Oracle announced it's upgraded Beehive 1.5 platform today. As the article points out, Oracle is looking to take on the collaboration leaders IBM and Microsoft with hopes of upsetting the collaboration market apple cart. Yet again we get into the semantic tongue twister that begins when talking about collaboration. When you try to take on the different vendors you end up with different stories. IBM collaboration is Notes/Domino which also includes email and its communications is Sametime. Microsoft collaboration is SharePoint and its communications is Exchange and OCS. Oracle collaboration and communications is Beehive and Web Center. Bottom line, each vendor offers some level of collaboration and communication (with varying degrees of effectiveness), and whenever they try to make pairwise comparisons things get very complicated.
The Beehive message attempts to walk a fine line of not getting overly enmeshed in the front-end delivery of services but rather to provide more of a platform for the back-end and middleware. Oracle has taken the bottom up approach that power is in the data store (not such a surprise) and that the front-end is a user choice. Still they needed to offer some UI for customers who want a client interface. With Beehive this includes some toe stepping with other Oracle products that provide collaboration and content management, setting them up for some internal competition for customer's attention.
Oracle aims at Microsoft with upgraded Beehive collaboration