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Enterprise 2.0: Novell, SAP, ThoughtWorks Ride Google Wave

Business software vendors have begun building on the Wave platform as Google promises a Wave App Store.

"We know there needs to be an enterprise store," said D'Alesandre in an interview following his presentation. But the blueprints have yet to be draw.

There will also need to be a standards group to ensure that the Wave protocol and platform can accommodate third-party code. But how such a group might function remains to be determined.

There's also data that needs to be gathered about the network impact of running Wave servers. Though Wave is designed to perform well in limited bandwidth scenarios, the amount of traffic generated by collaborative and social features could be significant in some cases.

"There's work to be done," acknowledged Fox.

Novell, however, has done significant work already: Fox demonstrated a forthcoming product called Novell Pulse, which might be described as Wave for the enterprise.

Pulse, which will be released as a hosted service sometime next year and as an on-premises solution perhaps six months after that, makes real-time collaborative communication more suitable for corporate use. It gives companies the locks they need for limiting group and profile visibility, defining user roles, and structuring the kinds of collaboration that can take place.

Pulse, which will also be available as a white-label solution for Novell partners, supports the compliance and auditing needs of enterprises.

SAP program manager Alexander Dreiling also demonstrated a Wave gadget called Gravity, which enables business process management in Waves. Its goal, he said, was to enable end-to-end views into organizational processes and into supply chains.

And ThoughtWorks VP of product development Chad Wathington demonstrated how the latest version of its Mingle project management and collaboration software can be connected to Wave.

In an separate interview, Cyndi Mitchell, managing director of ThoughtWorks, described how she believed Wave can enhance enterprise software development.

"In the best way we know how to do software development, collaboration is number one," she said. "We see Wave as a huge productivity boost for software development teams."

Wave works well for unstructured collaboration, she said, but projects need some structure.

For ThoughtWorks, that's where Mingle comes in. And more broadly, that's where the Wave eco-system comes in -- it's the third parties like Novell, SAP, and ThoughtWorks who will structure and shape Wave to fit business needs.

"We really believe that this is a better way to communicate," said D'Alesandre at the conclusion of his presentation.

All that remains is to convince the rest of the world.

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