Earlier today I was in an interesting session at the Microsoft UK user groups community day when Art Ho gave a presentation on group chat and discussion forums. What became apparent in Art’s presentation is that Microsoft has a number of products which, on the face of it, offer similar features and functionality, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses:
|Groove Discussions||SharePoint Discussions||Groove Chat||OCS Group Chat*|
* OCS Group Chat is still a beta product at this time and was formerly Parlano MindAlign (Parlano were acquired by Microsoft last year)
Basically, it breaks down like this. Think about the purpose of the collaboration and what end users need. Do they need search? If so, then SharePoint is the clear leader. Are you looking for one product, or can a mixture of products meet the requirements (e.g. collaborate using a Groove workspace and publish the final document to a SharePoint document library)? Finally, you can have real-time or collaborative working, but it seems you can’t have both (at least with this technology selection).
(Note that other solutions are available, this just compares three Microsoft products that all seem to compete in the same space.)