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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

One response to “IT Central Station Launches–A “Yelp for Enteprise IT””

  1. Russell Rothstein

    Ben, I appreciate your taking time to write about IT Central Station, but I’d like to correct some misconceptions that came out in your piece.

    Our vision is that social networks and communities for B2B technology buyers has and will continue to be a hybrid of online interactions and offline interactions. Online professional social networking is most valuable when it can strengthen people’s offline networks. When we interviewed technology decision makers before starting our company we found that ironically in the age of LinkedIn, people today have weaker offline networks and smaller rolodexes – for instance, they are going to fewer events and have fewer opportunities to meet peers. These offline networks are critical when in the decision making process for important enterprise technology purchases.

    We built IT Central Station as a community site, not just a product review site, that facilitates more interactions with peers – both online and offline. On the site you find people who have reviewed products that interest you. Then you use private messaging to connect with them, trade phone numbers, set up a meeting, etc and then you can have those important, frank discussions about working with the vendor, licensing, pricing, etc that are better conducted off-line and are critical for B2B technology decision making.

    Our positioning IT Central Station as the Yelp for Enterprise IT was intended to communicate at a high level that just as Yelp and other online review sites have disrupted the B2C buying process, so too IT Central Station is disrupting the B2B tech buying process. However, there are fundamental differences between B2C review sites and IT Central Station. This post for some reason overly focused on the Yelp analogy without considering the community and social networking aspects.

    Regarding your comments about whether IT Central Station can remain vendor-neutral, there are many other businesses and industries that provide a level playing field while generating sales from the individual businesses they cover. The companies that have succeeded to maintain both objectivity and a profitable business are those that have been strident in building and enforcing their internal policies. We are committed to doing so.

    Thanks again for taking an interest in our new B2B social networking site for the IT community.