MindTouch just announced our first ever enterprise SaaS offering: MindTouch Cloud. I wrote briefly about it here at the MindTouch blog and included a snazzy new commercial video short of the offering, which I encourage you to watch and share. The reception afforded this new product by media, analysts and customers has been remarkably positive. There were about 60 blog mentions, hundreds of press release reprints and the twittersphere is still buzzing about the launch. Also, I am very pleased to report MindTouch Cloud has already generated a tremendous number of new customers.
Sam Ramji, previously of Microsoft and the current Codeplex Foundation chairman, said: “MindTouch has essentially built an open source, cloud-enabled SharePoint that is accessible to non-programmers. The more I look at what they’ve done, the more I realize they’ve built a business platform more than a technology platform.” Sam recently joined Sonoa Systems as the Vice President of Strategy. Sonoa Systems is a company and technology I am personally very excited about. They are a provider of analytics, management and cloud governance solutions for APIs and cloud services.
Some of the media coverage of MindTouch Cloud included, in no particular order and my apologies to the many I’ve missed:
MindTouch has the potential to compete with the large market players. Today they are announcing MindTouch Cloud, an open-source, SaaS service that integrates business data from any number of sources, including Oracle, Sugar CRM and Salesforce.com.
MindTouch Cloud is meant for a business community to create their own dashboards. It allows users to collaborate with a familiar wiki environment with the capabilities of an enterprise platform.
It’s also another example of how enterprise technologies are increasingly designed so the average business user may perform tasks that have traditionally been the domain of the IT department.
My Favorite Collaboration Tool, Mindtouch (Check out my previous coverage of Mindtouch here), has embraced SaaS wholeheartedly. In fact, in my previous post about Mindtouch, I characterized their platform as a glue to the clouds but, now, they have really embraced cloud computing by offering their collaboration tool as a service. No, they are not cloud washing by offering a Mindtouch instance running on AWS. This is a truly multi-tenant, usage based pricing, software as a service model.
…With Mindtouch, one can be assured that their data doesn’t lay dormant in one of the silos but, rather, plays a crucial role in gaining competitive advantage in the marketplace. With the ability to talk to legacy enterprise systems like CRM, Accounts Payable, ERP, etc., Mindtouch offers a powerful collaborative environment for the enterprises.
Using the MindTouch Cloud, organizations get a SaaS-based solution that enables them to bring together data from various sources into a single location to work on. This includes the ability to pull together data from sources such as CRM, ERP, support, Salesforce.com and more.
Second, MindTouch Cloud lets non-technical sales representatives or business managers pull business data from CRM and ERP applications, such as Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, and Oracle, and weave them into documents in team workspaces. Workers can then automate reports, build applications and run dashboards based on that data.
…MindTouch has a distinct advantage. Zoho, Salesforce.com and the others are not offering their solutions via the open source model, which will be attractive to businesses courting open source religion, or who just want a lower price point.
…MindTouch Cloud, creates “a federated collaboration network” here. MindTouch competes with Microsoft’s SharePoint, but can eliminate many of the inflexibilities of proprietary collaboration software, and MindTouch Cloud’s prices are being kept low.
…the company’s CEO, Aaron Fulkerson, did a guest column for OStatic on the future of collaborative networks here.
MindTouch Cloud has all the features and functionality of MindTouch Standard, including desktop productivity tools, full featured LDAP and Active Directory module, database adapters, and more. What sets it apart from other collaboration systems is the ability to use other popular enterprise systems atop this platform. Customers don’t have to give up the workflows and Web apps they’re already used to because MindTouch Cloud interfaces easily with support ticketing, ERP, accounts payable, Salesforce.com and other systems a company may already be using.
You might consider it an enterprise mashup service akin to Salesforce.com’s Chatter. But while Chatter is focused on social media MindTouch is focused on enterprise data — Chatter is about social and MindTouch about media.
Of course that last may be a comparison of sales pitches, not feature sets. MindTouch is launching its cloud just a week after announcing its Enterprise Dashboard,
In addition to the coverage of MindTouch Cloud, John Fontana (@johnfontana), of Network World, included MindTouch in his article “11 Open Source Companies to Watch”, which was reprinted at www.CIO.com. Other companies included: Talend, Cloudera, Likewise and Lucid Imagination.
In short, an excellent week for MindTouch in terms of customer acquisition and media coverage. Thank you all for writing about our new product. If you have not yet helped to spread the word, please do. Moreover, if you have not yet launched a MindTouch Cloud I encourage you to do so and share the service with your colleagues.