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INetOffice, ShareMethods in AJAX Deal
[October 16, 2006]

INetOffice, ShareMethods in AJAX Deal

TMCnet Contributing Editor
 

INetOffice, a vendor of browser-based office applications, and ShareMethods, provider of on-demand sales and marketing document management, have announced a partnership to "bring online office applications to market and to develop Ajax mashup recommendations," according to iNetOffice officials.

The goal of the joint work is to provide "the next wave of software services to improve efficiency and flexibility working with documents online using multiple on-demand applications," including CRM.

Certain vendors are pushing the idea that the ability to create online office mashups enables organizations to improve productivity, better serve customers and users, and solve business problems more rapidly. The goal is integration of best-of-breed online office applications presented to users in a single interface, available any time and from anywhere on the Web.


Salesforce.com's (News - Alert) CEO Marc Benioff loves the idea of CRM mashups. A recent feature by industry observer Rick Whiting says salesforce's recent announcement of "its Apex programming language and related SaaS (News - Alert) platform… combined with its AppExchange application sharing service, show how Benioff has his sights on becoming the operating system of the on-demand and service-oriented architecture worlds."

Whiting shows how businesses are "already expanding their use of the vendor's CRM apps into new areas -- Morgan Stanley uses it for employee recruiting, for example -- and tapping into the 400 applications on AppExchange to enhance Salesforce apps with add-ons and creating mash-up composite Web applications."

The proposed approach from this new partnership enables the Internet as a platform for "plug and play" office productivity suites, tailored or modified for specific business needs. No online office application should be an island unto itself, the online office can go beyond a traditional office suite into an online office ecosystem where users can combine their choice of online document, spreadsheet, and presentation services on demand with an ability to share content across these services and to collaborate on a global basis.

Generally speaking, newsletters and press releases can also be created and shared easily by marketing teams -- a sales user can build a dynamically-generated sales proposal using customer data from an on-demand CRM database. See a mashup of web-based CRM, enterprise content management (ECM), online word processing, and online presentation at http://www.inetword.com/mashup/index.html.

"This multi-way mashup is an excellent example of how quickly Web 2.0 applications can come together because of interoperability, standards, and user experience," said David Coleman, managing director of research and consulting firm Collaborative Strategies. "End users benefit from reduced time to create these applications and from the additional functionality that can be added through each of the components in the mashup. Quick, easy and intuitive are all attributes of Web 2.0 applications and this mashup shows how a virtual on-line office can be put together in a very short time."

Last week CRM provider ShareMethods announced that it has upgraded its operations into a SAS (News - Alert) 70 Type II data center provided by AppSite Hosting, a division of Vericenter.

The ShareMethods service is hosted at Appsite’s datacenter, to "boost redundancy and scale more easily when adding customers," according to company officials. It sells an on-demand sales and marketing library to manage, share, and distribute materials such as proposals, marketing collateral, customer agreements, and partner documents on a global basis.

 

ShareMethods officials say it "combines advanced document management, collaboration, and CRM integration," specifically the "Sales and Marketing Portal in a Box" approach which "can cost less than one tenth of the price of traditional enterprise software."

INetOffice and ShareMethods plan to make a sales and marketing productivity mashup broadly available. The two companies are also inviting other software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to join their online office mashup and to participate in technical recommendations based on open standards such as WebDAV (Web Document Authoring and Versioning), SSO (Single Sign-On), and ALE (Ajax Linking and Embedding).

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles please visit David Sims’ columnist page.


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