SocialText today announced SocialPoint a wiki based collaboration web service designed to work with Microsoft's SharePoint. SocialPoint enables Sharepoint to authenticate to multiple wikis, display "Recent Changes" and pages within the portal while offering them up for real time group editing.
For example with SocialPoint, a marketing team working on a product launch can collaborate on product marketing materials within a wiki, and then share those materials with field people who link to the SharePoint portal so the field is informed about the launch. Conversely, SocialPoint enables the field people to provide the marketing team with direct and timely feedback from customers.
Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText offers more insight on his blog. This is a pretty amazing transformation for an open source company that is looking to disrupt the marketplace and compete with Microsoft. This comment from Ross tells the story best
"I believe that our Open Source solutions cooperating with Microsoft may grow the Open Source community as a whole. Most people won't see this in Microsoft's best interest. I do. Some people won't see this in Open Source's best interest. I do."
Ross makes some interesting points which I will summarize here;
- The "humanizing" of Microsoft has changed his mind about working with Microsoft. He cites Ray Ozzie, Robert Scoble, Channel9 and blogs from Microsoft employees as examples.
- SharePoint 2007 is a market leader, validates the category, and grows the market for everyone.
- The short term value (role) for a wiki that supports SharePoint is immediately apparent.
- SocialText has a profit motive, balanced by freedom, that will sell more seats of SocialText and SharePoint. Everyone wins.
- SocialText customers told him this was a good idea. You can't lose when you listen to your customers.
Microsoft works hard every day with partners to make great products for customers. SocialText has great technology that adds value to SharePoint and together provides a great solution for customers. Welcome to the Microsoft partner community.