Focusing on people and work relations, usability and more …

Socialtext has announced version 2.20, with improvements to the user experience and added Dashboard and People modules. Besides the “Facebook for the enterprise” approach, that puts people and work relations at the center of interest, I particularly like the focus on integration and usability (yes, this is important): Ease-of-use can be a dig differentiator in this market of “enterprise collaboration suites” (wikis are a central part still) – corporate users don’t want to spend days of training to learn “systems”: It’s better to spend the time (and consulting budget too, you know) on coaching and implementation, supporting early users, building up internal support (and use cases) etc.

Here’s a video demo of the newly added capabilities (via Jon Grorud and Socialtext Customer Exchange):

In this context, Scott Schnaars explains the direction and goals of Socialtext along four business use cases:

  • Collaborative Intelligence for sales and marketing
  • Participatory Knowledgebase for service and support
  • Flexible Client Collaboration for professional services
  • Business Social Networks for partners and customers

Disclaimer: Jon pointed me to this video, alas – I am subscribed to Ross Mayfield and the Socialtext news and feeds anyway. Consultants need to stay up to date … and that’s where this is apt:

Disclaimer 2: I know there are other players in this market too, like Jive’s Clearspace, XWiki, BlueKiwi, MyWorkLight – even Lotus Connections might stand the test and integrates well (I don’t have to link the IBM guys – do I?).

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