09 Aug Instant messaging comes to groups
Today, Palo Alto-based start-up Five Across introduced a new instant messenger system, called InterComm. At first blush, another IM system may seem redundant, silly and unnecessary. After all, AOL, MSN, and Yahoo already capture the vast majority of consumer IM users. What can a newcomer bring to the party to upset that triumvirate?
The answer, it turns out, is plenty . . . and it doesn’t even have to unseat the Top Three in order to make a respectable business proposition.
Until now, instant messaging has sat squarely in the consumer market. Sure, some folks have dragged IM into the office. Companies like IMlogic even have the endorsement of DEMO as an outstanding application development platform, tapping the IM infrastructure to deliver business process improvements.
Still, these consumer-originated and individual-oriented IM systems offer little to support real business needs. In fact, business IM is little more than “fast e-mail or a bad phone call,” as Five Across CEO Glenn Reid so aptly puts it.
Because of this, Reid and his team set out to create an IM platform designed specifically for business. InterComm provides workgroup instant messaging, but only as a starting point. In addition to one-to-one and group IM, InterComm also provides simple file sharing, project management, archiving, and notification functionality.
InterComm is architected from the start to support group IM. The software enables users to create distinct groups, while also enabling them to manage one-to-one contacts within the system. But unlike today’s IM clients that require both parties to be online in order to participate in a dialog, InterComm supports communications to group members no matter if they are on- or offline. As with any other IM client, the user can control presence and interruptions, but because the software maintains an archive of group communications, you don’t miss out on information that is shared while you are not logged in or otherwise unavailable.
InterComm also supports simple document sharing, including version controls and notifications. These controls are handled quite transparently and are as effective for most simple file sharing needs as are special purpose document management systems.
In addition to light file sharing, InterComm provides very simple project management features to track who has seen and responded to posted documents and questions posed via InterComm’s group polling tool.
This is an outstanding communications tool and a great first effort by Five Across. The free InterComm client will spread virally, as individuals and businesses discover these useful capabilities. The company then intends to sell its Five Across Workgroup Server for enterprise instant messaging. The server software includes management, compliance, and security features you’d expect on an enterprise-class communications platform.
You can learn more about InterComm at www.fiveacross.com.
DEMO alumnus (and DEMOmobile 2004 demonstrator) Sorrent has just received $20 million in a third round of funding, led by BA Venture Partners. Sorrent provides connected interactive games for wireless and Internet-enabled devices. Other investors include Globespan Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Sienna Ventures.
Immersion Corp. has launched a wireless version of its CyberGlove hand motion-capture glove, which aims to help video game and film animators increase their production efficiency, the company said. By going wireless, the glove allows for the recording of hand motion along with full body movement. The glove takes up to 22 joint-angle measurements, and works with Immersion’s VirtualHand software. For more details, go to www.immersion.com.
IBM has told its users not to install the new Windows XP update, Service Pack 2, because of compatibility issues. In an internal memo sent to its users, Big Blue said its “large number of Web applications will need to be tested and some modified to work correctly with SP2. Currently, some high profile, business- critical applications are also known to conflict with SP2. When the current issues and concerns have been addressed, IBM will deploy a customized version of SP2.” You can read more about this at www.nwfusion.com/news/2004/0809ibmtells.html.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * DEMOmobile 2004 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The search is under way to find the 50 products that will launch at DEMOmobile 2004, September 8-10, 2004, in La Jolla, California. DEMOmobile is a high-visibility launch platform that will set your company on the path to success. It’s the best venue for positioning new mobile and wireless products and establishing strategic relationships with the players who will lead you to success. The conference’s stringent selection process and excellent reputation serves as an endorsement for your product as it comes to market. DEMO events have helped companies like Palm, Handspring, IBM Pervasive Computing, Logitech, Mirra, Tapwave, Macromedia – even Microsoft – launch their products, create critical business relationships, and sell to thought-leading early adopters.
DEMOmobile 2003 demonstrators benefited from more than 162 million media impressions before, during, and long after the event.
Visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demonstrate/tour/index-demo2.html to learn more and complete an online application.
September 8-10, 2004
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, La Jolla, CA http://www.demomobile.com/M4DL