I suppose this is pretty big news for Atlassian wiki customers, especially those that are using Microsoft SharePoint – single sign-on and cross-platform search can be pretty important in the enterprise world. Plus the ability to embed Confluence (Atlassian’s wiki product) content into SharePoint pages and allowing Confluence users to edit SharePoint content directly are pretty big wins. It could also be pretty innovative for large existing SharePoint customers who are interested in using wikis for collaboration. I think it’s pretty well accepted that the built-in SharePoint wiki is horrible – I feel safe in saying it’s the least wiki-like wiki product I’ve ever had the displeasure of using.
From my standpoint, though, I’m not sure I see enough value in the additions to warrant moving to Confluence as a wiki, at least not for a small- to medium-sized business. With pricing starting at $4000 for 500 users (about the size of ETC) it seems steep – even if you work in a solid Microsoft shop (as I do) and have to consider the additional support costs of running multiple platforms within a company (as we did when we started looking at other wikis), the ongoing ROI of a Confluence purchase seems out of balance for the wins. Perhaps at a larger company, where there would be significantly more maintenance overhead, it might be worth it.
I don’t really get the NewsGator stuff, I’ll have to admit: SharePoint already supports RSS in lists (which is how almost all SharePoint content is organized), and at first glance the NewsGator stuff looks like it’s mostly social network-style gizmos and connections between users. A lot of what they offer could be done (albeit not as slickly) without too much difficulty with built-in SharePoint objects. The addition of tags is nice, but the $20,000 large enterprise price tag seems way out of whack with the value delivered.
via Scoble’s tweet
An email from Jon Silvers reminded me that I should point out that ETC doesn’t use SharePoint Server, but instead uses Windows SharePoint Services, the free-with-Windows-Server-2003 subset of the SharePoint Server features. Given that, we’re probably not the target market for Confluence or the Confluence connector.