Web collaboration company Saba is looking to tap into the growing interest in collaboration and video by introducing the Saba Collaboration Suite with the aim of improving real-time communication across enterprises.
The company is looking primarily to appeal to companies looking to improve their training facilities online.
The Collaboration Suite contains a new software offering, Saba Live, which provides enterprises with the ability to use social media within a corporate environment. “Enterprises have been struggling to work out to incorporate social media,” said Milind Pansare, senior director of product marketing at Saba, pointing that one question in particular bugged organisations; ” how do you incorporate informal feedback within the process”
He said that Saba Live would enable user feedback to be incorporated with workplace analytics to improve companies’ abilities to carry out performance reviews. Pansare said that the software built on work the company had carried out on a previous product, Saba Impressions, which allowed such feedback.
Pamsare said that another important consideration was the way that existing information had been siloed on different software. “A company could have some information on Oracle, for example, or some on Twitter. What we do is unify those profile and use LDAP or Active Directory to add some social information.”
The other part of the Collaboration Suite is Saba Centra, the company’s web conferencing software, which incorporates the ability to offer webinars and VoIP capability.
Pansare said that the integration was an important factor. “It’s true that Cisco has said that collaboration and video are two of their key areas but the problem is that their collaboration software doesn’t integrate with their TelePresence video and that Cisco doesn’t have any analytics.” He said that Saba looked to bring everything together. “Everything can be rated, everything can be searched.; we integrate with email and we offer You Tube like channels”. He added that the software has been designed to be easy to use for users accustomed to social media.
One of the product’s beta users is Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). The vice president of HDS’s Learning Academy, Nick Howe, said that Saba had been a vital tool for the company’s users. “Because we’re geographically dispersed – we have 4000 people spread into every country around the world – we need our systems to keep us all connected.”
HDS uses Saba as a learning platform and Howe is particularly impressed with the ability to provide feedback. “I’m excited by the ability of people to rate and rank content. With so much information coming into the system, it’s important that we differentiate between information that’s important and that’s that less so,” he said.