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Novell Gets the Social Cloud Vibe

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Novell is pushing forward on a cloud-based collaboration platform leveraging the Google Wave federation protocol. The Novell platform was first announced back in March under the name Pulse and is now being rebranded as Novell Vibe with its first open beta release.

The Novell Vibe beta comes just a few months after Google abandoned Google Wave as an online service.

“We’ve always been contributors to both the Google Wave protocol itself and building gadgets that leverage it,” Ross Chevalier, President of Novell Canada told InternetNews.com. “By definition since it was always open source, with respect to the folks at Google, whether they’re engaged or not doesn’t have a specific impact on tools that leverage the wave federation protocol.”

Chevalier added that there are still a large number of developers that remain active in leveraging the wave federation protocol for collaborative communications.

With the Vibe Platform, Novell is aiming to deliver both an on-premise as well as a cloud solution to enable enterprise social collaboration. Vibe leverages components of the Novell Pulse as well as Teaming products to provide collaboration capabilities.

Novell’s Teaming solution has undergone significant changes over last several years. In 2008, Novell had a solution called Teaming + Conferencing which helped to set the direction for what Pulse does and doesn’t do. Chevalier explained that in the past Novell had bundled teaming and conferencing together under the expectation that this was something people wanted.

“It didn’t work out that way,” Chevalier said. “What we learned is that enterprises look at enterprise class social networking differently then they look at conferencing tools like desktop and presentation sharing.”

Novell’s Conferencing solution is now a separate effort and not part of what is being offerered as part of Vibe.

With Novell Vibe, the company is also moving beyond some of the solution’s earlier open source roots in the Kablink project.

“Because Kablink is open source and our customers wanted enterprise class security and identity integration, we’ve gone a considerable step further,” Chevalier said. “So while Novell Vibe has its roots in Kablink, it has evolved since then and is a much richer and stronger offering.”

Novell is planning on have the Vibe on-premise version available by December of this year with availability of the Vibe Cloud version release set for the first half of 2011.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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