Taking on SharePoint in the Cloud
The desire to move more and more services into the cloud seems to be growing. MindTouch, an open source enterprise collaboration provider, is the latest to make the move, seeming to challenge SharePoint in the SaaS world.
You know that Microsoft currently has an online version of SharePoint. And you should know that they will also have an online version for externally focused websites with the release of SharePoint 2010. But SharePoint isn't the only online collaboration game in town.
We've been keeping track of MindTouch for quite some time now. In the last year, they have been coming out with a number of new out of the box solutions built on the MindTouch 2009 platform. These have included a collaborative intranet solution, a crowd sourced Knowledge base solution and just recently, enterprise dashboards.
The MindTouch Cloud is the third release in what it calls "collaborative networks". A collaborative network supports the bringing together of business information from disparate systems into a single interface to edit. This is all done in a real-time, secure and well governed manner, effectively creating an information fabric.
Using the MindTouch Cloud, organizations get a SaaS-based solution that enables them to bring together data from various sources into a single location to work on. This includes the ability to pull together data from sources such as CRM, ERP, support, Salesforce.com and more.
It enables non-technical (i.e. business users usually) the ability to create mashups for dashboards, reports and more without the need to code.
MindTouch differentiates its cloud service from Microsoft SharePoint and Google by focusing support on data integration and mashups, whereas SharePoint and Google focus more on documents (although Google Sites latest Site Templates and Data API do stand out).
If you're interested in learning more about MindTouch Cloud, you can give it a trial run for 30 days. After that pricing starts at US$ 10 for users per month and goes down (yes, the price goes down) for more users.