Vuuch, which touts itself as a social system for manufacturers, is coming into its adolescence with a new version that addresses much of the lingering security and performance concerns surrounding its Software-as-a-Service delivery model along with adding a host of new user-requested functions.
Introduced about a year ago, Vuuch was billed as an “enterprise social system” designed to foster interaction between an extended development team by employing a Facebook-like interface and social interchange to deliver access to key deliverables and communications around product development projects. Unlike general social networks like Facebook, Vuuch makes the connection between the product and what people are linked to the deliverables, and as a result cuts out much of the extraneous noise that’s so common with popular social networks.
The newest Vuuch 4.5 release maintains the on-demand delivery model, but now offers access to the system via the Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The migration to Amazon’s well-established cloud computing platform is aimed at assuring customers of enhanced performance, improved reliability, increased security and scalability around an on-demand software delivery model. In particular, Vuuch wanted to make larger organizations comfortable with leveraging the on-demand model to offer access to the software on a global enterprise scale without the threat of any kind of degradation in performance.
The update also addresses any lingering security concerns regarding the on-demand model with release 4.5’s ability to encrypt all data transmission to and from a user’s browser and to and from Vuuch plug-ins using the Secure Sockets Layer specification. The Vuuch server will negotiate the strongest possible encryption, and users who attempt to connect to the new version using a non-encrypted session will immediately be redirected to a new session.
Along with the new performance and security capabilites, Vuuch 4.5 makes good on enhancements driven by user requests. Among the highlights are a redesigned home page that displays an activity stream–a time-ordered list of changes to projects and deliverables that are directly relevant to a particular user–along with support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds so Vuuch events can be streamed to any RSS-capable client, including mobile devices.
Vuuch 4.5’s new feature that allows a user to attach any kind of content to a Vuuch page–for example, notes, large-size files or links–is particularly important to development organizations that want to more readily share data both internally and with external development partners. Sharing such information within the social context of Vuuch, not just posted as static files to a SharePoint site, really helps keep an extended development team on the same page compared with traditional meetings or other standard forms of communications, according to Kai Jaffee, senior product support specialist at Peerless Lighting, and an early user of Vuuch. “It’s really helped us with outside vendors,” Jaffee says. “While here, people can sit around a table and figure out what’s going on, but now that we can post it on Vuuch, it’s definitely helped us keep the conversation going beyond our weekly meetings.”