Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

MojoPac – windows on USB enabler – gets funded

March 6, 2007

RingCube, parent company of MojoPac, has secured $12 million as part of its Series B round of funding. Mohr Davidow Ventures and first-round investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) participated in the funding round. RingCube had earlier received $4 million in Series A round of funding in September 2006.

MojoPac’s smart widows virtualization solution is a great fit for highly mobile users who want to access their customized set of applications from anywhere anytime. MojoPac turns any USB storage device(USB drive or iPod) into a virtual personal computer that can run most of the windows based applications including Microsoft Office, IM clients, iTunes…… Getting applications on to MojoPac is similar to installing applications on your local PC. Just run the installer and you are good to go. You can take this MojoPac USB device to any machine to load your familiar set of applications. While accessing each of these installed applications all the data gets stored onto your MojoPac device instead of the local PC making you truly mobile.

But I am one of those people who usually forget to carry along their USB drive. I remember installing MojoPac when it was just launched around DEMOFall and was really impressed with the whole setup. Next day I forgot to take my SanDisk drive along with me. So much for virtualization on my end.

Links:
MojoPac
RingCube

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?

Vox on mobile; Metro on Google Maps; NetNewsWire V3;

February 20, 2007

Vox/Xanga/LJ on mobile: UK based users of LiveJournal, Xanga, and Vox will be able to access these social networking and blogging services from their mobile phones. This service will be available to Hutchison 3G users which had entered into partnership with Intercasting, which allows mobile networks to aggregate social networking functionality through its Anthem Social Networking Service Gateway (SNS-G). [via]

Google Maps: Google Maps has added support for showing subway stops and building outline for major metropolitan areas including NYC, San Francisco, and London. However these changes have yet to be rolled onto the Google Maps on mobile where it can be better put to use.

NetNewsWire: Newsgators’s NetNewsWire team has launched the pre-beta(>alpha) release of its v3.0 client. The new release for the Mac based feed reader includes interface makeover, full screen mode, Spotlight searching, many other features. Since I am on windows can’t really say where it stands wrt the FeedDemon.

FeedGhost- Superfast RSS reader comes late to party

February 19, 2007

Being subscribed to more than 900 feeds, only way I can get my work done faster is if the feed reader can keep the pace. I have been using FeedDemon from Newsgator all along. However as my feed count as increased over time, FeedDemon Search is falling far behind. Usually it takes almost 1 minute before FeedDemon comes back with search results. Obviously I need to hold back on searches, which makes my task that much harder. Looking for alternatives, I tried Google Reader couple of times, but don’t think it is designed for 1024X768 screen size. Also the obvious lack of search functionality make it unusable from my standpoint.

However browsing through some blog couple of days back, I noticed ad for FeedGhost in a Google Adsense block. First reaction was- someone is really dumb to put out an ad few a new feed reader. Since the team is willing to put down money on their product, I thought I should be worth atleast 1 try. So went on to the site and discovered it is a client based feed reader, which I should have guessed from the similarity in names(Demon and Ghost). Downloaded the client, pushed my OPML into Ghost, and was surprised at the speed at which it started pulling in feed items. The most shocking part was searching through my feed items, when the search results came back under 1 sec. No more waiting around, and ultimately forgetting that you were searching for something. Get done with things and move on. With the ability to synchronize feeds across multiple machines, publish ‘link-blogs’, support for tagging, and many more of the features similar to FeedDemon, personally I am ready for the switch by paying $20 yearly license fee. Couple of things FeedGhost needs to get fixed though – being able to set refresh interval to 30 mins or less and sort out the issue of feeds not getting forced refresh(maybe this was one time thing when I tried doing that).

On the whole, FeedGhost is great product but has lot of catching up to do in terms of selling its product in a saturated market, which needs more of consumer focused Reader currently.

Links:
FeedGhost

24access: mobile-pc bridge gets funded

February 6, 2007

Netherlands based 24access Solutions has closed its Series A round of funding led by Big Bang Ventures and Solid Ventures. 24access PC based Mobile Media Center enables 2 way interaction between PC and mobile phones. You can basically stream you photos, audio, videos, and streaming content from webcams. As for the supported phones, 24access works with most of the smartphones including Blackberry Pearl. The startup’s website, application, and support are all bit shaky right now and you might have play around a bit to get the content streaming.

Soonr is another startup doing PC-mobile hookups including WebEx integration, and access to data stored on PCs. Avvenu is another player.

