On Friday’s I’ll be reviewing a vendor in the emergent collaboration space and will provide an overview on that vendor which includes aspects from leadership and vision to technology and market focus. If you are vendor that would like to participate, please contact me. The goal of these posts is not to bash or praise vendors but to simply offer an objective view on what various vendors offer so that YOU can decide if they are a good fit for your business. Every post will cover the same elements for different vendors. If you have ideas or recommendations for other items to be covered in these posts then please let me know and I will consider them.
This week I’m taking a look at Mango Spring (the product itself is called Mango Apps) which is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington and Pune, India. Mango Spring has been around for four years, has 70 employees, and as of today is privately funded. I spoke with Patrick Allman, the VP of worldwide sales.
Out of the box Mango integrates with Outlook, Sharepoint, Alfresco, and about 35 other popular document repositories. In addition Mango can also provide for custom integration’s (such as with Salesforce or SAP) for larger clients with either private cloud or on-premise deployments (such as with Salesforce). However, small and medium size businesses get all these 35 integrations for free provided they are using the enterprise version of the software (not available on shared cloud).
On the shared cloud deployment (typically for SMBs) support is available from 9am-6pm PST at no additional cost, email support is also available. 24/7 support is included for private cloud deployments and for on-premise deployments support is 20% of the annual license fee but the first year is included for free. At this time no customer support community currently exists.
For the shared cloud deployments (SMBs) it’s $10/user/month. For private cloud deployments or on-premise solutions of over 200 users this cost can scale down from $10/user/month all the way down to below $3/user/month for large enterprises, for example a large bank with over 100,000 employees.
Maintenance & Upgrades
Companies who go with a private cloud or on-premise deployment choose when they want to role out new updates and there is no charge. Those on the shared cloud get new updates as soon as they are released which is currently 3 weeks for minor updates and 9 months for major upgrades. Companies who go with an on-premise deployment pay 20% of the annual licensed fee (included in support cost mentioned above).
Overall direction and strategic vision for the company and industry
Mango Spring believes there will be consolidation in point solutions and that as an industry we will move towards more comprehensive solutions. A few “winners” will emerge and Mango will be one of them. Mango also believes that eventually all companies will have an internal platform like Mango which they will use to handle their collaboration and communication. These platforms will become the standard way that companies communicate with partners, customers, and employees.
Currently Mango does not have have full customer communities on the roadmap but this may change in the future. Since Mango is currently privately funded they may raise money in the future to grow at an even more rapid pace. Currently Mango is profitable but they don’t spend a lot on marketing which is where other funding could be useful in the future. At this point Mango is really looking to improve and expand on the platform with some new things coming in 2012 such as a full knowledge management module and perhaps a CRM piece component.
I also asked Patrick what his thoughts were on the similarity of all the vendors both in terms of functionality and UI. Patrick responded that Facebook proved that the current UI for vendors works and even though many of them look and feel the same that there are differences when it comes down to the details.
Key differentiating factors from competition (such as Jive, Sharepoint, Yammer, Chatter, and Box)
• Functionality, Mango goes far beyond just the social network and is not just a point solution like Yammer
• Security, Mango goes deeper and offers far more security than anyone else with 3 deployment models and offerings such as mobile device management that others just don’t have
• Integration, 35+ out of the box document management integration’s and can also can do custom integrations for virtually any other platform.
With Mango Spring you can control everything from the layout and look and feel to enabling/disabling any applications and features that a company wants. The platform was built in a modular way which gives customers a lot of flexibility. Mango also has a full open API set as well.
Time to go live
The shared cloud takes just a few minutes to go live. The on-premise and private cloud take deployments take around 1 week and much of that is waiting for the customer to provide certain specifications.
Mango is not built on any legacy technologies such as Jive which has big problems that they are now trying to retroactively fix to work effectively within today’s enterprise. The back end is Java based and the front end is Ruby on Rails. Mango also supports any major relational databases but MySQL is the primary one. The platform is also SAS 70 Type II compliant, supports 6 languages, is HIPA compliant and Safe Harbor Compliant.
The issues of communication and collaboration are universal and the Mango Spring customer base is distributed accorss the globe and industries. Notable customers include: Jive, the US Navy, Toshiba, and Intrado.
Capabilities (customer, partner, employee collaboration)
Employee and partner
I first found out about Mango Spring over a year and a half ago at a collaboration conference and have since kept in touch with them and kept on eye on what they have been doing. I must say that I really like the Mango Spring platform and it does offer several unique features that most other vendors don’t have such as real-time video conferencing with up to 50 participants, instant messaging with on-line users which can be used via mobile, web, or desktop browser, drag and drop task management, and a host of other valuable features (check out their feature comparison matrix vs Jive, Yammer, Chatter and Box.
The positioning behind Mango Spring also makes a lot of sense as the core pillars are social networking, document management, idea management, project management, instant messaging, task management, and event management. With the hopefull addition of a knowledge management component in 2012 (and perhaps a CRM component) Mango Spring will move from being a collaboration platform to a business management type of platform that includes collaboration.
The look and feel of the product is great and I love the focus on accessibility and usability from pretty much any mobile or tablet device. Those that have seen platforms such as Yammer won’t see too much in terms of UI differences. Their three different types of deployment options (private cloud, shared cloud, and on-premise) also allow customers to have great flexibility.
I understand the direction that Mango Spring is taking to become a fully integrated collaboration/business management suite. I’ve used many of the collaboration products out there today and while there are some great products it’s frustrating when a vendor can do something really well such as micrblogging or document management but can’t do something else such as task management.
While the product itself is great the biggest problem Mango Spring faces is that compared to some of the other vendors out there nobody really knows who Mango Spring is which is unfortunate. The company has taken no financing and unlike many other vendors is actually profitable, yet I don’t know anyone personally (or have heard of) who uses them. They also need to work hard on securing some enterprise customers if they want to really penetrate that market because as of now the enterprise customers are few and far between. The resources and thought leadership component at Mango Spring is definitely lacking and something I suspect they will need to improve upon quickly.
The technology/product is great but I think 2012 is really going to be an important year for them and a time where they should focus on marketing, lead nurturing, education, and thought leadership. Everyone who is familiar with Jive or Yammer needs to also be familiar with Mango Spring. On a side note I’d be quite curious to hear from Jive, Yammer, Box, and Chatter as to what they think about the feature comparison matrix mentioned 5 paragraphs up.
Mango Spring also currently does not support any type of customer community which is something that I’m noticing more and more companies are starting to look for (yes, even in a collaboration platform).
Overall I think Mango Spring has a bright future ahead.
To find out more about Mango Spring visit their site at MangoSpring.com
(Cross-posted @ Social Business Advisor: Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0)