oh! It’s Microsoft Office and Google Docs&Spreadsheets. Time to catch up guys.

Links:
pbWiki

Vyew looks to monetize; Pro and Plus releases coming

February 15, 2007

Seems like a graduation season for number of startups that sprung up in the collaboration space last year. Vyew is the latest to join the ranks. The web-based collaboration and live conferencing platform will finally  be emerging from its beta on 20th of this month with the launch of its new 2.1 release. Vyew will also be introducing new monetization plans going forward while maintaining a free ad-supported version. Teams and users will be able to subscribe to the Vyew Plus for $6.95/month or Vyew Professional for $13.95/month.

From the last time I checked few months back, Vyew has transformed quite a bit. Vyew collaboration platform has 2 aspects to it sharing feature. One of them operates in pretty much the same way as a typical conference you can have over WebEx. Other aspect is to run your webmeeting through ViewBooks, where you can upload your documents during the meeting to be made viewable to other participants. This combined with the ability to create multiple ViewBooks to reuse over different sessions can definitely cut down on your meeting preparation time. Drawing tools, plugins, chat, file storage, and conference calling number gives Vyew a feeling of easy to use comprehensive mashup board. In my opinion Vyew adds a fresh outlook to otherwise a very crowded webmeeting market

Links:
Vyew