Tag Archive for enterprise 2.0

CorasWorks Business Solutions on SharePoint

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,


Business communities, social application portals, mobile, business apps – all on SharePoint?

Yup.  Yesterday, was a big release for us of our mobile adapter and initial mobile-enabled apps by CorasWorks and partners.  Tonight, I’ve blogged about a business-oriented Idea Community and a socially-oriented IT Project management application portal. You may wonder what is going on…

What you are seeing with CorasWorks is the Enterprise 2.0/3.0 convergence.  Yes, its taken a few years to get it right on SharePoint.  That is because basic collaboration with SharePoint, structured business applications, and cool social collaboration all started in different places across the industry.  The analysts still have them all in separate categories – go check out Gartner’s listing.

In fact, a month ago I was at the Gartner Portals, Collaboration and Content conference in Baltimore.  I’ve been there for years.  This year social collab, mobile, cloud et al was the talk of the analysts.  But, when you sat at the tables for lunch with your fellow enterprise customers – they would say straight out that that social stuff would never be in their enterprise.

I then went to a presentation by IBM of their new Websphere Application Portal – filled with widgets and nice social things.  And, the room was filled with all of the people that said that they were looking for serious application portals.  Yet, the IBM demo looked alot like the demos we do for our solutions on SharePoint.

My take is that we are starting to see the properly balanced convergence between structured business applications and unstructured, socially termed collaboration.  Mobile is a great glue for this.  The cloud is a solid option for infrastructure.  Private clouds are fine also.  And, the platform players are all getting it…

It has taken the industry and the customers years to start sorting through this battle between “real” business apps and this “social” consumer thing. I first blogged about this convergence last April of 2009, one year ago, specifically calling on Gartner to look at adjusting their categories over the next year.

Yes, there are pitch battle lines drawn.  But, over the years, we’ve started to sort out the proper way to balance the benefits.  There is emerging a set of standards, best practices and technologies that are indeed “bringing it all together”.  And, this convergence is going to be strongest on top of the super-power platforms.

SharePoint 2010 is simply going to move things forward.  You’ll start to see that all of the things that we have been doing over the last year are steps towards this proper convergence.  They’ll get greater exposure and adoption along with the adoption of SharePoint 2010.  It has been exciting to watch the software industry’s development over the last 3-4 years and the steps of the SharePoint community.

With the economy starting to move forward, productivity at a high in the US and a reluctance to hire, there is pressure to continue productivity enhancing investments.  I believe that this convergence can give organizations just the booster in 2010 they need to keep the profits rolling in in the short term and gain a new foothold with higher productivity levels for the longer term.