Tech Talk 1 by Ken Baker
Feel the Pulse – Part One
Novell Pulse: Taking Advantage of in-the-Cloud, Real-time, Ad hoc Collaboration
By combining a powerful document editor with a wide variety of content delivery modes, Novell Pulse greatly simplifies the effort of creating, sharing and collaborating on content. It also enables new types of collaborative interactions with a broader set of participants. Rather than relying solely on a push model that sends information to an explicit audience, it lets users easily identify the most relevant and helpful target audiences.
Get the Message
Just as Novell Pulse supports multiple ways to share messages and content, it offers multiple ways to receive them as well. The first of these is a Private area. This is where all messages addressed specifically to you will display in real time. In addition to private messages, Novell Pulse supports feed messages. Feed messages are like personal social blogs. Rather than addressing a feed message to specific people, you simply put it on your feed where all your followers will see it. (See Figure 2.)
For example, if you want to follow your CTO, you click the Add People and Groups button on the interface’s navigation pane and then click the Follow button below your CTO’s profile. Once you do that, the CTO will show up in the Follow list of your navigation pane. You can also mark that person—or any other person you follow—as a favorite so they’ll display on the top of your navigation list, making them easy to find.
To see the feeds of the people you follow, you can click on them individually, or you can go to the Home area of the Novell Pulse interface. The Home area not only shows all the messages directed specifically to you, it also displays the feeds of all the people you’re following. But the ad hoc nature of Novell Pulse lets you do more than just view the feeds of people you follow. It lets you participate in those feeds in real time. You can reply to a live feed, allowing the feed owner and his or her followers to see your comments in real time. Furthermore, depending on the permissions you have been granted by the person you are following, you can co-edit the feed in real time. This would enable you and the person you’re following to type in the same feed at the same time, allowing all followers to instantly see comments from both of you coming across the feed. This type of real-time interaction can occur with private messages, blog posts and documents as well.
Co-Author, Co-Edit and Synchronize
In addition to your private messages and follower feeds, the Home area will also display messages sent to any groups to which you belong. If you prefer, you can also open a particular group so you only see the messages for that group. Your groups form a powerful basis for enhanced interactive communication, as evidenced by the ability to co-author and co-edit documents within a group.
For example, running the Files app from within a group lets you easily post files from your desktop to a Novell Pulse group. Other members of the group will then be able to open a file using its native application, make changes to it, save it and have it synchronized back to their desktop.
Additionally, groups can create and collaborate on documents using the Novell Pulse document editor. As you type in a document, other members of the group can type and edit along with you in real time. (See Figure 3.) You can work together live, instantly see each other’s changes without waiting for the file to be unlocked or checked in. To further facilitate document creation, Novell Pulse includes a library of content templates for wikis, resumes, billing statements and more. (See Figure 4.)
Furthermore, since Novell Pulse is a cloud-based solution designed from the ground up for interoperability, it facilitates inter-company collaboration. Not only can dispersed users in your own organization share and co-edit documents, they can easily share and co-edit with people from other organizations, as well.
For example, in the past if you planned to issue a joint product datasheet with one of your partners, you might have gone through several review cycles that included internal editing, aggregation of input, and e-mailing and importing file attachments. Novell Pulse lets you and your partner simply co-author and co-edit in real time, eliminating the back-and-forth sending of e-mail attachments—and all the time-consuming and error-prone manual work that follows.
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Break Through the Clutter
Novell Pulse also enables you to address the problem of information overload, where your users are bombarded with information from all directions—instant messaging, blogs, micro-blogs and more. From within the solution's Refinement panel you can search for any information within Novell Pulse and have it delivered to your inbox. For example, you can have it show you all the messages from Steve, Bill and Mary that have been tagged “GoToMarket”.
Future revisions of Novell Pulse will synchronize and filter personal and professional content delivered from multiple external enterprise and consumer cloud services (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Wave and others), as well as many traditional sources and formats. It will unify and present this data in a single, easy-to-use interface—complete with folders, filtering and search—that will let your users make better sense of it all and focus on what's really important. In essence, Novell Pulse will become a universal inbox that will enable your most relevant information to rise to the top.
To accomplish this, Novell Pulse will eventually leverage a new data synchronization technology being developed by Novell that can connect disparate collaboration solutions, business-critical applications, mobile devices, social networking services and other cloud services. Using this multi-source, multi-target synchronization engine, Novell Pulse will be able to receive real-time messaging and content updates from applications such as Novell GroupWise, Novell Teaming, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, SugarCRM, salesforce.com, ActiveSync, Documentum, SAP and others.
The seamlessness that Novell Pulse creates between traditional and real-time collaboration can dramatically enhance user productivity. Its real-time communication enables faster decision making. It streamlines document editing and review processes. It allows users to work in real-time with secure, enterprise-ready collaboration as-a-service. Ultimately, Novell Pulse lets you take advantage of the cloud to address the dynamic needs of your global, knowledge-based workforces—giving you the ability and confidence to embrace real-time collaboration technologies to drive down costs, enhance productivity and enable your business growth. To learn more about Novell Pulse from an IT perspective, read the second article in this two-part series. (See Feel the Pulse – Part Two.)
To learn more about Novell Pulse, or be notified of its availability, visit www.novell.com/pulse.