On the heels of my last post, which was more critical of the competition than most of my posts (bordering on chest-puffing), I thought I would follow up with some things I like about those applications and companies. Since none of the products are out yet, it's only based on what I've seen and read. But all of them have a lot going for them.
Microsoft Sharepoint: The Excel Services features allows means you can display spreadsheets as HTML within the browser. I've needed this for years. People don't need to have Excel installed, and you can offload some of the resource-intensive calculations to the server. Also, they allow for web services so you can build custom apps that use the calculation logic. Great feature.
SuiteTwo: I haven't seen the product yet, but it's quite a line-up of talent contributing to that product. All great companies with proven track records. I know the SpikeSource folks fairly well, and not only are they talented technically, but they are the rocket scientists of partnerships. If any company is going to bring the right folks together and nail the integration, it's them.
Lotus Connections: From what I've seen, Dogear is a great implementation of social bookmarking, whereby Connections can build up a rich understanding of people based on what they bookmark. It gives users a fundamentally different view of what's happening in the organization and provides the basis for strong connections with other employees that wouldn't happen otherwise. Also, IBM has been using it internally for awhile, which is always one of the best ways to perfect a product. A great example of IBM's ability to bring their big brains to a product that people will love.