I began researching what we now call Cloud Content Management and Social Business in the fall of 2008. I had spent nearly a decade working with a very dedicated group of professionals to build a nationally recognized systems integration company in the Northwest. Over the years the company worked with many familiar content management products including Optika, Kofax, OTG, Cardiff, Stellent, OnBase, OIT and many others. Like many regional VAR’s and Systems Integrators we worked in familiar verticals like government, transportation, financial services and healthcare to build out accounts payable, claims processing, human resources, electronic health records and many other document centric and workflow oriented business processes. Continue

Yesterday I stumbled upon a new collaboration tool called HALL. It started because I was followed on twitter by @bretthellman Founder and CEO of the company.  As usual I checked out his profile, made sure it wasn’t some russian spam bot and then clicked the link in his profile.  It took me only a few seconds to join the NFL and Startup Hall’s.  Basically these are groups or subject matters that you can join and engage in collaborative real time chats, document authoring, polls and rank topics of interest in the group.

So next I did what any curious social business aficionado would do, I created a Hall.  At first I was all alone in the Hall, but then I started trolling for tweeps on twitter.  Pretty soon I had a few friends including the collaboration jockeys over at Hall HQ.  I created a poll asking what is the hottest new ECM company and I started to get some feedback.  The most interesting thing about the tool is the ability to create and collaborate using the chat stream, real time document authoring like GoogleDocs. Although not as feature rich as Google it has a very clean interface and is more like a notepad than a word processing APP.  Adding new Polls, Ranking or Notepads is a snap and you can really see how the site can continue to evolve into a very usable collaboration tool.  The site is sleek and easy to navigate, I have found no glitches so far.  During the discussions on the chat stream it was apparent that the developers were actively engaged in soliciting feedback from the group about what could be added to improve an already capable site.  It is amazing actually to think how much ‘in stream’ intelligence you could gather using Hall.

At the prompting of Sanjay Kotagiri I created a notepad and invited peers in the #ECM community to add their thoughts about a File Storage / Sharing APP to the site.  You can check out what we have come up with so far and join the Hall too add your two cents by following this link.  This is a company and a product to watch, you can check out a TechCrunch article by following this link.


Enterprise Content Management | Hall.com.

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An igloo is a shelter made of ice.  The ice acted as an insulator and provided warmth due to the air pockets trapped in the snow.  When I think of igloo I normally think of the popular brand of coolers that accompany anyone going on an outdoor excursion or camping trip.

Corporate Intranet

Well now I can add IGLOO to the growing list of cloud based SaaS solutions that are popping up to help drive collaboration and a social infrastructure for business.  In 2005 the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) launched an initiative to create International Governance Leaders and Organizations Online or IGLOO.  Several noted Canadian technology innovators were involved in the initiative including Tom Jenkins of OpenText (OTEX) and Jim Basillie from Research in Motion (RIMM).  More info…

Beginning in 2008 IGLOO began its journey towards a commercially available software platform in accordance with CIGI’s agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.  More info….

More recently IGLOO improved its position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant as an emerging Niche player of the Social Software in the Workplace and Externally Facing Social Software reports.   More info…

Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario the company has seen a 388% year over year growth in 2011 focusing on B2B in the US and EMEA.  The ideal target customer is the mid-market with organizations <2,500 employees.  The product is described as an IT friendly business social software that is different from public social networking and file sharing sites.  Those public sites are designed mainly for fun, they are free and adopted for personal use.  The question is who owns the content, you or the free service provider?

In contrast IGLOO is for work, it is secure (LDAP, AD, Kerberos) and gives you the ability to brand and design websites, team collaboration spaces, blogs, forums, wikis, document spaces and photo galleries.   You build team sites and web pages using a drag and drop widget bar.  Once your widgets are placed each one has a tabbed configuration settings page that makes it simple.  Now managers and power users can create sites that are useful and powerful.

Drag & Drop widget stack

On top of the entire platform is a killer social layer that supports trending, messaging, commenting and sharing.  This gives each user and workgroup the ability to interact with content in a social and meaningful way.  Add a universal search function and user, content and role based security and you have a very capable cloud based platform fully accessible from your desktop browser.

Everything inside IGLOO is predicated on a version control paradigm so whenever you add content, update a page, write a blog, or comment each action is recorded as a new version so there is never any worry that you will overwrite or delete important files or data.  In addition there is a desktop integration feature that gives you the ability to drag and drop documents and related content directly to a secure folder on your desktop.

IGLOO uses an agile development methodology that allows 50% of all new features to be driven by the customers and users in very short cycles.  The company boasts 3,000 customer communities worldwide and has widgets for connecting Salesforce.com and SharePoint.

It’s important to note that IGLOO is running in a SaaS 70 Type II compliant data center so you know your content is safe and secure.  I think Daniel Kube, IGLOO Sales and Business Development VP summed it up well by saying “You can never make software to easy to use”.

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