A blog about Clearspace popped up this week and reminded me how important a single, open architecture really is. Dawn Foster, who blogged about the product, participated early in our user testing. We started showing Clearspace to different types of users about 2 months ago in order to watch people use the product and learn about what was and wasn't working with the UI. That's been an amazing process and one we'll blog about some more, no doubt.


!http://jivesoftware.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/frankenstein.jpg!Over the course of the year we've been developing Clearspace, a few competitive products have been released. Every time we've checked them out we've been shocked at how cobbled together they are. Internally, we call them "Franken-suites." All of them are merely pieced together point solutions, packaged as a single "solution" for companies who are looking for a myriad of team collaboration features.


On the surface, that may not seem so bad. I mean, most of the ingredients that people request are checked off, right? The problem is that hobbled together solutions no more remedy the problem that companies have today: lots of point solutions, each one have redundant information, wasted time, limited access and no exposure or control.


In Clearspacebecause it's one productcontent never hides, search is unified, content can be connected and built upon and there is no redundancy. Also people have one profile and identity--that means that all their contributions can build into reputation (think eBay). It's hard to imagine companies replacing all their point solutions with one of these "Frankensuites" but maybe that's why we're so excited about everyone finding out how truly powerful Clearspace really is.