We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

OSS collaboration software follows historical office software trend

If the open source movement has anything to say about it, 20 years from now users will look back at Office and Notes as archaic as Data General CEO, Digital Equipment’s (DEC’s) All-in-One, IBM PROFS and Wang Office appear today.

IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office dominate the enterprise collaboration space to such an extent in 2008 that it is hard to remember when users had to choose personal productivity tools a la carte from choices such as WordPerfect and 1-2-3. Twenty-five years ago, electronic mail was strictly a business tool and “texting instant messages” was something only the most knowledgeable systems administrators did. Basically 1980s-era texting required working at the core of time-sharing operating systems (OS); admins sent short bursts from OS process to OS process and only if they knew which process the intended recipient had “open” at the time.  The most popular IM of the 1980s was probably “Log off immediately; the system is about to crash.”

Still the IBM PROFS (Professional Office System) email used in the U.S. White House in the 1980s was a ‘star witness’ in congressional investigations into what was called the Iran/Contra Scandal. Robert Moskowitz in the March 1988 issue of Software Magazine wrote this about proprietary enterprise collaboration suites: “Every major vendor provides its own office automation system with a proprietary file structure and data format… these disparate file structures create barriers to cross-vendor document exchanges.” The vendors he was referring to at the time are long forgotten names such as Data General, Digital, and Wang. The documents referred to were very primitive text-oriented files that proudly advertised their ability to replicate the look and feel of IBM Selectric typewriter “output.” However Moskowitz said “Data General's CEO system can exchange true compound documents--text, graphics, spreadsheets and even voice in a single file—(as long as it was) within the single-vendor environment.”

It is because of this primitive functionality and vendor incompatibility that Notes and Office rose to dominate collaboration within enterprises during the 1990s (see illustration) and to the present day. It was not because of monopolistic efforts by either IBM or Microsoft. Enterprises needed to be able to more easily exchange information with suppliers and customers as well as within their own legal entity; no one used the term ‘firewall’ then. Then market forces narrowed the choices and increased the interoperability without the need for standards bodies or any kind of government intervention.


1  2  3  4  5  6  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More