If you feel sometimes that you may as well be hanging around the water cooler as using some social media applications for the amount of collaborative work you get done, it might be worth having a look at OpenText's (news, site) Social Workplace v2, which is being announced at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston today.

OpenText and Social Media

As you can probably gather from the version number, this is not OpenText’s first trip down the social media road. In fact, it has quite a long history in this space under different names with a major re-branding of its social media product OpenText Social Media as OpenText Social Workplace last year.

That, in its turn, was built on its 2008 social media release, which over the years has added functionality like blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 capabilities as well as information governance by adding social workplaces and social media marketing features via the Vignette acquisition.

The release of Social WorkPlace v2.0 adds new functionality as well as optional integration with ECM Suite 2010, which gives it muscle that most other social media applications can only wish for.

As a result, it is possible for content created during a project to be automatically archived in compliance with an organization’s regulations and policies and full records management control to an enterprise content repository with minimal intervention from technical staff.

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OpenText Social Workplace Home Screen

Purpose-driven Organizations

However, this is not just the addition of more tools for the pure sake of it. There is purpose in this release. In fact, the key word in this release is ‘purpose’, in that enables purpose-driven, cross functional teams to assemble and collaborate on projects without the need for technical training programs, or technical support. (see Deb Lavoy's look at the purpose-driven enterprise).

In this respect, one of its biggest clients to date is the G-20 group. At this point in time it is likely that just about everyone has a different opinion on what the purpose of G-20 is, but what cannot be disputed is that it is an organization with purpose and it is using Social Workplace to push that forward through collaboration.

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OpenText Socialworkplace

Social Workplace 2.0

Providing out-of-the-box functionality as a SaaS or on-premise deployment, this version has added important additions to wiki editor, chat, and records management and information governance through the ECM Suite.

And there are many more upgrades that are too numerous to list here. What is worth noting, however, is the way it works.

Designed from the ground up to work the way enterprise users work themselves, it builds on a personal dashboard to drive personal productivity and provide easy access to everyone’s profile, status and blog.

On top of that, OpenText provides community spaces that can unite distributed teams and offer them access depending on the permissions they have been given.

Microblogging capabilities provide a view of activity throughout a group or organization, while the new chat feature enables team members to contact each other in real time.

With this new release, OpenText Social Workplace is even more adept at supporting a fluid model of collaboration that allows teams to organize quickly and tap each person’s expertise to fulfill the team’s purpose", James Latham, OpenText’s Chief Marketing Officer said.

Other useful tools include one for creating content using wikis, which have also been upgraded to provide tables and version comparison capabilities, as well as support for information feeds, document management, images and video repositories.

Finally on this, it just wouldn’t be social if it wasn’t mobile too, so Social Workplace can be accessed from any Web browser and mobile device, with pre-built apps for iPhone and BlackBerry devices available with support for the new release.

Prize for Purpose-Driven Business Prize

Also at the conference, OpenText announced a Prize for Purpose-Driven Business. This will be awarded to a team, or individuals who embody what it means to be a purpose driven organization and who are using social collaboration tools to help achieve their mission.

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OpenText Social Workplace feed

Open to all organizations, whether they are current OpenText customers or not, the Prize for Purpose-Driven Business consists of a US$ 10,000 donation to the charity of winner’s choice. Entries will be accepted through September 2011.

The new release of OpenText Social Workplace, version 2.0, is available now. With the Fast Start users can get started a 60-day full-version Social Workplace license for up to 950 users. Check it out here.