Tech Talk 1 by Ken Baker
Catch the Vision
Novell Collaboration Vision: Roadmap to Higher Levels of Innovation and Productivity
The newest generation of workers has never known a world without the Internet. These computer-savvy “digital natives,” as they are sometimes called, don’t typically rely on e-mail as their primary means of communication. They interact using a wide variety of real-time and socially enabled collaboration tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, instant messaging and cell phones.
If harnessed properly, the emerging real-time and social collaboration tools this generation uses in their personal lives can present organizations with new collaboration opportunities that increase innovation and productivity. Unfortunately, some organizations may struggle to see how they can successfully and securely integrate these new interactions into their traditional collaboration environments and evolving data center plans without introducing higher costs, complexity and risk.
Novell’s collaboration vision provides a roadmap for leveraging your existing IT infrastructure and strategies to securely, simply and cost-effectively converge the best of traditional collaboration environments and the latest real-time, social interactions.
The key pieces of the Novell collaboration vision include:
- An open, enterprise-ready architecture for bringing together disparate collaboration systems, tools and technologies
- Enterprise-level security, compliance and management applied to converging traditional and innovative next-generation collaboration environments
- A world-class, new and innovative collaboration user experience
Emerging Technologies, Powerful Foundation
Interoperability is at the core of everything Novell delivers. Novell recognizes that there are many great technologies that can contribute key pieces to your organization’s collaboration ecosystem. The truth is there are many more to come, too. All of those social networks can be hard to track and synchronize. Novell helps bring together all those pieces in a secure and compliant enterprise collaboration solution that drives innovation and growth for your business. So, instead of trying to make e-mail and office suites the center of its collaboration strategy as other vendors are doing, Novell is building its next-generation open collaboration architecture on modern technologies that leverage Novell’s core technical strengths and bring together the right people, tools and interactions. (See Figure 1.)
The Novell collaboration vision provides a long-term strategy that brings those tools and interactions together in a way that allows your people and technology to work as one—even while the market grows and evolves. To serve as the foundation for this vision, Novell will deliver an open collaboration architecture—one that encompasses all of the other elements discussed in this article. This architecture will ultimately include a number of new capabilities; however, Novell will be delivering critical elements of its collaboration architecture in the short-term as well.
For example, Novell soon plans to deliver Novell DataSync, a key architectural element that resides at the Collaboration Services layer. Novell DataSync is a bidirectional, many-to-many synchronization engine that connects disparate collaboration solutions, business-critical applications and mobile devices. Novell DataSync will play an integral role in seamlessly bringing together the people, tools and interactions that drive greater innovation and productivity.
Novell DataSync enables seamless back-end synchronization of e-mail, calendar items, tasks, events and any other collaboration data to multiple systems. It will allow external enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP and other business systems—along with content from traditional products such as GroupWise, Novell Teaming, Exchange and SharePoint—to be synchronized across systems.
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As changes occur in the systems connected to the synchronization engine, Novell DataSync stores those changes in real-time and allows other connected systems to access them. (See Figure 2.)
As a multisource, multitarget synchronization engine, Novell DataSync is not necessarily tied to any specific collaboration solution. However, its integration benefits will first be seen through connectors for Novell GroupWise and Novell Teaming. In addition to the GroupWise and Teaming connectors, Novell will soon release connectors for SharePoint, SugarCRM, salesforce.com and ActiveSync with plans to release connectors for Documentum and SAP in the near future. (See Figure 3.)
Additionally, Novell partners will be able to deliver custom connectors for their own and other third-party solutions through the Novell DataSync SDK and its open API. This will enable users to share relevant content from an even wider variety of collaboration and enterprise systems, including CRM, ECM and document management systems; cloud-based social applications and even competing collaboration solutions. Novell DataSync essentially enables you to link all your diverse silos of information so that workers can be more productive and capable of utilizing the information at their disposal.
Many of the architecture’s collaboration services will take advantage of technologies found in both current and future versions of the existing Novell product lines, including Novell Open Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Technologies such as Novell Storage Manager and Dynamic Storage Technology will provide data location and lifecycle management services that deliver policy-based file distribution, enabling organizations to use policies to optimize how data is stored and accessed. Novell caching technologies will provide the foundation for enabling offline collaboration experiences and the architecture’s indexing and discovery capabilities will be key to allowing users to quickly find relevant information from within the system, across corporate data repositories or from the Internet.
At the Core Novell Services layers, Novell is delivering—and will continue to deliver in new ways—fully virtualized and orchestrated workload services that can run on traditional infrastructures, internal clouds or the external cloud. Utilizing Novell PlateSpin and Managed Objects offerings, the Novell collaboration architecture will also provide organizations with world-class workload management as their data centers grow and evolve. These workloads will be able to run in existing data centers, internal clouds or external clouds.