When I was at Suiteworld 2011, Netsuite’s user conference, I came across a company called Qontext (previous CloudAve coverage). I got attracted towards the company initially out of my curiosity to find out how they are going to navigate the Netsuite-Yammer partnership while they themselves are partnering with them. I have spoken with them couple of times after that and I am pretty convinced that they are going to be in the game for long time to come. Not only they are nimble (having a strong team in India), they have some features that will differentiate them from the rest of the crowd. With deep partnership with Force.com, Netsuite and SugarCRM, they are positioning themselves as an alternative to the Chatters and Tibbrs of the world.
Putting Qontext in context
Qontext, like Chatter, Tibbr and others, is an enterprise grade social collaboration platform that can work inside of many applications and make collaboration within or outside the organization seamless. It offers shared bookmarks, discussions, documents, blogs, wikis, photos, videos, polls, and more. More importantly, the platform puts social in the existing workflow of an organization by adding necessary context which is not available in many adhoc social collaboration tools that puts focus on people over the process.
Yes, this space is very crowded with everyone from Tibco to Salesforce to startups taking a shot at the collaboration problem in the modern enterprises. Qontext has their work cutout trying to navigate this highly competitive space. But what attracted me to take a look at this platform was some of the features that are not available in other platforms. These include:
- The platform is built ground up with integration in mind. It can be integrated not only with modern SaaS applications but also with legacy applications. Integrating this platform in any application is as simple as adding a few lines of code. It is damn simple to integrate without any need to go to a system integrator.
- Not only you can see the conversations in context from Qontext portal but it is also possible to see the conversation around data in one application from another application. For example, it is possible to see the conversation around the Salesforce.com data of your organization from inside of Netsuite and vice versa. I hope pundits or vendors in the social collaboration will correct me if I am wrong but I feel that I haven’t seen this feature in any of the other social collaboration platforms.
- Another interesting feature is the bookmarklet which helps build conversation around any web content inside the organization. This completely unlocks the way an organization collaborates in today’s world where lots of relevant information is out there in the web.
Even though the platform is powerful, they are against some heavy competition. It will be interesting to see how they navigate the competition in the coming years. If NetSuite or any other enterprise software company is looking around to get a powerful social platform for acquisition, Qontext is a very good candidate with their powerful ready to go platform.