Is it just me, or do they all want it sir?

Collaboration, Chatter. I’m not convinced now that Confluence is the right tool to facilitate a research blog and cross-company discussion forums in a simple to use and understandable manner.

Reviewing Yammer, which embarassingly a Board member suggested months ago as something worth looking at as a social media tool to which I replied “already in hand”.

One day in to the trial and it looks…. fun. Freebie version, Facebook/Twitter style interface. Easy to set up groups (private, public, external), load up attachments, hash tags, mentions etc. etc. Web interface, desktop client, mobile device applications. All good.

BUT… also procuring multiple other technologies right now, which all seem to overlap but not quite do the same thing…

  • Enterprise video conferencing solution (reviewing Polycom 9000 – sounds very HAL) connecting our boardrooms and seminar rooms across the country – obviously hugely expensive custom peice of kit, but offering desktop client software which offers Brady-Bunch point-to-point video conferencing across the bridge.
  •  Unified Communications through a voice over IP play across the company. All carriers I’m looking at have their own UC custom clients, sitting on the desktop and all offer IM/presence capabilities.
  • Microsoft Office Communicator … again, IM/presence etc. and without detailed review, will of course be completely integrated into the Exchange environment, and offers enterprise document collaboration.

So what’s the deal? Yammer client on the desktop, Office Communicator, UC phone client, VC client, each with it’s own IM interface etc. How bloody confusing is that?

Let’s go back to smoke signals.


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