LongJump, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is a Salesforce.com challenger, CEO and Founder Pankaj Malviya told eWEEK in a recent interview.
A service of Relationals, a privately held maker of on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) and SFA (sales force automation) business applications, LongJump’s initial offering includes 12 SAAS (software as a service) applications in customer service, sales, marketing, finance and human resources.
Relationals’ platform forms the foundation for the LongJump service. But while the Relationals platform caters to enterprises, LongJump aims to sell its wares to small and midsize businesses at a more attractive price point than Salesforce.com offerings, Malviya said.
After all, he said, SMBs can’t afford expensive enterprise software that is taxing to maintain, cannot be easily customized and does not integrate with other business applications.
“Business environments have become dynamic,” Malviya said. “Users do not want to settle down with that big monolithic application, whether it’s Salesforce.com or SAP. They want to be able to dynamically change the application configuration and mash up the data to meet their requirements. We believe our platform has the capability to provide that.”
Malviya said that LongJump applications work well together and are simple to customize to allow SMBs to Web-enable their business processes so they can manage information and collaborate more efficiently.
Features of the software include: customizable homepages with configurable dashboard widgets; reporting with configurable charts and graphs; the ability to search and see data in calendar views and list views; embeddable business processes such as Web forms; management capabilities to assign access rights by team, role and user.
LongJump is also promising SAS 90 Type II compliance for user data protection and security and five-nines (99.999 percent) infrastructure and application availability.
One application, OfficeSpace, lets knowledge workers share calendars, tasks, status reports, documents and other information, replacing e-mail as a means of internal information exchange.
Another app, 360˚ Customer Manager, allows users to store customer account information, share contacts related to customers and keep track of appointments, documents and e-mails.
LongJump hasn’t hashed out pricing yet, but as a gesture of good faith to prove it’s more affordable than Salesforce.com options, the company is offering all of its applications for free for a 90-day trial period through Dec. 31, 2007, after which pricing will be announced.
Yuuguu Web Collaboration
Yuuguu, of Manchester, UK, which means “fusion” in Japanese, introduced its Web collaboration tools at DEMOfall 07.
Yuuguu CEO Anish Kapoor said Yuuguu helps people work together remotely, across different platforms, as if “they were sitting in the same room.”
Positioned as an alternative to Web conferencing tools from WebEx, Microsoft and Citrix, Yuuguu’s software enables users to see, share and take control of each other’s computer screens and applications.
Colleagues can message and chat while they share screens. The platform includes voice conferencing services for one-to-one and one-to-many voice calls. Yuuguu also boasts presence, letting users see when friends or co-workers are online, and click to invite them.
Prospective users can download the software, save it to their computer, and invite people by sending them a link.
Kapoor emphasized that Yuuguu’s software is free and said that Web collaboration offerings from WebEx, Citrix and Microsoft “horrifically expensive and geared toward large enterprises.”
Kapoor said the company plans to make money with add-on services, including the ability to recall logged historical conversations and collaboration sessions, as well as customization features such as a company logo or brand.
But prospective online collaboration players seem to make up the bulk of the newcomers, which is no surprise considering the multi-billion-dollar market potential of the space.
For example, MyQuire, based in Mountain View, Calif., will debut a tool to let members work with tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and keep projects on track with task lists, calendars and e-mail notifications.
Users can also “meet” with other project members in real time wherever they are and connect their projects with their personal and professional networks.
Also, Diigo, of Reno, Nev., which stands for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff,” introduced an information network that creates communities around information, topics and knowledge.
A collaborative social networking site, Diigo connects members through the content they collect, while also allowing people to discover and share information that matters to them with others in the network.