1.1 About Novell Vibe

1.1.1 Novell Vibe Is Collaboration Software

Collaboration through Vibe facilitates online work, creating a “virtual meeting space.”

You experience an increase in team synergy when using Vibe:

  • You and your teammates can work together without being in the same room or working at your computers at the same time. Someone can post a note or document to a folder, and, at their convenience, teammates can comment on the work, review and edit files, and further develop the idea. With Vibe, teamwork is ongoing and seamless.

  • When you are working online, the “presence” feature of Vibe allows you to see which teammates are currently online, and allows you to start a chat session by using Novell Messenger, create an online meeting using Novell Conferencing, make a Skype phone call, and so on.

  • Ideas are formed together, interactively, with your teammates. By the time you hold a meeting in the conference room, the team has already been part of the formation of the idea, and teammates are more likely to understand it, buy into it, and assist with its implementation. Vibe becomes a “pre-meeting” meeting.

  • Documents are reviewed earlier in the process, which allows for easier modifications and adjustments. Vibe also makes it easier to co-author documents, because of workflow processes that automate drafting and review, and because of Vibe access control that easily designates writers and reviewers.

  • Your collaborative process is preserved and publicly accessible in Vibe. No more searching through e-mail folders in a frantic effort to “catch someone up” on a lengthy e-mail discussion. To review past discussions and decisions, or to review a previous version of a document, you can use the powerful search capability of Vibe to locate historical information quickly and easily.

  • You can use various Vibe tools in combination—a milestones folder, tasks, workflow, discussions, chat, online meetings—to track progress against goals for multiple teams working on a large project.

1.1.2 Novell Vibe Is Social Networking Software

The out-of-the-box Novell Vibe tools provide powerful enhancements to online collaboration. In addition, when you use the tools in combination and apply structure to content design, Vibe becomes a powerful knowledge-management and enterprise social networking tool. Knowledge management involves the efficient development, management, access, and distribution of organizational knowledge. Enterprise social networking involves the efficient connection of knowledgeable people needed to form teams, make decisions, and complete work (like FaceBook for the workplace).

Consider these examples:

  • When people use their personal workspaces to provide detailed information about themselves, the purpose of the workspace moves beyond merely contact data (phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and so on). It enables searches for various subject-matter experts. Also, Vibe analyzes its search results, telling you which people discuss your search topic the most and in which places these conversations are happening. It is easy to see pockets of expertise associated with your area of interest.

  • Experts can rate entries in Vibe by using a five-star rating system (one star indicating the least impressive, and five stars the most impressive), providing an additional tool for determining the quality of information.

  • Vibe provides tools, such as wikis (information coauthored by all participants), blogs (chronological journal entries allowing for comments from readers), workflow (an online representation of a business process), and tags (categorical labels applied to items). People can use these tools to create and organize information organically, over time, in ways that map best to the team’s natural work style. Through these tools, teams literally move their business processes online and automate their work.

  • Vibe provides work-area summaries, called accessories, that provide a snapshot of a potentially large amount of information, highlighting the most relevant data. For example, the accessory can present entries submitted by an expert on a given subject, or it can summarize task-completion information by providing a milestone overview.