Links:
24access Solutions

 

Worklight delivers RSS for Corporates

January 30, 2007

Israel based Serendipity Technologies will be launching it’s server-based software at DEMO that enables corporate customers to syndicate their application data via RSS. Instead of trying to implement costly BI solutions for each and every simple data feed that is needed by corporate users, server side product Worklight from Serendipity can extract data and securely serves it to authorized subscribers in real-time. The Enterprise20 facing startup was co-founded by Shahar Kaminitz, CEO, and Yuval Tarsi, and had received $5.1 million in funding last September from Genesis Partners, Index Ventures, and private investor Shlomo Kramer.

Lets quickly take a look at some of the features I think make Worklight a very effective solution from my PoV – native connectivity and authentication to enterprise products like Oracle, SQL Server……, pre-built adaptors for most of these major back-end systems and web-services, Linux based product with Windows release coming up soon, support for secure feeds to protect corporate data, and an API to enable companies to build their own adaptors. All this at a very low cost of $10/user/month which can also go down to as low as $1 per user/month depending upon the number of licenses a company needs.

Some of the other platforms users can take their data to include widgets, personalized homepages, social bookmarks, application mashups, instant messaging and more. Serendipity is working on developing range of data mashups like being able to visualize impact of a news release on customer portfolio. Again lot of room to play around once customers can extract the data easily.

From the technical side J2EE based server side application includes a Java application server (Jboss) and a web server (Apache/Tomcat).  WorkLight also works with LDAP based authentication, and also supports single sign-on and access control, which should go down well with corporate customers.

Sounds interesting? Sure does to me. Still a lot will depend on the back-end interface from where feeds can be created, published, and controlled, and the ability of the server to scale up to thousands of users hitting with multiple requests simultaneously.

Knownow is another well funded startup that enables enterprise data delivery and syndication.

Links:
MyWorkLight

 

DARTDevices – Universal device interaction platform

January 30, 2007

Today DARTDevices will launching a groundbreaking technology which will change the way we use and interact with all of our gadgets. Be it mobile phone or digital camera or PC or Mac or psp,…..you will be able to introduce new apps, features, and services on each of them without the need to consult manufacturers or install separate software on each of them. With 3+ years in “stealth-mode” development and 23 fundamental patents pending, DARTDevices was co-founded by Rich Mirabella, CEO, and Dan Illowsky, CTO. Rich has previously co-founded GLOBEtrotter that was sold for $700 million to Macrovision, and Dan had worked on writing parts of the Windows 95 core OS for Microsoft. A well funded startup, DARTDevices has backing from Matt Christiano, co-founder along with Rich at GLOBEtrotter, Ray Sidney- fifth employee of Google, Michael Abrash– co-author of Quake, and Jay Rosenbluth– retired VC, and Bedrock Capital. Besides this, DARTDevices had also received funding from Motorola Ventures in March 2006 as part of its Series A-1.

Coming back to what DARTDevices exactly does- All of the application developers know how big of a pain it is to develop applications for all their target devices, keeping developed apps continuously compatible with newer releases, and then hope users one day will download/install the app. Compared to PC and Mac, downloading part happens rarely on mobile phones and other gadgets, and most the device capabilities go unused. So, only deep-pocketed companies can aim to target greater number of devices, while others pick and choose their battles letting an important share of the market slip-by. DARTDevices plans to change this. DARTDevices will help application developers and users overcome these issues. When officially launched, adding a DartPlayer application to each device will expose all its hardware, software and content to all other such DARTDevices, making one virtual device. An application on any device can directly access the combined resources of all devices. Let’s take a use case. Imagine you have one of the Nokia N series multimedia smartphones that has hundreds of images and videos taken by you. You want to move each of those files to your PC, Mac, iPAQ, and printer without bothering to install compatible software on each of them. With a DartPlayer installed on all devices, all you will need to do is add a SlideShow Dapp to your mobile device. This SlideShow Dapp will than work with DartPlayer to locate all the devices in the vicinity it can work with and automagically transfer files using any of the network protocols available.

DARTDevices startup off by introducing 5 dapps including DD Slideshow, DD Control(control your new device using an existing devices), DD Crew(“Automagically” places the right content on the right devices), DD Jukebox(Social Music Sharing application), and DD Pong(enabler of multi-device, multi-player games). From here on, developer and user imagination is the limit. With number of dapps in works, consumers will soon find themselves using their mobile phone to control car audio system, or you playing Battleship your N93 while your counterparts are on a PC, Palm, LG, Mac, settop box….

