BT creates online collaboration portal for small businesses

BT has introduced an online administration and collaboration portal called BT Workspace, combining elements of Google Docs and MySpace for small business users, reports John Stokdyk.

A web-hosted intranet providing bulletin boards and a central document store, Workspace was described by BT Business managing director Bill Murphy as a "powerful and inexpensive tool" to help small businesses improve their customer relationships.

Continued...

» Register now

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register.

Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

Comments
dahowlett's picture

you're right but...

dahowlett | | Permalink

Yes John - you're right up to a point. Remember this is a business application so it's not something I'd compare with MySpace. People don't flit between apps and services.

It is however the first time we've seen a decent (as in good enough) collaboration platform for those who see the value in that way of working at a price point that's sufficiently attractive to drive adoption.

You're also right to say high tech is fashion driven. How we both know that one -:)

But it would be wholly wrong to say social computing is a fad. 9 million users on LinkedIn can't be wrong - especially given LI just raised $13 million for overseas expansion, is generating $100 million in revs and is profitable. That's waaaaaaay different to what we've seen in the past.

If you're struggling to keep up, then maybe your choice of RSS could do with revision. I have some suggestions and am merrily getting through 1000+ stories per day -:)

I did 'invite' a number of contacts into Workspace as a way of experimenting with the platform and I did apologise in advance for any irritation this might cause as I know 'we're' all overclocked at the moment.

John Stokdyk's picture

Thanks for the correction, Dennis

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

I was leaping around so many different pages and sites that I grabbed that figure from someone else's analysis rather than BT's page on pricing (or maybe that's the way they phrased it in their press release).

Both Dennis and David were very quickly on to the trail of the BT Workspace and Marketplace initiatives - and I must thank Dennis for inviting me into his SMB innovations Workspace Lite forum. I like the look of it and share some of your excitement that a company as big as BT is trying to open up the market for online tools and collaboration.

But as I've posted in the workspace, I'm reluctant to hail this as the killer app of Web 2.0 just yet. While the fuss about Windows Vista swirls around us, I do think that we are beginning to move away from considering operating systems and client/server business applications as the big IT decisions we face.

With the advent of things like MySpace, Second Life, LinkedIn, Google Docs etc etc, now you've got to choose which online environments and social networks deserve your time and attention. It just backs up my longstanding hunch that technology really is just as fad-driven and ephemeral as the fashion industry.

With AccountingWEB, BTinternet, Google portals and all those news and blog feeds to monitor, I haven't got much personal networking capacity left. Unless there was a specific project that compelled me to enter BT Workspace, I don't have the time or energy to buy into it just yet.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk

david_terrar's picture

BT Workplace, well worth trying out

david_terrar | | Permalink

John,
Thanks for the mention. Although there might be other collaboration products with more features, or some nicer bells and whistles, I think the BT approach is well worth investigating. It's a "good enough", well presented and well documented solution from a safe supplier, with excellent potential for the future. I think a lot of SMEs will try it out and take it seriously. It's a shame the Lite option doesn't have a few more users, but the pricing is good.
David Terrar
Mailto:dt@d2c.org.uk
web: http://www.d2c.org.uk and http://www.twinfield.com
blog: http://biztwozero.com

dahowlett's picture

pricing correction

dahowlett | | Permalink

It's £15/month - minimum 2 users.

Spooky logo

mikewhit | | Permalink

Had a look - the Lite looks of interest for small / spouse-spouse business; also an offer (next page up) about POP3 mailboxes which might be of interest.

However the Netscape icon displayed in the browser URL field ('favicon') when looking at those pages is eerie ! I'd have expected a BT Openworld logo ...

david_terrar's picture

BT adds Tradespace

david_terrar | | Permalink

BT have just added another initiative, which uses the same underlying technology, called BT Tradespace. This provides an easy web presence for small businesses in a kind of online yellow pages directory, with added social networking characteristics where people can rate or promote your site. You can add content and links. It looks quite flexible. Initially the service is free, although I assume charges will come in to play after their beta period closes.

If you want to find out more, the CEO and CTO of the company behind the BT Workspace technology will be at the upcoming London Wiki Wednesday.
David Terrar
Mailto:dt@d2c.org.uk
web: http://www.d2c.org.uk and http://www.twinfield.com
blog: http://biztwozero.com