This was obvious since the OEM agreement last year. I remain skeptical. On paper, this can be viewed as being "conceptually perfect" - SiteScape has always been noted in the industry for having powerful functionality but for a variety of reasons, the platform never gained large market traction or mindshare. Novell, with its Groupwise platform, was once a collaboration powerhouse alongside IBM and Microsoft back in the nineties. But again, for a variety of reasons, the Groupwise platform has lost market traction and mindshare - at least in the medium-to-large enterprise space that I am familiar with.
ICEcore - an open source effort - has seen little activity at all. It's tough to imagine developers getting excited about an open source effort to improve a platform that is already feature-rich. When I think about this open source effort compared to Zimbra or others it still seems very much in the back of the pack.
The only tactics I can see here to turn things around would be:
- Novell aggressively pushes the SaaS aspects of SiteScape (WebWorkZone)
- Novell becomes very clear on the roadmap for Groupwise / SiteScape alignment and/or convergence
- Novell partners with someone in need of collaboration technology (my best guess would be perhaps Cisco and its WebEx Connect efforts)
- Novell develops a consumer/SoHo/small business angle here similar to other hosted offerings such as Basecamp, Huddle, etc.
- Consider integrating with Google Apps
February 13, 2008: Novell Delivers Open Collaboration with SiteScape Acquisition
Novell today announced it has acquired SiteScape, a leader in open source team collaboration, extending Novell's leadership in, and commitment to, innovative and open collaboration solutions. SiteScape, the founder of the ICEcore open source collaboration project, brings impressive team workspace and real-time collaboration capabilities to Novell – key components of a broad unified communications and collaboration strategy. The melding of the two firms creates the industry's clear leader in open, enterprise-strength collaboration and social networking offerings, giving customers powerful, flexible ways to integrate new communications technologies into their environment and drive employee productivity and business innovation.
Founded in 1995, SiteScape provides collaborative solutions for communication and management for distributed teams across a wide range of business and government customers. SiteScape's integrated Web-based solutions support knowledge management, project management, communities of practice, telework, business and government continuity, and many other workflow-driven functions. Long a leader in enterprise e-mail with GroupWise®, Novell partnered with SiteScape in 2007 to add to its collaboration portfolio with Novell® Teaming + Conferencing, a team workspace and real-time conferencing solution centered on the ICEcore open source technology. Consistent with Novell's commitment to interoperabilty, Novell Teaming + Conferencing runs on both Linux* and Windows*, and works with Lotus Notes* and Microsoft Exchange*, in addition to GroupWise. These team workspaces, accessible securely by team members both inside and outside the company, incorporate multiple integrated collaboration tools, including blogs, wikis, instant message, chat, voice over IP and web conferencing, providing the powerful core of a unified communications and collaboration solution. By now acquiring SiteScape, Novell strengthens its commitment to the technology, gains the flexibility to create the solutions customers and partners need, and increases its capacity to deliver even more innovation and interoperability around open collaboration.
February 14, 2007: Novell Strengthens Workgroup Portfolio with Team Workspace and Real-Time Collaboration Offerings
Novell has entered an OEM licensing agreement with SiteScape (www.sitescape.com) – an innovator in software that integrates team workspaces with presence-based, real-time collaboration – to offer these new products. The Novell offerings are expected to be available later this year, and product names will be announced at a later date.