Personally I think DARTDevices will have profound effect on the way applications are developed for each of these devices and the uses to which each of them can be put to. In particular I like the business model DARTDevices is working towards. DartPlayer & dapps licensed to device manufacturers like mobile phone companies (charging a small fee per device), while they will be free for PC & Mac. Partners will be able to license DartPlayer for their server. Developer will be able to take advantage of the DART platform using the free application developer SDKs. They will also be looking to sell premium Dapps directly on web & channels.

Besides the applications working seamlessly and flawlessly, a lot will depend on DARTDevices establishing relationships will various device manufactures to embed Dartplayers, and also the acceptance of DART platform by the development community. Next couple of year should be an interesting time for DARTDevices and also for us as consumers.

Links:
DARTDevices

 

IBM goes for the holy dip

January 22, 2007

IBM is going to be another major software vendor to incorporate features related to social networking in their product. Upcoming release of Lotus family will get a new addition – Lotus Connections. As expected corporate employees will be able to create their profiles, blogs, manage bookmarks, and create network of friends.

Microsoft has already added social features to Sharepoint in last November, while collaboration products from Google are shaping up slowly. I think we should see addition of Blogger, and Bookmarks into Google Apps within the next few releases. In case you guys missed, few days back there was a good discussion going on at APC regarding Gmail vs Exchange. Besides the writeup, some of the comments point the direction in which hardware and IT people will like to go as compared to what Microsoft and IBM want to sell.

Links:
Lotus Connections

8 startups to watch-out for in 2007

January 8, 2007

                
               

          

                                        

One week into 2007, lets look into some of most exciting startups coming up in the new year. The companies I have chosen to write about are mainly in the enterprise, consumer and productivity software, and media publishing market. There are quite a few other interesting startups coming up in the areas of media(social networking, IPTV, mobile TV, 3D), which I will try covering in another post.

 

1. Coghead(Enterprise): Coghead is set to change the way most common business applications are developed. Working with Coghead, all you need to know is your business and you are ready to rollout applications without even writing a single line of code. Coghead provides a web-based platform with complete drag-n-drop, mapping, workflow, and other development features to enable delivery of applications that require zero infrastructure setup costs on your side.

Founded in May 2003, Coghead had received $3.2 million in first round financing from El Dorado Ventures in March 2006. The Redwood City, CA. based startup has some of the finest industry veterans working for it including Paul McNamara(CEO, Coghead), Greg Olsen(served as co-founded Extricity Inc.), and Brian Reaves(served as Co-Founder and President/CEO of Beyond Software).

I had demo session with Paul, and Greg in where they demonstrated the amazing platform they have built. Companies looking to get started with Coghead will have access to around dozen pre-built applications offered by Coghead covering various business domains including HR, Project Management, Tracking Tools, Marketing, Finance, Sales & Customer Management, and Productivity. Comparing to existing application development and delivery methodology, Coghead platform changes the way in which we look at Application Development/Developers. Actually Application Developer term can easily be replaced by Application Modeler since those are the people you need in Coghead. Once application specifications are agreed upon, Modelers can quickly prototype and build applications using the Coghead’s fully graphical environment with drag-n-drop UI components and forms editor. Modelers can start from scratch or copy an existing application to add more functionality. Prior to deploying a new application or changes to an existing application, prototypes can be created, tested and previewed. Among other features, Coghead maintains complete application version control, and also handles import/export of application definition. Companies using the platform can have team-based access with role-based security model to enhance the data security and restrict access across different applications.

Coghead will launch Q1 of 2007 and will be available at fraction of cost as charged by existing On-Demand platforms like Salesforce. Starting of from the basic set of applications it is left onto business users imagination to churn out applications requiring zero maintenance and backups.

So if you always unsatisfied by one of the monstrous Project Management or CRM tools offered by your company and wanted to drive things your own way, Coghead should serve your needs well.

             

             

 

2. LucidEra(Enterprise): I have written about LucidEra couple of times in the past. LucidEra is led by Ken Rudin who previously worked as VP and General Manager of Siebel CRM OnDemand at Siebel Systems and before that was co-founder and CEO of Emergent Corp which was acquired by Keane in 1999. Given his strong experience in building enterprise class product and recognizing the shortcomings of existing BI offerings, Ken founded LucidEra in 2004 with an aim to deliver an On-Demand BI platform. With handful of really smart people taken from Siebel, Business Objects, Informatica, Apple, and  $7 million funding from Matrix Partners and Benchmark Capital, LucidEra is set to bring a sea change to the Enterprise data computing landscape.

