WebEx Connect, the Quiet disappearance of the SharePoint killer?

Spending time looking at SharePoint 2010 and had a really good look at its capabilities at Microsoft’s UK HQ in Reading last week. Under NDA so can’t say much more than is in the public realm, that it’s an impressive beast and offers a lot of social capabilities.

Last October I blogged about a potential SharePoint killer in the form of Cisco/WebEx Connect The Quiet Arrival of the SharePoint Killer so it was with some interest that I saw a Tweet this morning pointing to mobile versions of WebEx for the iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry. On viewing the page for the mobile client, I was surprised that there was no mention of the Connect capabilities, this was all about the more familiar side of WebEx, the online meeting capability.

On searching the site it became apparent that WebEx Connect had gone. It was no more, disappeared. This (and I’m presuming that I haven’t missed anything – please correct me if Connect is still here) is to my mind a massive missed opportunity. Update: see below, it’s still there but not being heavily marketed

Why do I say this?  Well this is the reason, this is from WebEx themselves:

Collaborative Network Applications
The WebEx Connect client, built on the concept of Spaces, brings people, process and data together in an easy to use context. Interacting with the Connect grid, the client supports a wide array of applications from WebEx and its partners. Beneath it all is the MediaTone network that insures reliable delivery of these applications to anyone, anytime anywhere on the globe. Once knowledge workers take advantage, companies will be able to reduce cycle times, increase sales and find efficiencies throughout their business processes.
Adroit developers and product visionaries have an open field to innovate in totally unique ways on the Connect platform and to feed off of others sharing their ideas on the developer community. It all starts with the capabilities that are that are available to you from the Connect Platform Services, Application Framework specification, organizational and event models and the concept of Spaces where users get business done.
(my emphasis)

An open field for visionaries and innovation…Now take a look at the architecture:

You get the idea of just how elegant and how lucrative this mashup is was. Partner apps integrate in (iTunes eat your heart out), Fee based Content Provisioning, means it is was already ready to be monetised. But no more, it’s gone or as WebEx themselves pointed out:

Notice
This is a preview of the Connect platform and all contents, specifications, and details are subject to change.

Copies of the whitepaper “WebEx Connect Platform Brief Overview April 2008 can at the time of writing, be downloaded from the WebEx site

Update: looks like it’s still breathing – but with what vitality remains unclear: https://www.myciscocommunity.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/15855-102-1-27361/connectreleasenotes_c6_5_1.pdf

More to follow on this – drop me a note if you’d like to connect to the Connect Space

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