SiteScape Monday unveiled Forum 5.0, the latest version of its collaborative groupware product, set to ship in early February.
This release will include new features for both users and administrators. For users, the product has an activity monitoring feature, the capability to attach files to send notification and mail-in entries, a Web file system and a streamlined help system. For administrators, Forum 5.0 now offers LDAP support and HTML templates.
Forum 5.0 will be an open source product available on Linux, Unix and NT.
Forum enables users to work in the environment with which they are most familiar. For example, a discussion and e-mail thread in the new Web file system can appear in a browser-based interface with menus that vary depending on the screen or as a mail client, e-mail can be delivered to users in real time or in a digest format, and users can be alerted to a new message via a bell or pop-up message. The product can be customized on the administrative end through the HTML templates.
The groupware and collaboration market, which Forum falls into, is expected to reach $2.4 billion within the next two years according to International Data Corp.
Although the original intent behind Forum was team collaboration, SiteScape's research determined that the product was being used in unintended ways. Therefore, the company now takes a four-pronged strategy in its marketing efforts, targeting enterprises involved with:
- Team collaboration
- Knowledge management
- Distance learning
- Customer relationship management and business portals
Until recently, Forum was available only as a hosted service. Last spring, SiteScape introduced WebWork Zone, scaleable software for enterprises that wanted to install Forum on their own server and configure and scale it to their needs.
Founded in 1995, SiteScape acquired AltaVista Forum, along with the engineering team that designed, developed and supported the product, from Compaq in April 1999. The five-year old product was specifically designed for the Web. More than $20 million had been invested in its development at the time of the acquisition.
At the time of acquisition, Forum had 1,200 customers. Since then, it has picked up more than 200 customers worldwide. Customers fall into a wide variety of industries including engineering, manufacturing, telecommunications, government, healthcare, and education.
SiteScape offers software, hosting, and customization services designed to enable Web-based collaboration and information sharing in an environment that is quick, easy, and cost-efficient in which to work.
Forum 5.0 will be priced at $9,995 per CPU for the basic bundle. Included in this bundle is the Forum 5.0 application itself, an overlying workflow application, basic support, and an update service.
Forum 5.0 will be available for download from SiteScape's Web site or through its value-added reseller channel next month.