BroadVision Expands Enterprise Social Networking Solution

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  April 30, 2012

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

BroadVision Inc. has expanded its enterprise social networking solution on a number of fronts. New are collaborative workspaces called Conduits, a social analytics module, and SharePoint integration.

Conduits are virtual spaces within a Clearvale network where external users, such as suppliers, customers or partners, can interface with a business and conduct their interactions in total privacy.

Guest members only have access to the Conduits that they have been given permission to use. There are closed invitation-only conduits, and there are open conduits. The latter might used to  invite all consumers to try a new product and offer input on it, explains Richard Hughes (News - Alert), BroadVision director of product strategy.

As for the new social analytics module, that can enable social networking in the business context to move to the next level, indicates Hughes. Some companies are experimenting with social networks today, he says, but they’re not doing a lot of measurement related to social networks. The social analytics module from BroadVision both measures and allows users to respond to those measurements on a number of fronts. It rewards and recognizes key contributors to a network, and it gives organizations the tools to encourage participation and weigh use. It measures the volume of contributions across the enterprise. It looks at how widely a member interacts with other members. It does analysis to place a value to each user’s and group’s contribution to the network and related respect from other members within that network. And it tracks cumulative use of the social network.

“You might be uploading 100 documents a day, but if only one person looks at them…” says Hughes, adding that the overall goal of the social analytics module is to encourage people to make use of the network.”

There’s a myth about social network that indicates its adoption happens from the ground up, Hughes continues. But when it comes to enterprise social networks, he says, most organizations require a mandate to use such platforms.

Finally, BroadVision now offers SharePoint integration with its enterprise social network solution. Hughes notes that many organizations have SharePoint, but they might not want to use it in social networking. But the SharePoint integration now offered by BroadVision makes it easy by allowing users to store their SharePoint files in Clearvale or SharePoint, and offering users the ability to initiate collaboration from either side.

“We see these two [solutions] as entirely complimentary,” says Hughes.

Clearvale is the name of BroadVision’s cloud-based enterprise social networking solution, which helps businesses engage with employees, customers and partners. It enables businesses to create separate social networks for each of these groups, but manage them together as a whole. The full-featured version of Clearvale is called Clearvale enterprise. Clearvale express is a lightweight, free version of the solution, which was designed to enable customers to try before they buy. And Clearvale passport gives BroadVision distribution partners (which include such big names as Softbank (News - Alert) of Japan) to take the product on a test drive.

Mid-sized enterprises that are knowledge-centric are the sweet spot for BroadVision’s Clearvale, says Erin Curtis, vice president of marketing, saying that includes companies in the telco, ISV, retails and travel verticals. But she says the company also sells into very large and very small companies.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi