UNC-Chapel Hill uses only the calendaring component of OCS now, but Colomb said hes interested in deploying the rest of the suite, replacing the open-source Cyrus e-mail server the school now uses. "We have a really solid solution for basic e-mail, but over time were looking to add more enterprise-type features like scheduling and workflow," said Colomb. "But were a state school that cant afford those solutions. This is the first one that looks affordable."Oracle plans to add task and project management capabilities by the first half of 2005, along with business process management integration with business applications from both Oracles and other vendors enterprise applications. Also in that release, Oracle will offer a Web services platformbased on Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Editionfor rapid application development of collaborative components, Kapoor said. Vital Signs Inc., in Carlsbad, Calif., recently migrated to Oracle Collaboration Suite from Microsoft Exchange 5.5, mainly because it was less costly and offered a more open environment for wireless and remote connectivity, said Chief Technology Officer David Sanders. Sanders said that the product is likely going through some "growing pains" but that Oracle has been good about insulating customers from them. "There are some features Id like to see that they dont support, but as far as being able to run a company on it, were doing it," he said. Oracle, which claims more than 500 OCS customers, said it already has a technological lead by using its namesake database as the file store. Microsoft and IBM plan to replace their file systems with the SQL Server and IBM DB2 databases, respectively.
The Oracle Web Conferencing component of OCS, known in beta as iMeetings and now shipping as part of Release 2, includes support for co-browsing, document presentation, whiteboarding, desktop sharing, chat and voice streaming. It also supports storing of documents and transcripts generated by the application and playback of recorded meetings.