Plone, the Open Source Content Management System that is the fundament of Cyn.in, has been compared with Microsoft Sharepoint multiple times. An interesting comparison has been published recently by Franscesco Ciriaci, owner at Reflab and a Plone Evangelist, based on the compatibility of Plone and Sharepoint with different platforms and browsers.
This makes Cyn.in is leaps and bounds ahead of Sharepoint in terms of enterprise collaboration, because Cyn.in starts where Plone stops. While Plone is a generic web application platform, Cyn.in delivers an integrated, out-of-the-box collaboration suite for the Enterprises that has all the benefits of Plone and enables free form communication and collaboration with a strong focus on enterprise information security needs.
We all know how much businesses hate paradigm shifts, especially when it does not translate directly to increase in revenue. More over, most of these talked about tools are publicly hosted, causing the compliance and security departments to discourage them.
So does the enterprise need another communication tool that lets them publish what they are doing at a given time to people / peers who would be interested in knowing?
We think so.
We have been successfully experimenting with various collaborative applications using status logs with XMPP for a few years now. Status messages have been common over IM platforms, just that they have only been used towards realtime presence. We created various custom applications for various organizations around presence & status logging over their internal IM network, to solve business specific problems such as task reporting, attendance monitoring and sales force geo presence reporting. And since the release of cyn.in v2, we have been working on integrating status logging into cyn.in, such that we could introduce a 'paradigm shifting' model of communication to businesses, without intimidating business users with new technology concepts and jargon.
The upcoming cyn.in version 2.1, introduces statuslogging seamlessly integrated into the cyn.in platform, and it's various applications like the wiki, the file repository, etc. We think the success of the whole microblogging application model revolves around integration. Twitter is successful because of the various ways it integrates into tools that people use every day, such as instant messaging, desktop widgets, social network platforms, etc.
Similarly we realized that an enterprise version of twitter would really work only if very contextually integrated into the tools that their teams already use for collaboration. Our customers spend significant time on their cyn.in systems collaborating with each other. With cyn.in v2.1, status messages have been tightly integrated into all of cyn.in's applications. Our partners (a growing number since we re licensed cyn.in to be open source software) are using cyn.in as a platform to further build vertical specific collaborative applications, will be able to leverage status messages within their applications with easy to integrate APIs.
Status logs thus further extend the 'user context' in cyn.in, an area that has been our key focus. Status messages in cyn.in also have threaded discussions within them, making status messaging the best way to start a conversation!
We, and a select few of our enterprise customers, have also been testing the initial versions of the cyn.in desktop, codenamed 'Stacker' since the past six months. Though i cannot reveal much about the stacker at this time, I will say that it does some interesting things with status messages, and sort of blurs the lines between web based collaboration and desktop communication tools like the IM.
cyn.in v2.1 releases soon this month. Stay tuned for more updates. I look forward to hearing your opinions.