With all the furore surrounding the business release of SharePoint 2010 it would have been easy to miss the launch (or relaunch) of another little Microsoft product in the SharePoint space which quite neatly addresses some of my personal SharePoint bug bears.
I collaborate a lot with people outside of the organization, dealing with designers, writers and partners, often on an ad hoc basis. Getting things set up to share SharePoint content with someone who you may only be working with on one project, for a few days or weeks, can be a real pain. I have to admit to resorting to Google Docs from time to time.
I am lucky enough to have a lot of flexibility in where and when I work. But SharePoint puts limits on this. Although “cloud computing” is definately the flavor of the month – if not the year – anyone who has tried to access the “cloud” from a plane, a train or even a remote part of the country will know just what I’m talking about.
Then there is the whole businesses of getting content from other applications into and out of SharePoint. I’m a drag and drop girl myself and anything that requires more effort just puts my hackles up. So I end up with a stack of documents on my desktop, waiting for me to find a moment to save them to SharePoint – and as you can imagine, quite often that “spare moment” just never arrives.
So I was really pleased when I noticed that Microsoft have now relaunched Groove as SharePoint Workspace 2010 – which seems to address both of my problems.
When Microsoft bought Groove back in 2005 many people wondered what they were up to – did they want Groove or did they really want its creator Ray Ozzie? Well they got both, and Groove has now been relaunched as SharePoint Workspace 2010 and now seems to make much more sense.
Microsoft say that Workspace will be easier to deploy than Groove and will offer organizations the opportunity to “provide a more consistent enterprise information strategy based on SharePoint technology.”
For those of us on the coal face it addresses the issues of ad-hoc collaboration, working on and off line, and moving content between SharePoint and desktop applications with drag and drop quite neatly.
Workspace might present real competition for companies like Colligio who’s products address these issues within SharePoint.
But Colligio and similar companies should probably not panic just yet, as sadly it seems that it’s going to be quite difficult for us mere mortals to actually buy SharePoint Workspace 2010. Workspace isn’t part of the 17 different versions of SP 2010, you can’t buy it as a stand alone product, the only way you can get it is as part of Microsoft Office Pro +, which can only be purchased through volume licensing, so is only really going to be accessible to large corpoarates.
Come on Microsoft – give us a break! SharePoint Workspace 2010 looks really useful – can we buy it please?
Tags: SharePoint 2010