Currently in private beta and going for a public release in Q1 2007, LucidEra’s Business Intelligence is platform will deliver full range of data extraction, transformation, and reporting abilities. From the product standpoint, LucidEra offers connectors to databases, extraction+transformation+refresh tool to load data into LucidDB(optimized for query processing), data cleansing capabilities, OLAP server, and the web-based reporting interface to enable easy creation of business reports. All these high end enterprise data processing  capabilities come at a fraction of cost($3000 or more/month) as compared to existing solutions in the market.

The impact of LucidEra will go beyond pricing, since it will reduce the cost associated with development, maintenance, storage, computing, and upgrading of enterprise software. LucidEra will offer a great opportunity to SMBs to run competitive analysis of their businesses and get to their sales and marketing KPIs quicker. Starting off with Forecast-to-Billing solution that can track a company’s entire sales cycle, I expect LucidEra to open up it’s environment to enable developers to build similar solutions for Marketing, Life Sciences, and other business domains.


3.
BungeeLabs(Enterprise+Mashup): The Orem, UT based Bungeelabs team has been quietly working on building a web application and deployment system for the past 3 years. Till date Bungeelabs has gone through two rounds of funding with the most recent round in November 2006 in which the company secured $7 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, Venrock Associates, and Wasatch Venture Fund.

The startup has been keeping most the details of its offering under tights wraps and even their web site doesn’t help much in this regards. Bungee will offer an On-demand Application System for efficiently creating and instantly delivering next generation web applica
tions. Developers will be able to able build, integrate, and instantly deploy interactive web apps with or without any web service. As part of the deployment Bungee developers will be able to integrate customer tracking, subscription management, licensing and billing options.

Although there might be a learning curve involved to get used to Bungee lingo, objects, logic, adaptors, controls, and deployment methods, I think it would be worth the tiny amount of effort required. Will look forward to try my hands when it officially launches its product sometime this year.

 

4. Sharpcast Hummingbird(Consumer+Enterprise): Earlier at the start of 2006 Sharpcast had launched its amazing photo synchronization software that can sync all your photos located on any of your internet enabled devices. Later at the Web20 conference in November 2006, Sharpcast had announced the launch of their new product Hummingbird in early Q2 of 2007. Hummingbird solves one of the basic problems that each of us face every day – multitude of files created in different formats on different machines owned by the same user. With increasing amount of content getting created through mobile devices, it just adds to the existing issue of getting your content to sync together. Building and running an enterprise class sync server that offers PC-Mac-Web-Mobile real-time synchronization for general users is quite a challenge that not many companies have tried till today.

Hummingbird will work just like Microsoft Exchange server that delivers/updates-status all your messages onto various platforms including web, PC, and Blackberry. Instead of syncing emails, Hummingbird will do that for each of your file formats. Users will neither have to worry about taking backups and spending hours compiling the latest version of their documents nor manually schedule backups since everything gets backed up automatically. Hummingbird will also offer version control  and notifications if any document is accessed by more than 1 person simultaneously. To take care of the offline times, Hummingbird will have workspace cache to enable work in offline mode. Sharpcast will also add sharing aspect to the  software by enabling sharing of files with groups of individuals and creation of group workspaces. Sharpcast will also offer Hummingbird to its partners who can run the software in a p2p mode and also enable companies to store all their data on their own enterprise servers instead of Sharpcast’s servers.

Again Hummingbird falls into the first school of thought which believes in desktop based file creation and sharing. Other school comprises of SaaS proponents who use Writely+Editgrid in their everyday life to get their work done faster without worrying about sync issues. So users looking to go beyond word and spreadsheets and get their videos, photos, PDFs organized, Hummingbird is the best thing that can happen.

