SAP targets online collaboration market with StreamWork

SAP is unveiling an online collaboration tool that will let users combine a range of business applications into a single screen, hopefully making it easier to share content, have online meetings and plan projects.

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SAP, long one of the most successful makers of business software, is moving into a new market competing against collaboration tools such as Google Wave, Novell Pulse, and Microsoft SharePoint.  

SAP's new product StreamWork -- formerly known as 12sprints during beta trials -- is now generally available, the company announced Tuesday.

StreamWork brings a variety of applications together, including e-mail tools Outlook and Gmail, meeting platforms such as  WebEx, and content-sharing apps such as Evernote, creating a new space for employees to work on projects. A REST-based API has allowed companies like Box.net and Scribd add capabilities to StreamWork, and SAP has plans to integrate with Google Wave and other similar platforms.

"We believe the world is heterogeneous," SAP senior vice president of emerging technologies David Meyer said during a Web-based meeting with reporters. "The best companies will take a federated approach to systems. We're not after control. We want to work seamlessly with wherever people work today."

If an e-mail thread becomes cumbersome, employees can hit reply all and copy a personal StreamWork address to move the conversation into a new project area, SAP said. Text messaging and IM can also be used with StreamWork.

StreamWork is available in a free edition with limited storage and features, and a professional edition that starts at $9 per month for each user.

TastingTable.com, a start-up that provides information to consumers about food and beverages through a daily e-mail, is among the first StreamWork customers. TastingTable CEO Geoff Bartakovics described his company's use of the product, saying it helped speed up a product launch.

The start-up used StreamWork to post meeting agendas, vote and comment on key decisions, provide updates on subscriber and revenue numbers, and manage campaigns for advertising clients.

Box.net, Evernote and Scribd have contributed to the StreamWork platform in various ways. Box.net, a content management system, integrates with StreamWork to let users share research reports, project plans and other items. Content from Evernote, which lets users store photos, Web pages, text notes and more, can also be brought into StreamWork.

Scribd, meanwhile uses its document reader technology to let StreamWork users read Word and Excel documents without having to download them or open a new window.

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Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

This story, "SAP targets online collaboration market with StreamWork" was originally published by Network World.

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