With the RTM of SharePoint 2010 on May 12th, we released our first two Business Solutions –Idea Management and IT Project Management. We’ve had a lot of activity since then and questions. In this article, I’ll give you a primer on our Solution product line and answer some of the questions.
Same Value Prop: CorasWorks Solutions offer the same value prop as our Applications – reduce the risk, cost and time to deliver business value on SharePoint. The Solutions are targeted at a specific purpose such as Idea Management, and, generally a specific business group buyer.
Broader Problems, Flexible Implementations: Unlike our Applications they are not available in the App Store and aren’t plug and play – meaning you don’t just download, install and use them. They are a bit bigger animal. Solutions address broader problems. To be effective, they are based upon a modular framework. For instance, the IT Project Management solution has 10 modules. They are productized and designed to snap together. However, you customize the modules as part of a full solution to meet the specific needs of the business group. Thus, each implementation is a different flavor and requires some services. We have created standardized Jump Start service offerings for each solution to get you going quickly.
Enterprise 2.0: These Solutions represent a new Enterprise 2.0 approach from CorasWorks. They have a very web 2.0 look and feel. The standard UI is not heavy components but light UI’s that are customizable with CSS and XSLT. The modules tend to focus on enterprise 2.0 style social collaboration. We’ve done a lot of work figuring out how to properly balance structured apps with social collaboration to create a balanced approach to Enterprise 2.0. This is a key part of our approach on SP2010 as we roll forward. I hope we got it right – you tell me.
Portal-Centric: Each solution is portal-centric. We are targeting solutions where you start with a Department Portal or Application Portal. Look at IT Project Management. It starts with a rich, web 2.0 Portal with a host of social collaborative features. It is a place to go. Then, you have the ability to drop in Snaplets from other CorasWorks and third party applications and sites distributed across your SharePoint environment. This means that you don’t have to go to as many places to do your work – the information and functionality is brought to you in the solution portal.
Integration with Applications/Sites/Portals: The Solutions heavily leverage our Snaplet architecture and existing applications. This means that you can snap off application functionality and distribute it to one or more solution portals. For instance, the IT Project Management solution incorporates all of the CorasWorks Project Portfolio Management application – it is all pre-integrated. There are elements, such as Project Gantt charts and Portfolio Risk/Issue heat maps, that you snap off the PPM sites and drop in the Portal. The key is that with CorasWorks you are able to connect to any information across a SharePoint farm – cross Site Collections and Web Applications. You can also take a Snaplet from one solution portal, such as an Idea Community for Product Ideas, and drop in into a different solution portal, such as the Product Management portal. Yet, being a Snaplet, it is centrally configured. So, you make one change centrally and all distributed Snaplets instantly update.
Pricing and Requirements: Each solution has a standard perpetual license fee for both SharePoint platforms. They require the full CorasWorks Application Platform (Suite and Toolset). There are separate editions for SP2007 and SP2010. And, they support our bridge approach so that you can deploy on SP2007 today and smoothly upgrade to SP2010 when you are ready.
I hope that this gives you a good primer on CorasWorks Solutions. Keep the questions coming and we’ll be back to you,