So what’s this OfficeTalk?
At a meeting today it was revealed that not all my colleagues had yet heard of OfficeTalk. Since theyâ€™re probably not the only ones, hereâ€™s a short summary.
Very, very little has been said about OfficeTalk, but it seems like a hybrid between Twitter and Yammer. In essence, enterprise microblogging/chat with private channels for intra-company discussion. Itâ€™s more like Yammer in look and feel, but it does have the twitterish 140 character limit. But it also has more than a passing resemblance at Office Communications Server Group Chat.
OfficeTalk is being heavily tested inside Microsoft, and some other interested companies as well. But who cares, as the problem has already been solved by others?
One possible factor would be greater integration with Active Directory, SharePoint and Outlook. This would provide some differentiation from Yammer and others, but would still leave OfficeTalk pretty closely tied with OCS. Then again, it might be the easier alternative in terms of getting it up and running, perhaps making this sort of collaboration possible for those without OCS.
When will it be available as a shipping product? It might never. But given all the social media hoopla around Office 2010, a beta in few months wouldnâ€™t surprise me â€“ how about WPC? And Iâ€™m guessing it will run on SharePoint, both on-premises and in the cloud.
If youâ€™re unconvinced about the whole enterprise microblogging idea, read this three-part blog post on one companyâ€™s experiences. It doesnâ€™t justify all the magnificent intra-twitter visions, but it does provide some good thinking context.