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SOSIUS

Page history last edited by Kathy 12 years, 1 month ago

Sosius is a externally hosted team collaboration tool with dashboards based upon portlets. The object oriented design is cool however it could be confusing.

 

Pros

  • The dashboard, based on portlets has a fresh new look.
  • It is object oriented so it is consistent in the way new items are added and configured. Makes it very extensible - the CRM database is just the beginning of potentially new widgets.
  • All "items" can be tagged for quick searching and non-linear organizing.
  • Documents can be edited online with Zoho Office.
  • It shows lots of potential.
  • Includes Documents, Chat rooms, Calendars, Tasks, Events, Discussions, Web Pages, Bookmarks, Databases, Bloggs and Poll's.

 

Cons

  • It is object oriented so it is not totally intuitive especially for older team members. It is a little confusing the difference between editing an object or the dashboard portal that is displaying the object.
  • The online help is sparse and is not context driven.  As of yet, you cannot search on the help.
  • As with many of the other online tools, anyone who collaborates with you in this tool needs to have a Sosius Id.  It could end up like the world divided by Orkut and Face Book - among college students and young adults in Brazil EVERYONE has an Orkut account, in the US, EVERYONE has a facebook account. The race is on to see which tool gets the biggest following first.
  • Can only invite to a meeting people with Sosius ID's (unlike Google, Yahoo and HotMail).
  • All Group Members have the same access to group content and the owner always has full access. I imagine there are ways to create multiple groups with different access to group content, then share items across groups.
  • Calendar does not allow you to see team members free time.
  • Document versioning  do not allow you to include comments when adding a new version. There is no way to tell what got edited betwen versions. 

 

In-Depth Review

Sosius is targeted at the individual / team /company.  If you are interested in exploring the enterprise package you would need to contact Sosius directly. I can't see any of Chicago's big Financial companies adopting it.

 

The product is a "portal" product and based on portlets. This lends itself to customization and third party add-ons.

At a first glance, it's widget (or portlet) orientedness seems easy to customize and understand, however after working with it, I realized it was not so intuitive.

 

Since 1998, under the name Webb Technologies (uk) Ltd, the original company worked helping enterprise develop online collaboration solutions "Collaborative Workspaces "a successful enterprise-grade web collaboration servcie". Sosius is the product of these years of consulting. One news article cited a company that has been using Sosius for 4 years. This doesn't quite make sense since their product just got out of beta a few months ago. It could be that they were using the original product (forefather?).

 

They recently announced their new free API OpenSosius opening the way for third-party companies to develop features and applications around the core product.

 

Organization and User Management

As mentioned above, this product does not seem to have the concept of an "organization" as such. As Rafa Needleman mentioned in her article Office 2.0 Conference preview: The flow of work, "it is being pitched as a work/life workspace". It is truly "peer to peer" in that anyone can be in a group with anyone. As such there is no "centralized" user management.

 

Groups

Groups are the Collaboration "place" in Sosius. And as with other products, anyone can create a group and invite anyother Sosius member to join.

 

When Creating a new group you can set the access level that the members of the group will have to the content of the group folder - the same access applies to all group members.

 

Remember Widgets are Objects, so only certain kinds of widgets can go in certain places, lets look at the widgets that can go on the Group Dashboard:

  • Create Item
  • What's New  - lists out not only what is new on your project, but what is new across everything you have access to.
  • Members - lists the members of your group and their online status.
  • Share Items - groups items that are shared across projects into one view.
  • Feed - allows you to aggrigate on your dashboard any external rss feeds or project rss feeds.

 

NOTE: on your personal dashboard, you have more options of the widgets that you can add.

 

Calendars

The wonderful thing about the calendar is I can belong to 3 or 4 groups, but the calendar on my "home" page shows a combined view of all Calendars that I have access to.

Reminders are "add-on's" and can be associated with almost any widget. This is a novel concept.

It does not allow you to check the availability of other team members when scheduling a meeting.

 

Tasks

Tasks are easy to create and stand on their own. They can be assigned to individuals or groups. They allow multiple users to update status (issue response), keeping tract of who and when each note was added. As well as an over all status of the task at hand. Reminders are inherent in their configuration.

 

Links

Allows the creation of bookmarks - of course like everything, bookmarks can have tags.

 

Forums

Discussion Groups can be created where you can create discussion topics to which anyone who has access can add a post.

 

Group/Project support

Chat rooms can be created for ongoing discussions.

 

Document Management

As new versions of a document are checked in and you can look back at the version history, date and who checked in the document.

 

There is not a place to include comments about what actually changed.

However, the document can be "checked out" so that others cannot edit it.

 

Wiki or Knowledge Repository

Web pages can be created and since everything is connected via tags, any content there can be easily searched.

 

Other Cool Features

Database: While Databases were not part of the original list of affordances, this tool allows you to create online databases along with forms and reports. There are a number of templates to help you get started quickly.

 

CRM - Customer Relationship Management: Basic Customer Relationship Management system looks like a useful extensinon of the base capabilities created to help users get up to speed quicker.

 

Resources and Additional Reading

Small business case study

Sosius: Team Workspaces Without a Server

Office 2.0 Conference preview: The flow of work

Collaborate Using Online Tools

 

 

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