StreamWork is looking to carry the real-time collaboration torch into the enterprise where Google Wave failed to find purchase. SAP plans several enterprise integrations for the app.
SAP is trying to do something interesting and
challenging, facilitating its real-time collaboration play in the wake of
Google Wave's own disastrous crash.
The business software maker Dec. 6 took its StreamWork application
up a few
notches, delivering it to enterprises both in the cloud and via an on-premise
solution; putting it in the Google Apps Marketplace; and providing a StreamWork
mobile app accessible via RIM's Blackberry smartphones.
StreamWork provides a Web-based meeting room where between five and
30 corporate workers can huddle virtually to talk shop, communicating via
instant messaging and sharing documents, presentations and spreadsheets.
Users can analyze data from enterprise applications, such
as a pipeline analysis in a business intelligence tool or purchase order
approvals in an ERP system, and discuss the app using chat tools.
StreamWork launched last March when the real-time collaboration
craze was at its peak, thanks to Google Wave and Novell's Pulse platform. But
Wave has since been shuttled off to Apache and Novell was acquired, throwing
its own platform,
, in doubt.
David Meyer, the SAP senior vice president charged with
overseeing StreamWork, remains convinced his application will prevail because
it is geared around specific business-use cases. And that's not just because thousands
of companies and thousands of business users all over the world are using the
platform today, including Siemens.
"These new patterns of the engagement in the
workplace scream for context. They scream for being baked into what you do
today so you don't have to go to a new tool that is sometimes confusing,"
In that vein, StreamWork helps users diagnose problems
and find the right people and steps to solve those problems, sometimes with
users having to go to StreamWork to do this. Activity streams will, in time,
surface in Google Docs and Google Apps, ERP systems and business intelligence
For example, the app already integrates with SAP's BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, and users will soon be able to trigger
StreamWork in SAP's Customer Relationship Management and Business Objects
Strategy Management applications.
Meyer also said his team is adding a social analytics
component to help StreamWork users better discover subject-matter experts and
recommend relevant content. This follows similar work by collaboration software
rivals Jive Software and IBM Lotus Connections.
The SAP StreamWork enterprise edition sports a virtual
appliance, based on Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Appliance
Toolkit, to let business users integrate the Web-based StreamWork app with corporate
The idea is to allow people from different companies incorporate
enterprise data directly into their SAP StreamWork activities. The
enterprise edition is available globally, starting at $16 per user, per
SAP is also now marketing StreamWork via the Google Apps
Marketplace, where more than 3 million Google Apps businesses find and
buy business apps. This allows users to log into StreamWork directly
from their Google Apps accounts.
In 2011, Google Apps will be accessible directly from StreamWork,
allowing users to access Google's Docs, Gmail and Calendar in the app.
Meyer also said StreamWork will soon be available as a
mobile app for BlackBerry smartphones. Users will be able to create and use SAP
StreamWork activities from their mobile application. SAP has a prototype of a
mobile app for Apple's iPhone.
SAP has a fremium version, and the existing professional edition pricing is $9 per user, per month.