SAP unveiled StreamWork, a cloud-based collaboration application that incorporates Evernote and a couple of other popular web services. SAP typically builds applications and services that are so complex that they make my head hurt when I try to understand how they’re used.
Until today, I never imagined I’d ever use an SAP service even though my wife works for the company. But after checking out StreamWork for myself I found out it’s not all that scary. In fact, it’s about as easy to use as other collaboration tools like Google Wave, Jive, Basecamp and Zoho.
StreamWork can pull information from complex systems, such as SAP’s enterprise applications or Microsoft’s Sharepoint, or from relatively simple services like Evernote and Box.net.
I’m a big fan of Evernote and am all for making business applications more fluid. Evernote Phil Libin CEO said that his company is focused on serving consumers, even though 80% of its users manage at least some of their work with its service. For the foreseeable future, Evernote will continue to build applications for consumers, but will rely on others to integrate users’ accounts into more complex services.
I think it’s wise for bigger software companies to incorporate the services that people are using both at work and home. After all, a lot of information workers are never truly off the clock and inspiration can hit them wherever they are. Adding a note to Evernote can be done in just about any format and from any device an employee chooses. It’s easy to fall in love with consumer friendly services like Evernote and it just makes sense to let people use the tools they already use.When’s the last time you heard someone raving about how much they loved their ERP or CRM provider’s user interface and logged in for the heck of it?
Here’s a quick overview of SteamWorks.
Like many other collaboration tools, SAP is taking the freemium approach. A free account allows for five open activities and 250MB of cloud storage. Paying $9.99 per user per month gives users access to 5GB of storage and 100 open activities.