Intel Makes Software Play With Enterprise 2.0 Suite Of Apps
SuiteTwo is a combo of consumer and open source tools that includes blogging, wiki, and RSS apps
Intel took another step last week to differentiate itself from rival chipmakers, rolling out a package of Web 2.0 business applications that give users more control over the deluge of information that comes their way.
SuiteTwo is a combo of consumer and open source tools that includes blogging, wiki, and RSS apps from the likes of NewsGator, SimpleFeed, Six Apart, and Socialtext. Open source software integrator SpikeSource integrated the collection and provides support.
Intel is hoping to attract small and midsize companies with the integrated suite, which will be sold by channel partners as a subscription service.
Strong search tools underpinning SuiteTwo let users move away from the push model of information delivery to more of a pull model, "where we have a choice of what we want to subscribe to, at what level of interruption, and at what time," says Ross Mayfield, CEO and co-founder of wiki software developer Socialtext.
The software suite also reflects the shift toward bottom-up technology adoption, Mayfield says. "These are tools that have been designed for users first," he says. "This is the first time that you have an enterprise 2.0 solution being offered that an IT department could, in one fell swoop, deploy to meet grassroots demands for the tools that users actually prefer."
Many companies and departments that already have embraced wikis and blogs are trying to figure out how they're going to manage them and increase their use. Advanta.net has used Socialtext's wiki software to provide collaborative mathematics training for teachers who are part of its educational development community.
"Avanta.net just could not do what it does without wikis," says CEO Erik Syring. "Text collaboration by e-mail breaks down at about five users."
And even though the educational training company switched internally from e-mail to wikis, "we still assumed that we would interact with our students via Word or PDF," Syring says. "But it really dawned on us that we have to use Socialtext wikis for all communications."
Unlike enterprise 1.0 software, SuiteTwo tools don't get in the user's way, says Socialtext's Mayfield. He's got some numbers at the ready: The software, he says, can increase knowledge worker productivity by 50%, turn around projects 25% faster, and reduce information overload by cutting e-mail volume by 30%.
WHERE TO GET IT
Includes Socialtext Wiki, which lets groups use editable Web pages to collaborate
RSS aggregator enables access to news, podcasts, video, and other content
RSS for communicating with customers and partners
Enterprise blogging tool from Six Apart
Provides integration platform and subscription service for support, updates, and maintenance
Intel's Software and Solutions Group will make the suite available later this month to its partners and resellers, including Dell, Ingram Micro, NEC, and Tech Data, through the Intel Channel Marketplace, an online exchange. The software, priced from $175 to $200 per user per year, is available in English and Japanese, with additional languages expected by the end of next year. It runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Suse Linux Enterprise Server, and Windows.
SuiteTwo is the first of what likely will be many application bundles for the Intel Channel Marketplace. It follows a recent consumer-oriented deal Intel struck with TransMedia to distribute that company's Glide media sharing and productivity applications on ultramobile PCs. Intel has offered software for many years, mainly tools for developers such as compilers, performance analyzers, and tools to optimize server clusters, as well as systems and network management applications such as its LANDesk Network Manager software. More recently, it has moved into consumer software with products for the digital home.
Intel plans in the future app bundles to offer features such as social networking, podcasting, and mobility functions, says Lisa Lambert, managing director of the software solutions group at Intel Capital, the chipmaker's venture capital organization. Intel Capital has invested in each of the five companies involved in SuiteTwo.
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