                     

 

5. Preezo(Consumer+Office): Startups developing real Office20(Word, Spreadsheet, PPT, Calendar) showed lot of activity with the launch of Writely, iRows, Kiko, EditGrid, Thumbstacks and few more in the end of 2005 and start of 2006. However the office20 landscape at the start of 2007 looks very different as compared before ’cause of – quick and decisive actions from Google resulting in Google Docs&Spreadsheets+Calendar being rolled out, iRows and Writely teams joining Google, Kiko getting sold out on eBay, Thumbstacks team just keeping quite ever since its initial launch activity. Only worthy Office20 player besides Google is EditGrid. But Google and EditGrid don’t complete the office stack with an important presentation software piece missing. In recent times there have been few startups claiming to offer web-Powerpoint solution, but frankly I feel that they are just wasting their time by developing really crappy imitations. Throwing an army of people ain’t going to get you a Powerpoint or Excel or Word replicas. Smalls teams like Writely, EditGrid, and iRows, that understand the specs for office apps and have expertise in javascript as well as server side languages are the ones who can get things done.

However hopes are still on for the web-based office. Preezo, an angel funded company led by by Jason Roberts, is trying to fill that important gap. Based out of Pasadena, CA, Jason has built Preezo from just an idea to a full-featured web-based slideshow/presentation application in just over a year. Preezo offers many of the core and most commonly used features found in Powerpoint. Preezo with its elegant drag & drop and formatting of text and image elements makes editing slides a snap. With support for themes, layouts, and transitions(including control of direction and speed of transition), you can easily create professional looking presentations. Preezo also has an custom built javascript text editor (no design mode!!) takes text editing to a level never before seen on the web and will be practicably indistinguishable from Powerpoint’s text editing experience.

You will realize the real benefits of using Preezo as compared to Microsoft Powerpoint at the time of viewing and sharing the slideshows. Besides being able to access the presentations from any modern browser (FF 1.05, IE 6.0, SF 1.5) anytime, you will be able to embed the slide shows in web pages or blogs, distribute high quality but lightweight html slide shows via email, and give multiple people the ability to access a single presentation.

With the launch of Preezo there wont be a convincing reason for most of office apps users to go for the costly Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade($150-$400 depending on the version).

 

6. Sentinel(Consumer+Media): This month end Sentinel will launch something that should definitely catch on with media companies and blogging community – Detect content piracy and pin-point sploggers. The Orlando, Florida based startup led by Tony Moura and just 2 more people plans to deliver a solution about which most of the search companies don’t even talk about. Any search we run on Technorati or Google Blog Search or Sphere number of results we get back just point to spam blogs. The small guy makes big+quick bucks through his content piracy network spanning thousands of blogs and sites, while we as content creators end up working late nights. And this content piracy is not just limited to blogosphere. Major media companies like Dow Jones, and NYT would just love to try out Sentinel.

Once companies signup, Sentinel service will automatically start comparing your content with the sites all over the world and generate the reports. Initially it will take around 24 hours to compile reports, but over time as Sentinel indexes more content the turn around times would improve drastically. Sentinel plans to work on 3 levels – 1. Bloggers 2. Media companies like Dow Jones, NYT, CNN and 3. Blog network operators and search engines like Blogger/Google, WordPress, and SixApart. Each ca
tegory will differ in terms of licensing costs and turn around times for the reports. However the service will be very reasonably priced for individual bloggers and content creators costing $5/month or more depending on the number of blogs/sites monitored. When I talked with Tony few months back he told me that he best part about Sentinel will be that content creators and site owners will not have to install any software or plugin in order to get monitor their content.

From the technology perspective Sentinel will have to cover a wide range issues that they can potentially come across. False piracy claims, legitimate quoting of text,  pirated  content  hosted on  personal sites instead of blog networks(whom will you send take-down notice to?), rephrased content, and offcourse  spammers trying to trick Sentinel  system everyday. Tony claims that Sentinel has the ground covered in all these aspects. But the system and it’s scalability+safeguards will definitely be tested when it launches this month.

One thing you need to note though is that Sentinel performs checks for only text based content, and not audio or video. Attributor and Youtube have been working on those areas which are obviously very difficult to crack in terms of resources and computing power required to drive such a solution and returns that they will receive from the media companies.

 

7. Clearspring(Consumer+Media): Remember, 2007 is the year of Widgets?! That is great news!!…. But what is the business model? How do you distribute more than just the weather widget? How do you reach your target community? How do you track the usage? Many more questions that no one can answer with clarity. Clearspring is building up to solve just some of these issues. Based out of Arlington, VA, led by Christopher Marentis, and founded by Hooman Radfar and Austin Fath, Clearspring aims to give direction to the rudderless world of widgets.

