Interwoven presented areas of improvement:
- Email filing is still complex and requires desktop computing power
- Only support blackberries and no other mobile devices
- Offline mode is antiquated
- Records management user interface needs to be improved
- Have not exploited Vivisimo's search capabilities
- Application integration is cumbersome and the use of macros is tough
Worksite 8.5 will have greatly improved offline access. They have a new, ground-up offline mode. It will have background synchronization and on-demand synchronization.
Rafiq also talked up records management. (I am not familiar with the records management piece.)
Worksite 8.5 will offer some access through the browser so they can expand access through more mobile devices. Certainly some email management through the blackberry will be a plus. I have not seen much demand for documents through the blackberry.
First up on the demo was Worksite Mobility 8.3. It is a mini-browser based access to Interwoven WorkSite. One key thing that caught me attention is that you can access the email in Worksite and forward and deal with the email. This actually could be a big improvement over current functionality. Right now I have a hard time accessing email filed in my email folders. This will be a big plus for encouraging people to file into WorkSite. You can find the email from your blackberry. Good stuff!!
Worksite 8.5 will have server side filing of email instead of client side filing of email. Right now if you file a lot of emails, it can bog down Outlook and your computer while it processes the emails by moving them from Outlook into WorkSite and profiling them in WorkSite.
You will be able to link a mailbox sub-folder with a WorkSite folder. You can take an email folder, click a button to link it to a worksite folder and synch the two folders. After moving an email into the outlook folder, they will be filed into WorkSite. A copy stays in the folder as a convenience copy. It is not clear if the purge and filing works in these folders. It is an interesting direction, but will depend on execution.
Offsite 8.5 allows you take matter workspaces or individual folders with you. You can pick the container. The synchronization takes place in the background. I have a lot of questions about how the documents are affected if multiple people access the documents and edit them in different places. If I have it offline and edit the document and someone is online and edits the documents, what happens and which version wins first. In the current version of WorkSite, only one person can access a document at a time. This offline mode seems to indicate that multiple people can edit the document, not knowing that other people are also editing the document. The audience had many questions and concerns about this feature. The Interwoven folks did not have a clear message or understanding of some of the issues and concerns.
Worksite 8.5 will bring improvements to Express Search. In the result set for Express Search, a mouseover will reveal more profile information about the document. They added intelli-type and recently used terms in the search. F2 will pull up the pop-up field for particular fields.
Next up was exploring some of the features of Vivisimo's Velocity 6.0 and how it may fit into WorkSite and Universal Search. This introduces things like ratings, tagging and annotations. [I previously expressed my excitement about this feature:Using Social Search to Drive Innovation through Collaboration and The Four Types of Search and Vivisimo's Social Search. No, I do not think lawyers will immediately jump on to these features. But from the knowledge management perspective, it will provide a great tool for highlighting the better content in the document management system. Even if only a few attorneys use these features it will have an enormous impact on the system and the return on documents. The ability to tag and annotate documents will be available in the underlying tools like MS Word. You also should be able to generate the usual 2.0 features like tag clouds. I am still excited about this feature and am looking forward to it coming out. You can also generate some reports with top tags and top taggers. These tags are one of the ways I see that we can get the document management system to be more effective on a precedent search.
Next up was the records management features. We do not use this and I do not particularly understand it. I admit that I am big ignorant on the needs of records management. I just want to be able find my stuff.
WorkSite 8.5 is scheduled for release in fourth quarter of 2008. Universal Search 6.0 with the social features is also scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2008. Hopefully, I will get them in my Christmas stocking.
Rafiq also mentioned Project Meritage which is the next generation of WorkSite. It would still be compatible with 8.5 clients. It will be compatible with Unicode, will improve compatibility, allow for consolidations and consolidate records, documents and images in a single server.