Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Google Sites versus Sharepoint - how about Sosius ?

So there seems to have been quite a few posts since the release of Google Sites, as to whether or not its a 'Sharepoint killer'. Now for a start, when we bandy around the term Sharepoint these days we have to be clear whether we mean the 'free' Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS), or the definately not free MS Office Sharepoint Server 2007 (or MOSS07 for short).

I am going to presume Google Sites is being compared to Windows Sharepoint Services, a free download for licensed Windows Server users. On an initial look, they appear very similar, with WSS being the old fashioned 'behind the firewall' model and Google Sites being the new fangled SaaS offering.

If only it was that simple eh ? Even if you think MS truly are the 'dark side', try reading the Google terms and conditions, and then see how it fits with their 'do no evil moto'. Personally I like all the Google applications tools, I have played with them all, they fit Pareto's Law (the '80 / 20' rule) for me, providing the main 80% of functionality required. But, and its a big but, they don't seem to understand how much traction they could get in the small to medium business space if it was not for those T & C's. They give the suite away to education (e.g. University's) and seem intent on pushing into the big enterprise space - but I reckon they should just stop and think about their real target audience / market.

So, last year at the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco, I got my introduction to Sosius. For those of you who share my knowledge of EMC's eRoom, I would describe Sosius as 'hosted eRoom on steroids' (web 2.0 steriods). Sosius is a hybrid collaborative working environment, with personal and group dashboards, with access to a whole raft of tools, but it is also a Social Networking platform with Facebook or LinkedIn type qualities. See the screen shot below for the breadth of tools available:

Sosius allows you to decide how you share your 'profile' and who can discover you. Mores to the point in this dicussion, the T & C's and privacy policy are a lot different to Googles. If you make some data 'public' in that others in Sosius mayfind it, then you do give up certain rights, but generally speaking it appears that your data is yours (and your not giving up in perpetuity rights for it to be scanned and indexed in order to target advertisments at you). To be honest its the blended SaaS offering of portal dashboard, eRoom / Basecamp type tools, and Social Networking that makes Sosius interesting. Anyway, its free to sign up so you can check it out and see for your self.

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