When we launched Clearspace 1.0 in February of 2007, it was a response to an overwhelming number of enterprise customers saying the same thing: we're stuck between heavyweight collaboration apps (good for file-based workflows, but no one uses them to collaborate) and lightweight Web 2.0 apps like wikis (good for quick adoption, but incomplete, siloed and don't scale). They said, "bring all of these formerly disparate technologies into one system, make it enterprise class, and make it so highly-intuitive that anyone could use it." We did that. And it was very successful.
So now, a little over a year later, and with hundreds of customers under our belt, we're learning a lot. While Clearspace has been very successful as a lightweight way to collaborate and organize content that was historically never captured, there were some consistent issues as our customers tried to get it deployed inside their organization:
How do I drive adoption?
How do I know what to focus on?
How should we manage projects?
How does it work with my Sharepoint content?
How do I involve people outside the firewall?
How do we keep track of changes?
The driving force behind the 2.0 release was to take some of these issues head on. A good way to frame the new features (and existing / future features for that matter) is into the big categories of people, focus and work. Here's what we're launching:
People: Expanded profiles and organizational relationships. Find the right people based on the right information, and see exactly where they sit in the organization (full org chart functionality). Plus you can highlight a name and get a mini-profile.
Focus: Personalizable homepage. It's like iGoogle for your work life -- a completely widgitized homepage. No more being overwhelmed by all the content -- now you can provide your own filter to what matters most (what my colleagues are doing, what's popular, my projects, etc.).
Work: Projects, sharing and Sharepoint integration.
Projects: With very few products out there (in between heavyweight project mgmt apps and a spreadsheet), our customers were hungry for the ability to manage projects and coordinate resources at a high level, with features like milestones and tasks.
Sharing: A new cloud-based document sharing service allows you to collaborate with people outside the firewall, even if your software is installed on premise. Your guest user just logs into the service and and can start adding content to your local instance.
Sharepoint Integration: Integration with Sharepoint 2007 allows you to search, browse and link to Sharepoint content from within Clearspace.
There's also a lot of new features under the hood like recording an audit log of actions performed in the admin console, the switch to the Spring and Struts 2, and improvements to the rich text editor. You can learn more in the new Clearspace section of our site.
I've been using the release for a while now, and I'm a huge fan (projects and the widgetized homepage have made the biggest difference in my life). Please download (or test drive online), play around and let us know your thoughts.
You might also have noticed the new website. Sam, David Greenberg, and team have been hard at work on building a beauty of a site that matches the depth of the new Clearspace release. These guys have done an amazing job and they've been sleeping at the office to get it done. My hats off to them. We would love your feedback on this too, so let us know what you think: