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Birds of a Feather: Flocking Together Online in Real Time

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Posted: 1 Mar 2007
 

Tech Talk #1 - Birds of a Feather: Flocking Together Online in Real Time
by Eric Harper
Novell Connection Magazine - Q1 2007

Here's an excerpt:

The term "networking" has long held two different meanings in the world of business. First, there's the computer network?a collection of hardware technology that connects computers and enables the sharing of resources. Second, there's a social network of contacts that make employees a more valuable asset in their organization.

As the technology that enables communication improves, these two different views of "networking" are starting to converge. People now rely on the computer network to maintain and grow relationships in the human network. In other words, we now have a wide variety of tools to help us work better with each other.

Sure, we've had communication and collaboration tools in the past?e-mail and instant messaging, for example. And we've had workgroup solutions, like document managers and group calendars. But competing in a global economy means that scheduling conference calls around time zones and e-mailing attachments simply won't cut it anymore. Today's business environment demands a lot more?a virtual team workspace with application and content sharing, workflow tools, discussion boards and more.

> Introducing a New Generation of Collaboration Tools
Novell has long been an industry leader in workgroup communication and collaboration. In fact, Novell NetWare, with its stellar file system and drive mapping capabilities, was the first widely adopted software that allowed people to collaborate and share data. Today, Novell offers a contemporary version of these core workgroup services, but with the added benefits of Linux. The Novell Open Workgroup Suite, for example, combines a secure and flexible infrastructure with proven Novell services to deliver a complete workgroup productivity solution from desktop to server. A complete solution, that is, that provides platform and application flexibility and costs up to 70 percent less than competing product stacks.

But users today want to extend these capabilities with a new generation of tools that will help them make quantum leaps in user and team productivity. To address these needs, Novell recently announced a partnership with SiteScape, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, SiteScape is releasing its latest collaboration platform to the open source community. Novell will then leverage this open source code to develop enterprise-class products that deliver two new capabilities to its customers: teaming and real-time collaboration. These capabilities will serve as a valuable extension of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite and significantly enhance Novell's ability to deliver innovative workgroup services on Linux.

The Novell teaming solution lets users create workspaces and invite other members of the workgroup to participate. The team can share and access documents, calendars, discussion boards, wikis, blogs and workflows. These features let the entire team share the different types of content they produce so they can work together more effectively.

The real-time collaboration solution gives users the ability to IM with team members?either individually or as a group?and participate live in voice or Web conferences. The Web conferencing components let users share desktops, show slide presentations and participate in whiteboarding sessions. During a conference, a few members can split off into their own breakout session while the remaining participants stay in the main conference room. And if anyone on the team misses the conference, it can be recorded and saved so users can replay it later.

Read the complete article here


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