RESEARCH NOTE. Workplace Service. Hot Vendors in Knowledge and Collaboration, 2014

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1 Author: Jim Lundy Hot Vendors in Knowledge and Collaboration, 2014 Summary: Business people are increasingly looking for software products that help them get their jobs done faster. Our 2014 Hot Vendors in knowledge and collaboration are helping users work more efficiently and effectively. Topics: Knowledge, Collaboration Issue: How will enterprises take advantage of new ways to share knowledge? Issue: Who are the collaboration providers and how will they evolve? With the shadow IT movement proceeding in full force, business users are on an all-out hunt for tools that go beyond the standard set traditionally provided by IT. The rise of collaborative business and knowledge-sharing business applications is here. For 2014, characteristics we have described as optimal for business applications include the ability to be predictive, the ability to be deployed in a fast, seamless manner (e.g., via an app store or exchange) and the ability to integrate with other applications. Enterprises need better ways to collaborate, particularly when it comes to sharing knowledge. Inconsistent delivery and lack of openness by established providers has created an opening for newer providers that do things differently, either through the capabilities they deliver or the promise of a better and more reliable experience. One thing that has been true in collaboration is that new technologies and products don t just come from the big firms. The real innovation has often come from start-ups that often end up being acquired by the tech titans. Our Hot Vendors in collaboration and knowledge have pushed the envelope to deliver a true outcome-based set of capabilities. With tablet computing here, and the increased ability to deliver content and collaboration capabilities at the right time and for the right business need, our 2014 Hot Vendors are paving the way toward innovative ways to get the right information to people when they need it. Copyright 2014 Aragon Research Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Aragon Research and the Aragon Research Globe are trademarks of Aragon Research Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication may not be distributed in any form without Aragon Research s prior written permission. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Nevertheless, Aragon Research provides this publication and the information contained in it "AS IS," without warranty of any kind. To the maximum extent allowed by law, Aragon Research expressly disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This publication consists of the opinions of Aragon Research and Advisory Services organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Although Aragon Research may include a discussion of related legal issues, Aragon Research does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Aragon Research is a private company and its clients may include firms or financial institutions that have financial interests in entities covered by Aragon Research. Further information about the objectivity of Aragon Research can be found at aragonresearch.com

2 This research note is not intended to be a complete list of vendors in the markets being discussed. Rather, it highlights vendors with interesting, cutting-edge products, services or technologies. For 2014, we highlight these three Hot Vendors in knowledge and collaboration: Kaybus Neudesic ThinkTank 2014 Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Page 2

3 Kaybus Kaybus, with a focus on knowledge automation, represents a new approach to solving an increasingly difficult and chronic problem: getting the right information to the right people at the right time. The creative and innovative approach that Kaybus is using enabling information publishers to create, deliver and update content packs of information and then measure the consumption and understanding of the material represents what we think will be a popular way to improve the performance of teams and individuals. Business users can be confident that information they access is always the latest and most accurate, helping them improve productivity and get their jobs done much faster. At a Glance: Kaybus Kaybus focuses on knowledge automation. It lets business users package and deliver information while tracking the consumption and understanding of the material. Location: Mountain View, CA CEO: Seenu Banda Key Offering: Knowledge automation Availability: Available now. What makes Kaybus hot is that it can deal not only with traditional document content, but also with video content as part of the knowledge that users can access. Kaybus treats knowledge as fungible and ever-changing, with continuous, automated discovery and curation. The system can also predict other content that users might need based on profile and behavior, making it part of a new class of predictive business applications. Finally, for managers, understanding what is going on is key. Advanced analytics that measure what information has been delivered, consumed and understood, compared with the goals that were set out at the beginning of the knowledge campaign these should be sought-after capabilities in critical jobs such as sales, service and support Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Page 3

4 Neudesic Neudesic, based in southern California, is a software firm with multiple product lines. One of them is focused on enterprise social software. Its offering, Pulse, is one of the emerging social software applications that is meeting the needs of a growing number of enterprises by focusing on people. The enterprise profile and the benefits that come from it are still often missed when the subject of social networking arises. The ability to find people and the knowledge they possess is always one of the biggest issues faced when it comes to talent management. What makes Pulse hot is the fact that it is focused on the people aspect of collaboration. Pulse can be configured to enable people to be located faster and with more clarity than others, in many cases due to the profile built into Pulse. Law firms in particular have found this capability valuable in one of the versions of Pulse that is available called the Firm Directory. At a Glance: Neudesic Neudesic leverages profiles to help enterprises manage the people component of collaboration. Location: Irvine, CA CEO: Parsa Rohani Key Offering: Neudesic Pulse Availability: Available now in both onpremises and cloud Aragon has discussed the value of enterprise profiles in our previous research (see Research Note , The Enterprise Profile: Merging Identity, Expertise And Social Attributes). With its focus on the profile and on the directory that can be enabled via an enterprise profile, Pulse has the opportunity to succeed where other ESN providers have failed Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Page 4

5 Thinktank ThinkTank (formerly GroupSystems) has been around since 1989, and offers a unique way to deliver outcome-based structured collaboration. ThinkTank has helped some of the world s most innovative firms enhance their competitiveness by enabling people to collaboratively solve business problems faster. This is a unique approach that we have not seen in the market before. At a Glance: ThinkTank What makes ThinkTank hot is ThinkFlows: a new collaborationas-a-service offering that structures the efforts and enhances outcomes from teams. ThinkFlows can be shared or distributed so that others can use the ThinkFlows in their work environment. ThinkTank users are empowered to maximize their participation in meetings, share thoughts and ideas without fear, and rapidly codevelop innovative solutions that enhance the quality of execution around a specific business scenario, such as risk, strategy, audits, product development, quality control, etc. Availability: Custom engagements Thinktank enables outcome-based structured collaboration. Location: Denver, CO and London, UK CEO: Matt Wenger Key Offering: ThinkFlows We talked with several ThinkTank consulting users and found that they made substantial use of ThinkFlows to transform the way they collaborate with clients across their consulting firm. Given its demonstrated success in some very complex environments, we believe ThinkTank could represent a new way to bring people together to solve business problems. Enterprises that want to enhance agility and accelerate innovation should look at this approach Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Page 5

6 Aragon Advisory Enterprises looking for business applications to help them get work done should evaluate these new vendors to see the fit. As with all SaaS-based applications, basic due diligence around security should be done to ensure access protection is there (e.g. SSL access, two factor authentication). Predictive capabilities are key. Look for roadmaps on where these and other vendors are headed. Newer products and services often have advanced abilities to deliver information in a more timely fashion. Evaluate these providers as well as others for the right fit in your enterprise. Bottom Line Business users want better outcomes for their firms, and they are looking for solutions that deliver them. Our 2014 Hot Vendors in collaboration and knowledge represent the new generation of services that do that. Enterprises should evaluate how these approaches can augment and/or replace current approaches to collaborating and sharing knowledge Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Page 6

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