Tech Talk 1 by Ken Baker
A Competitive Look at Next-Generation Collaboration with Novell Teaming
I have to admit that Swiss Army Knives are pretty cool. There’s a US$120 model that, in addition to two different knife blades, also has a corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener, wire stripper, screwdriver, toothpick, scissors, reamer, wood saw, digital altimeter and digital thermometer. But, if I need a quality saw for a carpentry project I’m working on, I’m not going to buy the US$120 Swiss Army Knife for the job. I’m going to get the saw best suited to the task. Not only will that make my job easier and me more successful, but it might even save me money. It all goes back to the age-old advice of getting the right tool for the job.
Likewise, when it comes to enhancing employee and team productivity with next-generation collaboration, Novell Teaming is the right tool for the job. Next-generation collaboration with Novell Teaming goes beyond traditional collaboration methods. It enables you to leverage Web 2.0 technologies that eliminate barriers to information sharing while fostering a more dynamic work environment that can increase creativity, productivity and overall effectiveness. (See Feature-Rich, Next-Generation Collaboration.) Novell Teaming not only enhances collaboration through the use of Web 2.0 tools such as social networking, blogs and wikis, but it allows you to bring structure and context to all of your collaboration and information-sharing efforts.
For example, in the area of project management, project leaders and team members can leverage Novell Teaming workspaces to store and organize all information related to a specific project, such as milestones, tasks, expected outcomes, ideas, research, work in progress and more. In addition to workspaces, through the use of metadata, Novell Teaming enables you to digitally connect data from different collaboration sources (e.g., wikis, blogs, forums, e-mail, calendars, documents and Web pages) and aggregate relevant information based on the contextual needs of a specific project. (See Figure 1.)
These elements of Novell Teaming help you more effectively, creatively and intelligently create, access, use, make sense of and profit from the information key to the projects you manage. They also allow you to better manage other information- and collaboration-dependent activities within your organization, including knowledge management, problem resolution, case management, business planning and document lifecycle management.
Not all solutions that bill themselves as next-generation collaboration tools have the ability to deliver this level of innovation, structure and productivity into your information sharing efforts. For example, Microsoft promotes its Office SharePoint Server not only as a solution for collaboration, but also as an application development platform, a business intelligence tool and more. It’s kind of like that Swiss Army Knife. It might do some cool extra things, but you’ll pay for those extras, not to mention that it may not necessarily be the right tool for the job when it comes to enhancing collaboration.
Understanding that next-generation collaboration has the ability to transform an organization’s productivity and innovation, Novell recently published a competitive white paper that stacks Novell Teaming against Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. This article takes a look at the paper’s key findings in four areas:
- Novell Teaming is More Flexible
- Novell Teaming is More Affordable
- Novell Teaming is Focused on People, Not Web Pages
- Novell Teaming Offers a Broader Model for Innovation
Novell Teaming Is More Flexible
Novell designed Novell Teaming with flexibility in mind, enabling you to use it with a variety of services and applications. Through its support for a number of open standards, Novell Teaming gives you a choice in terms of directories, databases, development environments, user operating environments e-mail systems and more. (See Table 1.) This support for open standards also makes it easy to extend and customize Novell Teaming while its standards-based Web services make it easy to integrate Novell Teaming with other systems.
Conversely, Microsoft SharePoint lacks that flexibility and thus requires a total commitment to Microsoft.
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Organizations that choose Microsoft Office SharePoint Server must purchase all of its office productivity tools, servers, desktops, services, development tools, and e-mail and calendaring environments from Microsoft. Additionally, these Microsoft systems must be upgraded to the latest versions in order to work with SharePoint.
|System||Novell Teaming||Microsoft SharePoint|
|Server||SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
|Identity Management Integration||Novell eDirectory
|Portal Environment||Liferay, an open, JSR-168 standards-based portal system||SharePoint Portal Server|
|Office Productivity Software||OpenOffice
|Microsoft Office 2007|
|E-mail and Calendaring System||Novell GroupWise
Microsoft Exchange 2007
Other standards-based systems
|Microsoft Exchange 2007|
|Desktop||SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
Mac OS X
|Database||MS SQL Server
|MS SQL Server|