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What insight do you have as to the pros and cons of using Google Wave as a primary collaboration tool for our network team (as opposed to MS Sharepoint?)

-- more details --

We have just begun using Sharepoint on a trial basis - so we're not really "into the groove" yet regarding what it can do well/easily, but here are some specific things we've been using it for so far.

-- Specific Uses --

  • Meeting agendas / Minutes
  • project planning / implementation
  • Administrative documentation
  • Staff Intranet (eventually)
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3  
What are your needs? This question in it's current context is a bit like asking pros/cons of Apples vs. Peanuts. If your only need is that you're hungry, then they'll both be adequate. However, if your needs are broken down into proteins, carbs, glucose levels, etc...then they're both very different fits. –  GregD Nov 12 '09 at 18:52
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General collaboration on projects. Currently we are preparing to deploy Sharepoint as a collaboration tool for our (multi-platform) network team. So far the linux / OS-X guys are finding Sharepoint to be quite klunky. –  Brent Nov 12 '09 at 20:49
    
So far, I'm not getting exactly what your needs are beside 'general collaboration'. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be? AIM would suit your needs as a general collaboration tool. If you're in the same office, then even that may be overkill. –  GregD Nov 13 '09 at 15:07
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6 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Google Wave is cool - but it's, at best, in a pre-Beta stage. With SharePoint, you get a stable (relatively) product - with a clearcut path and mission statement. The Wave may be the next big thing - but it's not here yet.

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While I am a huge Google fanboi, the biggest downside that I see to using Google Wave is that its not just in an 'eternal' beta phase, its very young technology. Google is still tweaking the API. Couple that with the fact that Google is still pretty new to the corporate applications arena and you're setting yourself up for likely disappointments and failures early on. Given a couple of years, this will probably be a superior solution but I for one am not convinced that its ready for prime time.

On the other hand, Sharepoint is a much older, more established application with a proven track record and a solid code base. Of course this fact tends to be a double-edged sword because that means that it also suffers from design decisions and coding practices that could now be called archaic.

I suppose a large question for you then is whether stability and reliability are more important in your choice of collaboration tool, or if you'd rather go with a tool that is likely to pioneer the next generation of online collaboration and suffer the bumps that will surely accompany your journey.

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If you work for a publicly traded company and you're collaborating on anything even remotely secure (network setups, firewalls, passwords), then your company's legal team and compliance team will probably have fits if you put that data in Google Wave, a cloud-hosted service. SharePoint still has security risks, but at least the data is hosted internally, which won't elicit as many screams from the compliance department.

If you ever plan to cooperate with other company departments (Windows, SQL, application management) they may not be as quick to adopt Wave either.

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I'm not sure that's actually the case. My understanding is that you can run your own wave server, and keep everything on your own servers. –  Brent Nov 13 '09 at 4:48
    
exactly. even when your waveserver is connected to googles (federation) the blips/waves will remain on your server, unless some user from the google server is invited to that wave. Atleast, that is how i understand it. –  buster Nov 13 '09 at 10:26
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Primary collaboration tool to do what? I can't help thinking that both of them enable slightly different kinds of teamwork.

I'd also suggest that sharepoint might be expensive and complex for a departmental internal tool, but is the choice really one or the other with no alternatives.

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Google Wave is not finish yet, but MS Sharepoint is not OpenSource and moreover a Microsoft product.

So for me none of them are good enough to be deployed yet. Of course in a close future, I would probably choose Google Wave or Mozilla Raindrop.

But you doesn't construct a OpenSource world by continuing using proprietary software.

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sign under every each word! :) –  kolypto Nov 13 '09 at 2:15
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It's free, and it's Google! What else should be mentioned? ;)

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it's also invite only and amazingly buggy and slow right now. ;) –  egorgry Nov 13 '09 at 1:54
    
Have you ever tried to make a beta software that works like a charm? ;) Also they haven't distributed it yet, that's why it's slow right now. –  kolypto Nov 13 '09 at 2:07
    
Sharepoint Services is free too as part of server 2003 and higher –  SpaceManSpiff Nov 13 '09 at 9:53
    
and windows server 2003 is free? –  buster Nov 13 '09 at 10:27
    
A new vision of 'free software' :)) –  kolypto Nov 13 '09 at 12:41
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