I’m really impressed with Koral which is an online (SaaS) enterprise content management solution, which launched on 26 Sept 2006.
Koral helps you put an end to wasted hours trying to find your most recent and relevant content by synchronizing it in a central place and making searching for it very intuitive. Say goodbye to a mess of folders: Koral doesn’t require them. Koral then helps you use your business information to collaborate within your company and with partners, suppliers and customers.
With this online service you can
- store and share your documents online with your collaboration partners (colleagues, customers, suppliers)
- permission content to particular users
- apply multiple tags your content, rather than having to put them in a folder structure; the application suggests tags to you based on the text in the content
- search for content by author, published dates, document type, tags [use made of tag clouds]
- subscribe to content, authors, tags and receive notifications via email/rss
- preview content online [all documents are rendered into flash]
- post discussion/comments on content in threads
- apply content rating
- see who has subscribed to content and when they accessed that content
Koral is offered soley as a Software-as-a-Service solution (like salesforce.com). A business user can create a workspace to collaborate, then invite others (similar to how linkedin works). The sweet-spot of companies using Koral at the moment is department and team-level collaboration. This is smart – I’ve always believed that the best way for these apps to succeed is to sneak in under the corporate procurement and IT radar, and then spread between users who entice their colleagues in because of the network externalities benefits.
To make it easy for business teams to adopt, Koral has focused on (i) usability (ii) self-service administration (iii) ease of adding co-workers. The UI is very slick and intuitive, as is the navigation.
I always approach Enterprise 2.0 applications with some apprehension, because the developers often forget that corporate users rarely have the option to install plugs Java Applets or ActiveX as it’s highly likely these will be blocked in a corporate environment. So in demanding that users have the latest browser, Java RTE etc they lock out most users. With Koral, they’ve not fallen into this trap and so are more likely to achieve viral success.
There is an optional desktop application which extends the value you can get from Koral, but it’s not mandatory. If, in comparison, you look at something like Microsoft Groove, the fact that it requires a 30Mb+ install of a windows app to do *anything* makes you realise why it didn’t spread virally amongst corporates.
Another smart move by Koral is offering this service via the Salesforce AppExchange, which plugs them into a large distribution opportunity.
Check the introductory video out which provides a good insight into its capabilities. There’s also a pretty good video of Tim Baker (a Brit involved in a great web app still living in Britain!) doing a demo to Robert Scoble here. However, one cautionary note is that without the optional desktop piece shown on the demo video you can’t simply drop documents into an icon on your desktop for them to upload nor do you get the IM alert/notification that you are using an out dated version when opening it on the desktop. Oddly, as you’ll see in both videos, this a pitched as a major benefit of the app without mentioning either the install requirement or that this ordinarily won’t be available to many corporate users.
The service is free for basic usage with fees kicking in as it is more widely adopted within a business in similar fashion to Salesforce.
Comment posted by OxBowBusiness
at 1/26/2007 5:02:00 AM
That’s really interesting John.
I have toyed with Joomla CMS but didn’t like it’s menu structure/interface and have attempted others but couldn’t get them to work.
The demo of Koral is fantastic and if I become a chosen one I will be delighted.
Thanks for the link.