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Free site offered with groupware

US West Enterprise Networking and start-up Changepoint have their own take on the rent-an-app groupware market: removing the rent.

US West Enterprise Networking and start-up Changepoint have their own take on the hot rent-an-app groupware market: removing the rent.

The two companies have launched a free site for users to do group collaboration called involv Free Web Teaming, which combines a "light" version of Changepoint's involv Intranet software and US West's network servers.

The intranet product, released earlier this year, provides users with a private environment with a secure Web site, featuring user homgre pages and a series of groupware applications such as project management, document management, event planning, discussion boards, and chat.

Requiring only a Web browser, the new involv Free Web Teaming provides step-by-step instructions for users to create and use a collaborative group space online. Users can build conference rooms, or "clubhouses," on a customizable, private, and secure team Web site.

The new product also includes a "personal workspace" for each team member to create memos, post calendar items, comment in discussions, add Web links, assign tasks, and take polls.

US West and Changepoint's effort comes after rent-an-app product vendors have enjoyed great success over the past year. Lotus Development launched Instant Teamroom in the summer of last year with Netcom, an ISP just acquired by telecom firm ICG Communications. Companies or individuals rent a "space" on the Web where they can gather for collaborative work, using elements of the Lotus Notes collaborative software.

Users of involv Free Web Teaming need versions 3.01 of Netscape's Navigator or Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 or higher.