Clearspring is leading the charge to enable widget creators to quickly publish cross-platform widgets.  Clearspring has worked really hard behind-the-scenes to develop relationships with the leading social networks, startpages, and other websites to enable their widgets to be transported across sites by users, as well as well as to be published to widget galleries by developers. This includes likes of Rockyou and Netvibes.

From the process perspective, developers send in their flash widget code and Clearspring will add the wrapper for automatic posting to gadget platforms on Google, Live.com, Vista, MySpace, WordPress, Netvibes, Rockyou,………For individual developers this service would be free, and larger media companies will chalk out their deals with Clearspring that would include additional control over the environment. Developers and media/content companies also get complete view of the spread and usage of their content. Among others stats, widget impressions, style, location are some of the metrics tracked by Clearspring. This targeted and monitored distribution can result in viral spread of content through the right audience and enable narrowing down on those viral hubs quicker. Having tracked around 100 million widget impressions in its private beta, Clearspring has a scalable backend to take on enormous loads as major media companies start off loading their content through the platform. Clearspring plans to iteratively roll-out more advanced capabilities to expose the rich data collected by their tracking engine such as widget lifetime, click-through, and more during the coming year.

And not to forget- I am pretty sure you will just love the flash interface of the widgets from Clearspring.

    

 

8. Teqlo(Consumer+Mashup): Teqlo aims to bring meaningful mashup capabilities to the general users. Want to hookup you calendar with your expense reporting software to make it easier for you to get done with work quickly? Or automatically pull data from your address book and plot  it onto a map? Well Teqlo can help you  perform those important data mappings that will make your content “modular” without putting in those long-hard hours of manually copy-pasting information. Teqlo users with its drag-n-drop tool can build “Teqlets” that can bring in application components, and put them in the right sequence to establish a data flow cross-applications. Users will be able to public/private/group permission based teqlets, and license these teqlets to other users.

Founded by Dr. Rafael Bracho and Jacoby Thwaites and initially named Abgenial Systems, late last year the startup changed its name to Teqlo. Teqlo is now led by Jeff Nolan, who previously led the Apollo Strategy Group for SAP, and is funded by Leapfrog Ventures.

 

ClearSpace – The unified collaboration platform

January 2, 2007

JiveSoftware, provider of open-architecture based collaboration production, will be launching a new unified collaboration platform, ClearSpace. The product, which officially launches in early February, provides gives the power of Wikis, Blogs, Discussion Boards, and IM, all in one place.

Jive’s existing J2EE based product line includes Jive Forums, RTC server based on XMPP protocol – Wildfire, XMPP instant messaging client- Spark, Customer Chat client – Spark Fastpath, and Integrated Server. After having discussions with number of its existing customers, Jive management realized that companies wanted to implement newer collaboration tools but were more interested in J2EE base. Also implementing point solutions likes Wiki, or Blogs would only drive the maintenance cost up with additional inability to move data across each of these independent applications.

Realizing the opportunity, Jive team went ahead and built ClearSpace as an integrated platform that encompasses the old and new collaboration domains – Wiki, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Document Store, Email notifications, nested chat/IM, User Management, LDAP/AD integration, and tagging. Companies using ClearSpace will easily be able to setup collaboration community for each of their hierarchical departments or cross-team projects. In ClearSpace, each community can have its own discussion board, document store, access control,……. with everything tied together with tags and tag groups.

Jive team has gone a step further to enable reuse of user generated content/data, and faster response+interaction to content changes. ClearSpace users will be able to convert community discussion to a wiki document(instead of regular copy-paste), export group chat to wiki documents, create respond to content via email or IM, get notified about content updates by RSS/email/IM, email or instant messages for document collaborate invites, and participate in real-time multi-people wiki editing and viewing session. Companies will also be able to turn on collaboration with external clients on content located on internal ClearSpace server. Integration with WebDAV is another nice feature that will enable easy browsing, and emailing of docs located in ClearSpace.

Best part I like about ClearSpace is its pricing. ClearSpace is planned to be free for companies with 5 people, priced at high $20 or low $30s/user/monthyear, making it an extremely affordable collaboration platform for small or large teams.

Looking at the existing collaboration solutions, ClearSpace makes it very easy to gauge performance of team members with the ability to pull up all the information and content related to a particular team member. Also the reuse of content makes sure teams don’t end up creating redundant data silos and migration of projects from development to production stage does not result in loss of important lessons learnt on the way. On the whole, ClearSpace does seem to shaping up as the integrated tool that lot of the teams will be looking to get their hands on.

Links:
ClearSpace