Novell launches public beta for yet another online groupware app

Is there space in the cloud for any more?

Novell, which was a network operating system vendor, then a directory vendor then an email and groupware vendor then a Linux provider, then whatever it is now, wants to go back to being an email and groupware vendor again.

It just opened to a public beta for VibeCloud, a Web-based set of applications designed to coordinate teamwork among physically separated teams using social networking, document sharing, co-editing, file sync, unified messaging, chat, blogs and wikis.

The Waltham, Mass. company, which bought WordPerfect when they were both Utah neighbors, then extended its end-user apps to build up a critically acclaimed but poorly selling suite of collaboration apps that were always overly complex, expensive, or too not-Microsoft-Office to catch on.

Novell currently sells a Web conferencing apps in addition to version 8 of Groupwise (which still has a but loyal following) and, now that it has opened to the public a beta program that's been running since spring.

It is also tooling up a version designed to be installed inside the firewall, called Vibe On Premise.

Novell will join one or two other vendors in the online-collaboration-tools market, including IBM, MindTouch, SAP, Kohive, Cisco, Salesforce, Microsoft, HyperOffice, Google, VMware, Adobe and half the SAAS providers on Earth.

Good luck, guys.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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