VMware entered the social collaboration market four years ago, in May 2011, through its acquisition of pure play vendor Socialcast. We outline the Socialcast offering and market proposition, and consider the road ahead for VMware and its social collaboration arm.
VMware Socialcast product overview
Over the last four years, with the investment of VMware behind it, the Socialcast product has grown into a highly capable social collaboration platform which stands up well in a highly competitive marketplace. Centred around a microblogging and activity stream-based core, VMware Socialcast offers a range of capabilities to support social collaboration including social networking and profiles, collaborative groups, project and task management, user recognition and ideation.
Its most interesting user-centric features include:
- Challenges & ideas. Ideation capabilities within Socialcast enable users to post ideas to their followers or to a group, in the same way as status updates. “Challenges” are collections of ideas, and provide a way to focus the ideation process on a specific issue. Challenges may be public or private, and can be allocated start- and end-dates for both submissions and voting. Challenge owners and administrators can edit the status of an idea to denote it as “accepted”, “in progress”, or “completed”, for example.
- Projects. Socialcast Projects provides a lightweight task and project management capability, framed within the collaborative group concept. Each project can have multiple “objectives”, with multiple tasks within each objective. Discussion threads are supported at multiple levels – at project, objective and task level – with activity across all these levels wrapped up in a central project-specific activity stream. Projects may be public or private; participation in private groups is by invitation only, while public groups can be viewed through the Projects Directory.
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