I was lucky enough to get an early preview of Clearspace from the Jive Software team, a local Portland, Oregon company. They have just starting talking about Clearspace on the Jive Talks blog with a recent post from Sam Lawrence. They have not yet released details, and portions of the product were in varying stages of completion when I played with it, so I will not go into any specific details here.
What I will say is that this product is cool. It is intuitive to use and has a “web 2.0” feel to it with modern collaboration functionality built into the system from the beginning. None of the retrofit feel that older applications have when someone tries to cram a bunch of new technology into an ancient product. This will be a product to test drive when Jive launches it in early 2007:
“The idea for Clearspace actually came from our customers, who through their conversations with our sales, marketing, professional services and customer support teams had been asking for many different collaborative feature additions to Jive Forums and Knowledge Base. Some of these were very specific, others borrowed from a lot of the collaborative elements of completely different point solutions. At the beginning of last year we took a big step back and realized that the sum of what was being requested was a completely new, much more comprehensive product.
So, a year ago we faced very tough decisions. Up to that point we had planned to address our customer requests through a combination of improvements to our existing products and/or building a couple of totally new products. Our big decision was was whether to build three products or one. The more we talked about it the more we recognized the massive benefit that could be realized by a single, unified, flexible architecture– sort of like that quote from Lord of the Rings–”one ring to unite them all.” (ok, it was really “rule them all” but that’s too harsh.)” (Quote from Sam Lawrence on Jive Talks)