Tuesday, July 13, 2004

there's no "one size fits all"!

The launch of Groove 3.0 has left no one indifferent! Out they go the detractors (and converted supporters) of the product. Ain't that great? A product that polarizes opinion, that provokes sincere fascination or dislike, but leaves no one indifferent, it's a great product.

The fact that Groove only works on Windows and not on OS X is a major put-off to Volker, who works most of the time on Macs. Three major things have killed his groovy enthusiasm:
1. It only runs on Windows.
2. It's a proprietary closed system.
3. You need to install a fat client.

Very valid points.

I agree with him that Groove is a big, fat resource hog, but to some of us it pays off in functionality and security. Ideally, Groove could be broken up into a list components from which you could choose what features you want to install or not. The idea of compartmentalizing Groove into functional blocks, allowing a "more granular" adoption, is something that should be taken into consideration in the future.

The need to install a client may surely be an obstacle, but I cannot think of alternatives ways to provide offline support. Regardless of the tool you use, if you want to access your documents without an Internet connection, you'll need to install a client to do so. Correct me if I'm wrong.

What I've learned during the last few years working in the area of collaboration software is that there are no silver bullets, there's no tool that fits all of customer collaboration needs. You may need a screwdriver to do your job, but hey, all I need is a hammer and two nails!

89 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me among the fans of 3.0. It is a huge improvement in every way I can think of. I just wish they had beefed up the application sharing capabilities: it still relies on NetMeeting 3.0, ancient technology that rarely works when any kind of proxy/firewalls are in place (in stark contrast to Groove itself). I guess they don't want to step on Microsoft's toes, but it leaves a big hole because it needs to be complemented with WebEx or something in order to provide a complete solution. Any app sharing tool developers out there? -- MS

July 20, 2004 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Bo Ramirez said...

Thanks for your comment Martin,

As you've brought up, Groove application sharing capabilities still rely on Netmeeting, a Microsoft application whose life is on borrowed time.

When I need to share applications I use another tool called GotoMeeting (www.gotomeeting.com), which works very well. All I do is invite other users to see my desktop. I use for sales and other remote presentations with non-Groove users, and also for support (i.e. reproducing problems on someone's machine)

At the end of the day, you gotta use the best tool for the best job....The "Blended" formula (just been reading a few moments ago Rick Lillies blog on "blending technologies" at http://radio.weblogs.com/0117770/) that does it for me is the following: Groove is great for getting day2day work done (i.e. synchronising my project colleagues PC's together and boosting up productivity on document and project management), Skype is brilliant for audio/ VoIP, GotoMeeting for occasional real-time meetings when I need people to look at my screen, and the last one in the list is Blinkx, excellent desktop search tool that automatically suggests related and relevant emails, docs, blogs, etc...

July 20, 2004 at 6:09 PM  
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