Align business minds

Align business minds

MindAlign is a client/server application that runs on Sun Microsystems's Solaris Server and Windows clients. Version 4.0, which shipped in March, boasts some interface enhancements and new features such as contact lists, presence messages, an auditorium channel, and most importantly BackChat, which automatically archives content by date, time and channel.

Priced significantly higher than products such as Sametime, MindAlign has limited platform support. Nevertheless, its support for collaborative team environments makes it a collaboration tool worth considering.

MindAlign sets itself apart by allowing users to post files and links and log entire conversations for continued collaboration, which increases an organisation's shared knowledge. In addition, MindAlign provides a secure environment by putting content control in the hands of IT staff. Users can be authenticated either using MindAlign or Windows NT, with which administrators can incorporate existing directories.

MindAlign is straightforward and easy to use. Administrators have the flexibility to register users or set up the tool so that users can register themselves.

Any user can create a channel and manage its access privileges, such as making a channel public or limiting access. The channels are for conducting ongoing discussions, organised by topic, and are accessible by users in the system.

Three different types of channels can be created with MindAlign: group channels, filtered channels and private channels. Group channels provide a permanent space for individuals to collaborate and share ideas, along with documents, alerts and messages. The information can be stored for future search and retrieval, thereby increasing the knowledge shared throughout the company. Unlike users of consumer IM products, members of a MindAlign channel can view previously exchanged documents and past conversations on that channel.

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