Questions Chatter-style approach.
Qontext has rebutted claims by NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson that the social media vendor was better suited to mid-size companies rather than enterprise.
Nelson introduced Qontext competitor Yammer as the preferred social media platform for enterprise during the ERP vendor’s keynote at its inaugural user conference in San Francisco earlier this month.
<!–:sh–>Nelson said a standalone social media<!–sh:–> platform was a better approach for enterprises because employees used many applications rather than a central ERP application. Nelson said Yammer’s standalone platform was a better approach than Qontext which was embedded within applications such as NetSuite.
Samir Ghosh, Qontext’s vice president of business development and strategy, said he wanted to “set the record straight” on Qontext’s enterprise credentials. Qontext’s social media platform was available embedded in a single application or as a standalone application receiving data streams from several applications.
“I agree with Zach (Nelson) – the larger the organisation the greater the likelihood that they will have a mixed bag of things. So you need to support heterogeneous environments and in fact that’s what we do.
“You can embed, or you don’t have to embed. We give choice and flexibility and I think that’s what enterprises really need.”
Ghosh said it was the only time he had seen someone question whether Qontext was “enterprise-ready”. “We were all shocked,” he said.
“Frankly I’ve been in the enterprise space for 25 years. One of the reasons I joined Qontext was because of their legacy in enterprise and the way they’ve architected and built Qontext to be enterprise ready.”
Filtering versus pinning
Ghosh said Qontext provided the same feed integration and Twitter-like status updates as Yammer but added “we believe social is more than feed integration and collaboration is more than status updates”.
“When you put the burden on the recipient to filter, whether it’s a computer or individual, the task is much more difficult than for the person initiating the content.
“If you initiate something within the system of record you already know the context around that record.”
Qontext uses “pinning” to attach social content and discussions to records rather than filtering content after it has been created.
“That has two benefits. I can always come back to that record and see everything that’s associated with it. That’s like a filter. Or if you’re looking through that feed you can filter it by the contextual information within it.”
Ghosh added that unlike Yammer, Qontext was available as an on-premise installation or as a cloud service, with federated access to on and off-premise applications through Intel’s Cloud Access 360 security suite.
The internal approach
Software vendors which built their own integrated social media platforms, such as SalesForce.com’s Chatter, would create “social silos” that wouldn’t work across applications, Ghosh said.
“If you think about those ad hoc workflows that work across applications, they currently happen in email and they happen across function, across geography and across app. You end up with social silos if you social enable individual applications.”
Ghosh said sales to companies using SalesForce.com had been impacted by the release of Chatter. However, Qontext was sometimes chosen by SalesForce.com customers because it connected other applications and had more features.