Google Wave Partner SAP Says StreamWork Still On Track

SAP says the demise of Wave won't deter development of its Streamwork collaboration tool.


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Google had high hopes for Wave, its cloud-based collaboration service, actively pursuing beta testers and working with third party developers to extend the service. But Wave's future crashed last week when the search giant announced it was killing off the project because it was disappointed with the rate of user adoption.

But one of the partners Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) was working with, enterprise software giant SAP (NYSE: SAP), wants to make clear the demise of Wave isn't going to impact development of its Streamwork collaboration software.

"We feel like we're breaking new ground, just as Google Wave did, but with a different purpose. We're trying to make this incredibly directed and high-velocity value to people in their jobs," David Meyer, a senior vice president at SAP in charge of Streamwork," told InternetNews.com.

Meyer said SAP benefitted from using Google's OpenSocial and Gadget API code to help Streamwork's interoperability. "The Gadget API is alive and well and used by a ton of developers," said Meyer. "The investment we made with the Wave developers was a lot of fun and made us look at things in unique ways and that knowledge and insight we gained is totally leverageable."

Streamwork is a collaborative, decision-making tool designed to work with enterprise applications that users are already using.

"What we learned from customers' experience is that integrating point solutions in the cloud with backend enterprise systems is a burden on IT that SAP is well-equipped to solve," said Meyer. "When the network is the platform, the boundaries disappear."

Meyer said Streamwork is not meant to displace other collaborative software like Microsoft's SharePoint, but rather ensure that important knowledge is captured and documented for others to take advantage of.

"The value to the buyer is that their group becomes more naturally intelligent over time because the repository becomes more intelligent," he said.

Traditional systems for document sharing and other content management help a company stay on track, but Meyer said they typically don't record the actions of the 2 percent of "outliers" who push into new areas and may use "shadow IT" resources to get their work done.

"Today, the value the best people in a company provide often isn't recorded in any system," said Meyer. "We're not saying Streamwork instead of a wiki or SharePoint. We're extending all those systems just like we extended Wave."

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: collaboration, SAP, Google Wave, IT asset management, collaboration software

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