Enterprise collaboration software

Updated: December 10, 2018

2018. IBM sold Lotus Notes/Domino to HCL



IBM is selling its legendary enterprise collaboration software Lotus Notes to Indian firm HCL for $1.8 billion. These products were a big part of IBM’s enterprise business for a long time, but last year Big Blue began to pull away, selling the development part to HCL, while maintaining control of sales and marketing. With the development of the platform out of its control, and in need of cash after spending $34 billion for Red Hat, perhaps IBM simply decided it no longer made sense to keep any part of this in-house. As for HCL, it sees an opportunity to continue to build the Notes/Domino business, and it’s seizing it with this purchase. HCL is far more interested in Notes/Domino than IBM has been for a decade. They are investing heavily, trying to rejuvenate the brand. Notes and Domino are still in use in many corners of the enterprise, and this is especially true in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). This move makes sense for IBM, which is moving in a different direction as it develops its cloud business. The Red Hat acquisition in October, in particular, shows that the company wants to embrace private and hybrid cloud deployments, and older software like Lotus Notes and Domino don’t really play a role in that world.


2017. Facebook Workplace gets desktop app



Facebook has launched official desktop PC and Mac chat apps with screen sharing — two features users have been begging for. Right now, they’re only available for Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise collaboration software that competes with Slack and other business apps. Workplace has over 14,000 businesses on board paying $1 to $3 per user, and recently signed up Wal-Mart. Screensharing could help Workplace attract more clients and disrupt the clunky screen sharing of alternative apps like Skype and WebEx. It’s clear that Facebook is applying its rapid development style in an bid to conquer offices with an all-in-one collaboration app while competitors only offer a piece of the puzzle.


2016. Google Apps rebranded as G Suite


Google rebranded its online office suite Google Apps for Work as G Suite. Google says the new name better reflects the mission of helping people everywhere work and innovate together, Blah Blah Blah... So at first sight it seams that Google marketers have nothing to do except changing titles. But from the other side, this move shows that Google is again interested in Enterprise collaboration market, and may be soon we'll see the real innovations in its office suite. In particular Google promises more machine intelligence features, for example the ability to interact with Drive, Docs and Spreadsheets with natural language commands and queries. The pricing of G Suite remains the same - $5/month per user.


2012. Microsoft SharePoint adds Firefox and Chrome support



Recently we noted that for a long time there is no news about the progress of the enterprise software superstar - intranet system Microsoft SharePoint. And today the news appeared: SharePoint 2010 finally adds full support for the third-party browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and partial support for Apple Safari. Developers say that the limitations of these browsers didn't allowed to use all the bells and whistles of the SharePoint interface before. Wow! That's a really huge achievement of SharePoint developers. There is still no word about support of mobile platforms (except Windows Phone). But there is a word about social features. Jared Spataro, Microsoft's senior director of SharePoint product management recently said that they were carefully studying the opportunities of social networking technologies for enterprise collaboration and Microsoft's approach will be to increase enterprise social features in SharePoint. Looks like SharePoint is really in crisis.


2010. Cisco Quad - enterprise social software + video



Late last year, Cisco introduced the social intranet system with a long name Cisco Enterprise Collaboration Platform and this solution hit the Top 10 Enterprise 2.0 products in 2009 by ReadWriteWeb. Now Cisco starts selling the system under the new name - Cisco Quad. The functionality of the system at first glance seems to be traditional for enterprise social software: user profiles, personal start pages, microblogs and communities (for group collaboration). But of course, Cisco added to the system its main feature - video. From anywhere in the system, where user's avatar appears, you can see his online status, send him an instant message or start a video conference. And, of course, Cisco Quad is closely integrated with Cisco Webex web conferencing service and Cisco Unified Communications . The system can be installed on the own server or on a public cloud platform. And all that it's user need - is a web browser and a webcam. In the near future the iPhone / iPad apps will appear. Of course, the system fits the enterprise administration, security and safety requirements. Another difference of this system could be the support for all popular content management systems - EMC Documentum, SharePoint, Salesforce and Oracle. Cisco Quad main competitors on the enterprise social software market are Microsoft Sharepoint, Google Apps and IBM Lotus Connections.


2009. Novell Pulse - Google Wave for enterprise



Novell was formerly #3 after Microsoft and IBM on the enterprise collaboration market (with its email system Novell GroupWise). When intranet solutions became popular, the company unveiled with some delay Novell Teaming, which it positioned as a Sharepoint  alternative. But this system hasn't become very popular. So now Novell hurry to be among the first vendors to provide modern enterprise social systems with real-time capabilities. The new Novell hope is Novell Pulse, that looks very similar to Google Wave and also is able to work with this Google product. Novell Pulse - is a unique tool, as it provides a combination of microblogging, social networking and next generation real-time messaging. Each user in Pulse has a profile and personal micro-blog, can create groups, subscribe to personal and group feeds and can send / receive private messages. Each message (whether it's a micro-blog post or a private message) is almost Google's "wave". All edits and comments in these messages appear in real time. Of course, the message can be used as a web document for collaborative real-time editing. You can also insert any file in the message and this file will be automatically synchronized (!) between Pulse server and your computer. So if someone makes changes to the file - it will be updated with all the workgroup. And previous file versions are backuped on the server. Among advantages over Google Wave, Pulse developers name advanced access control and the ability to provision groups and workmates from an enterprise identity system. And for those users (and external collaborators) who use Google Wave, Novell will provide an opportunity to work in the Pulse messages (waves) in Google interface (by means of Google Wave Federated protocol). Novell Pulse will be delivered in SaaS and on-premise version. The release of this product is scheduled for the first half of 2010.