Should IBM do to OpenOffice what Jive does with OffiSync?

Two interesting things have happened in the last month, one – Jive purchased OffiSync which socializes Microsoft Office and two – Oracle announces OpenOffice.org will be submitted to the Apache foundation.

Is this an opportunity for IBM? Should IBM drop Symphony, invest in OpenOffice and make the same socialization into products like Connections that OffiSync does?

It definitely makes me wonder if installed Symphony should continue. I don’t thing this affects the online version of Symphony (Concord) but some of the back-end could potentially just use the free open source version of OpenOffice. Shifting to standardize on OpenOffice could benefit IBM from a resource perspective, relying on the community and IBM to keep it going. It will also insure the office suite is always up to date with the latest – as Symphony lags about 6-12 months behind Open Office in some features. I also think some of the cool things Symphony does can now be put into OpenOffice. It could be a win-win.

4 thoughts on “Should IBM do to OpenOffice what Jive does with OffiSync?

  1. How would you approach the Eclipse aspect of Symphony? This is one of the biggest differences vs. vanilla OO.o, and one that customers are taking advantage of to build custom solutions.

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    • The IBM offering could still be Eclipse based but it should be extracted good enough where a customer should be able to install any version of OO under the covers.

      Ideally this could be an “installed” module on top of OO that brings in the “socialization” of OO. Because Symphony ends up being the new launcher there would need to be an easy way to update OO to accomplish this.

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  2. The Eclipse nature could be a boost… Since it provides a local web container the same codebase could power online and offline Symphony with a (relative) consistent user experience. Of course the local version would have the sidebar advantage. Add a strong sync capability and you have a killer app: Network transparent cloud app with local execution and cache.
    In user words: As long as I can switch on my PC I can work with the documents I want to work with. When I’m connected even concurrently with my peers. All documents are automagically available on my server.

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