Ray Ozzie the inventor of Notes software is at it again. Ozzie invented Lotus Notes, one of the most well designed client-server applications ever, and his new program, Groove could be an even bigger deal than Notes was. Lotus Notes was an entirely new way of workingâso new, in fact, that few companies understood why they might want Notes. "I can't tell you how agonizing it was," recalls Ozzie. "It was like, 'Your company can do better if you share information with one another - no kidding!'"
Ozzie's new creation is Groove, a software that enables small informal groups of workers to get together quickly online to collaborate on projects. Groove links workers via their PCs without the assistance of a central Web server so they can share all kinds of digital data. Such on-the-fly collaboration holds huge promise in today's ever-faster business environment. Though much Web software is great for automating projects, it falls short when human interaction must be involved. Groove fills that gap, which is why companies like G.E. and Intel, among others, are thinking of adding it to their Web-based supply-chain projects.
For more information on Groove Software, and to download your free sample, visit Groove.net.
When you download Groove onto your PC, (the official launch of the software is expected by April 2001), the software creates a space on your PC that can be accessed by other Groove users whom you invite in. That space appears exactly the same on the screen of every member of your group and includes tools to support collaboration: sharing Microsoft Office documents, text chat, live-voice chat, photo viewing, a drawing pad, and a browser. Whenever two or more people are online at the same time, they can use Groove to work on a document or brainstorm. Any changes they make to the document are transmitted live over the Net to other members' PCs, using a technology called XML.
If the other members aren't online, the modifications are stored on a relay server; as soon as a member plugs back in, his Groove space is updated. The software is designed to work best for groups of 25 people or fewer but can be adapted for larger get-togethers.