As much as we have talked about Bonsai, there is another very exciting 'Collaboration' product that will be shipping soon from Novell. Novell Teaming + Conferencing. This product adds significant value to the overall portfolio of collaborative solutions from Novell. This product is currently in BETA and is expected to ship within the next few months.
I have been participating in the weekly BETA calls with many of you. I have also been involved with several companies and organizations that have deployments planned and are gearing up for the delivery of this product. The teaming portion includes Team Spaces, Workflow, Document access, blogs, wikis, surveys, global searches, and threaded discussions. The Conferencing piece has Instant Messaging and Chat, Presence, Applications and Desktop sharing, Whiteboarding and Voice over IP.
Although you will find some overlap of features with GroupWise and other products from Novell, there is significant interest and excitement about many of the things that this product will allow organizations to accomplish. The product has such flexibility and it exposes many of the social networking technologies that have become so popular in the Internet and Open Source communities. Now more than ever, effective teams work more as self-organized networks, rather than rigid hierarchies. Professionals from all walks of life are easily connected and can collaborate more freely with technologies and products that can facilitate their ad-hoc team rather than confine it.
Here are some of the ways Novell is using the product or planning on using the product:
- We are using the product to conduct the BETA for Novell Teaming + Conferencing. A couple of weeks ago, one of the participants demonstrated how they were using the product by 'sharing' their desktop with all of the other BETA sites.
- We are using the product to help facilitate trouble-shooting and support with our Partners and Customers. Having a customer be able to simply 'share' their desktop and demonstrate a problem OR have an engineer explain a new feature or how to configure a new agent.
- Product Management is conducting Sales Training and other activities.
- We plan to use the technology when we conduct the BETA for Bonsai.
- We will soon be using the product to collaborate with many of our engineering teams that are scattered around the world. We will use the blogs to update teams on what is happening within our organization. We will be using wikis to keep our test plans and test lab configuration information up-to-date. We will use the conferencing software to hold meetings and design new features.
In addition, I wanted to include some of the other ways we anticipate this product will be used (I stole this partial list from an white paper Phil Karren is preparing - he won't mind :)
Project Management, Acquisition Management, Program Management, Quality Assurance, Employee Performance Management, Issue Tracking, Online classrooms, Time-Off scheduling, Asset and Inventory management, Technical Research, Event management, Product and Process Life cycle, Change Request management, Competitive bid response, Sales Automation, Customer Relationship management, etc.
This is obviously an abbreviated list - I just wanted to give you a flavor for the 'areas' where this product could be deployed and utilized.
Like I said, we are in BETA with this product and are working towards final shipment. Please check it out!!
Here is a screen shot: