saba_logo_2010.jpgWhile you may not have heard of Saba, the enterprise-level networking company has been a powerhouse for big names like Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Cisco. This week they released Saba Live, a real-time tool jam-packed with just about every aspect of enterprise collaboration ever. 

Introducing Saba  

While Saba has too much to offer to be broken down into a quick blurb, Jim Lundy, the VP of Saba's Collaboration Business Unit and former managing VP at Gartner, explained the system as both an enterprise learning space and a talent management arena. 

Saba essentially offers different kinds of collaborative options (video conferencing, rating systems, performance reviews, etc.)  that are built to handle the needs of heavy duty organizations. Use cases include virtual classrooms, delivering compliance training, collaborative learning and information exchange. 

Realizing the Power of Collaboration 

The Saba Live release focuses on all of the typical facets of enterprise collaboration, but ads enhanced people-finding technology and operates in real-time. Lundy calls the outcome a product of fourth generation collaboration, which, according to Saba, consists of five pillars:

  • Collaborative, real-time authoring
  • Universal dashboard integrates tools
  • Data portability apps, vendors, services
  • Integrated mobility
  • Social analytics


"Today's holy grail is communicating and sharing," he added. "It's a knowledge base."

Check out the tool in action:

There's a lot more to this release than what's shown above, so let's break it down bullet-style: 

  • Expertise Locator: As shown in the video, the Expertise Locator finds exactly who you're looking for, even if they don't work in the most obvious department. "Talking about profiles gets old," said Lundy. "Saba Live is different because it pulls information about employees from their records--stuff that they wouldn't typically think to put in their profile. True expertise location becomes easier."
  • Pages: The Pages feature simplifies the creation of rich Web pages.
  • Ideas: Social voting, rating and tagging support crowd-sourcing innovation within the organization.  
  • Ratings: The "Twitter-like" rating system makes room for performance feedback by co-workers, and complements formal performance reviews with continuous input from peers.
  • Groups: Users can create cross-functional and secure communities that contain only the information that they deem vital. For example, in Facebook fashion, a group can be set to only display a wall or a list of resources. 
  • Unified View: This view of content allows people to share files, author Pages, share videos, record web conferences and federate content from repositories like SharePoint. Further, all content can then be rated and shared. 
  • Conferences: Saba Live supports virtual conferences in real-time, and features a recording option so that they can be viewed at a later time.
  • Channels: The Channels feature delivers video sharing to the enterprise by organizing Saba Centra recordings and videos, making information easier to find. Further, users can add videos from third-party services, such as YouTube. 
  • Meetings: The Meetings feature marries desktop sharing video and VoIP for real time collaboration anytime and anywhere including devices such as the iPhone and the iPad.

Saba solutions are available both on-premise and in the cloud, and, according to Lundy, their integrated approach to the facets of collaboration, including idea management, is where the action's at. "Standalone idea management solution days are numbered," he said in closing, citing Spigit as one company that may be in for a rude awakening.

Want to weigh in? Check out more information here and let us know what you think.