I have covered eXo before (see Benjamin Mestrallet, eXo CEO, Looks at the Social Enterprise). Recently, I had a chance to speak with Benjamin again about their latest offering. He said that the goal with eXo Cloud Workspaces is to provide an easy-to-use social intranet so work teams can start to collaborate in a fully functional space. He feels that there is a gap between simple activity stream-based tools and the full-function enterprise collaboration platforms, including their own eXo Platform 3.5. So they are now offering eXo Cloud Workspaces to fill this gap. Here is a sample home page screen.
eXo Cloud Workspaces offers out-of-the-box social intranet features for small teams that can be scalable to meet the IT needs of the enterprise. For the last eight years, eXo has been selling its comprehensive on-premise collaboration platform to large organizations. eXo Platform 3.0 added social intranet features to that collaboration platform, then eXo Platform 3.5 added low-level features that enable the delivery of hosted services, such as Cloud Workspaces. eXo can now meet the needs of large enterprises, as well as the needs of smaller firms that want a low-cost, on-demand social intranet and collaboration service. For small firms that eventually need more capability and want to go inside the enterprise, they can easily migrate from Cloud Workspaces to eXo Platform 3.5 on-premise or in a private cloud. Here you can see a sample screen from the enterprise wiki as mentioned below.
eXo Cloud Workspaces (Beta) is a fully-functional, cloud-based service hosted by eXo. It offers a full range of social intranet and enterprise portal features, including:
- Content Management System features, including the ability to store, share, version and organize documents.
- Built-in collaboration tools, including an enterprise-grade wiki, discussion forum, and shared calendar components.
- Social network components, including the ability to create/follow activity streams, create work groups, and more.
- Embedded integrated development environment (IDE), enabling the ability to develop, customize and extend the social intranet capabilities on the fly (and with one-click ease-of-deployment).
- Secure mobile access to documents, activities and apps from iOS and Android-based devices. Below are some sample mobile screens.
It comes with REST APIs for two-way integration with enterprise apps. This is a critical feature as I have often written about (see Integrating the Interactions with the Transactions). There is also an online development tool – eXo Cloud IDE that allows developers to create apps in the cloud without having to go through traditional IT channels and backlogs. The integration can be extended beyond simple connections to create mashups with tools like Salesforce.com. For even more complex integrations, Cloud Workspaces-based sites can be easily migrated from the eXo cloud to a deployment of eXo Platform 3.5 on premises or in a private cloud setting. Here is a sample IDE screen.
eXo Cloud Workspaces will be initially offered as a free application. You can sign up at their site (www.cloud-workspaces.com/). This free application will also remain available. At some point, a paid premium version will also become available with more storage and other capabilities. I like what they are doing and will be exploring Cloud Workspaces further.