Since its inception in 1993, at the start of the first wave of internet-based businesses, BroadVision has gone through a series of transitions. It began by helping companies do business on the Web and in the late 90s they were one of the firms to bring personalization to ecommerce. The firm survived the dotcom bust of the early 2000s but came out smaller. I recently spoke with their CMO, Giovanni Rodriguez, to get an update on their current efforts.
The CEO, Pehong Chenwisely decided to bet on the viability of the native cloud. BroadVision then built a cloud based collaboration platform to provide social networking for the enterprise. Their offering, sometimes referred to as “Ning for the enterprise”, is built with the goal of not requiring heavy involvement from enterprise IT to set up. A future goal is to create a “network of networks”, where companies and individuals can discover new business partners, providers, and clients through transparency across networks.
Clearvale is the name for their collaboration platform and it was launched in May 2010. It contains many of the features found within the enterprise 2.0 concept such as communities, profile pages, blogs, wikis, networks, forums, RSS, and twitter integration, which can be customized through drag and drop editing. Here is a sample screen:
In November, they introduced Clearvale PaasPort, which enables companies to host their own installation of the Clearvale enterprise social networking solution. PaasPort hosts can sell Clearvale solutions, as well as premium services, to their own customers. Clearvale PaasPort is a platform-as-a-service solution provided to customers, who can deliver BroadVision Clearvale as part of a large package of services, or as a more specialized solution. One of the initial clients for this service is Softbank Telecom in Japan, which will provide integrated email, IM and voice through this capability. This unified communication will occur through a social network allowing you to store and save voice messages. I see great potential here.
Another major aspect of the new BroadVision Clearvale platform that I especially like is MyStreams, a personalized data stream management and filtering system. MyStreams integrates a wide variety of data streams into one easy-to-use interface. While this includes data from within the Clearvale network — such as updates to wikis, blogs and forums — it is also built to include external data streams, such as email, voicemail, social media, IM, as well as streams from consumer social networks. All of these data streams are integrated into MyStreams and can be accessed and managed without ever having to exit Clearvale. MyStreams also allows users to easily share specific data with other users. It generates an RSS feed and allows for filtering along with aggregation. Below is a sample screen:
Overcoming content silos is one of the necessary efforts with enterprise 2.0. We run the risk of creating new silos with unconnected wikis, blogs, forums, etc. A number of firms are looking at micro-blogging status updates that run across applications as one way to avoid this problem. MyStreams goes beyond basic micro-blogging and serves this cross-application aggregation function along with other capabilities.
I like these steps as they extend current capabilities in cross channel communication integration and exploit some of the potential that comes with making these channels; including voice, into data objects.