(Updated) Rich collaboration or wiki?

Bill Ives (Portals and KM) has written a peice talking about collaboration successes with IBM Lotus Quickplace. This made an interesting contrast to Bill's recent focus on enterprise use of wiki's about which I have blogged and bookmarked. I found myself asking why would a company choose something like Quickplace instead of an enterprise strength wiki such as Confluence from Atlassian. Isn't a good wiki platform going to give you much more bang for the buck? I need to think about this more.

[Update: Having thought about this, here's my take on cooperation modes using a wikiCooperation modes using a wiki

So tell me again why I would buy something like Quickplace?] 



  1. I get a little uncomfortable in trying to distinguish between “wikis” and tools such as Quickplace simply on face value. It really comes down to the functionality available and how it actually gets used in practice. Lock down a wiki tool and you end up with just a basic WCMS. In terms of your model, tools like eRoom and Quickplace can integrate presence and conferencing (same time, different place) but may have additional functionality. For example, the ability to add databases and simply workflow. Also, you can give wiki-like access to users in these tools if you want, you just have to setup the space in the right way. Of course this picture changes if we shift the discussion to one that talks about the value of traditional collaborative platforms vs creating an “Enterprise 2.0” collaborative ecosystem.

  2. Thanks James. Thoughtful response as always. I very much take your point that the specific needs are important and that the whole (eco)system needs to be considered.

    If you consider procurement. Both platforms require server, storage, backup, bandwidth, etc. Both require some level of configuration and/or cutomisation. The two key differentiators are software (1) features and (2) cost. My view is that the wiki features are probably good enough for 80% of usage scenarios so when you consider the 10 x price premimum for a traditional platform over a wiki you would need a damn good reason to go for the extra features and cost.

  3. You raise some good points. It always comes done to the “it depends” on what they want to do. I think many collaboartion tools may have or will include wikis. Microsoft is adding blog and wiki templates to the their next generation Office, integrated with Sharepoint whichis gettign better. Wikis are very specific and very powerful as a result. Some collaboration tools contian a range of functionality. Of course people are also building functionality into wikis. IBM has dome some work in this area. I think the general comment holds that the web 2.0 tools, many of which are free or low cost will cut into the tradtional enterprise tools. Soem of the enterprise tool providers who get this are trying to incorporate them into their offerings. The others will be left behind. I have heard good things about Atlassian amd plan to learn more about it. Thanks for picking up the conversations from my posts. Bill

  4. Thanks Bill. Yes, it definitely depends. I appreciate the specific examples of the use of Quickplace that you provided in your follow up post. Some of these would, I think, not have been possible with a wiki. You make a good point about the merging of capabilities.

    Do you know where I can find more info about where Microsoft is heading with blog, wiki, rss functionality in office and sharepoint? I can’t find anything relevant on microsoft.com but that’s probably just because I’m not searching on quite the right term.

    Thanks also for all your good work Portals and KM. Your posts always have me thinking.

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