As enterprises begin to adopt and embrace Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies, solutions are popping up all over the place. Rather than starting small, the developers at Trampoline Systems are going about Enterprise 2.0 in a unique fashion. For five years now, the London-based provider of social-enterprise software has focused on the power and benefits of peer-to-peer networking. Dubbed by several analysts as “Facebook for the enterprise,” the company is catching attention of vendors and analysts alike. This year, Trampoline was named a “Cool Vendor” in Collaboration and Social Software by Gartner, and became a member of Oracle’s Emerging Business Partner Program.
As companies begin to apply social networking to business processes, Trampoline is bouncing onto the scene with its Sonar Dashboard (a social-networking platform for the enterprise) and Sonar Flightdeck (visualization software that maps out relationships and skills). Kathleen Reidy, analyst with The 451 Group, says that what’s particularly unique is Trampoline’s specific focus on expertise analysis. “Because of the technology they have, they can do the analysis of content to see ‘who knows what,’ ” she says. “The combination of visualization with the ability to analyze content-related activities across email is the other differentiator.” Trampoline not only provides insight into “who does what,” but also shows what projects employees are working on and what contacts or clients a given person might have. In a customer support scenario, an agent could use the system to swiftly direct customer needs to the appropriate staffer with specific skills or contacts.
Like many social-networking initiatives, what Trampoline really needs is to gain traction—partly because, as Reidy admits, there’s still a question if enterprises are truly ready for social networking in the first place. When asked, though, many organizations list expertise analysis as a main goal of Enterprise 2.0 endeavors. The social-networking arena isn’t easy, but with its ambitions and goals of connecting the enterprise internally, Trampoline seems to be taking big steps—or jumps—toward a springy future.
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