The perennial problem faced by businesses today is seemingly this: How can they harness technology to enhance productivity and knowledge-sharing in the workplace?
We’re seeing an onslaught of enterprise-focused tools hitting the marketplace, and Bloomfire is the latest startup to give credence to this space, announcing $10m in a Series A funding round from Austin Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, as it officially rolls out its social Web app.
Designed to facilitate so-called “‘just-in-time’ learning moments”, connecting people with knowledge, Bloomfire is initially targeting sales teams and the organizations that support them.
Enterprise social network Yammer announced a whopping $85m funding round last month, just before it launched its new dashboard analytics for employees. And we’ve previously written about the likes of Wazoku, a UK startup that’s looking to make inroads in the space by taking the company suggestion box online and throwing social into the mix.
It’s clear that there is a growing demand for enterprise technology that aids collaboration and opens up knowledge in the workplace. Bloomfire says that it’s taking a new approach though, “leveraging the viral nature of social to help customer-facing employees read and react in real time, so when market conditions change, businesses can too.”
Bloomfire offers a set of embedded content creation tools, covering everything from text-based documents to spontaneous videos. It says it will help surface valuable “tribal knowledge” that is so often buried in emails, phone calls and conversations, making it searchable, sharable and actionable.
The Texas-based company was co-founded by CEO Craig Malloy, former founder and CEO of LifeSize, which was acquired by Logitech; CTO Dave McCann, former vice president of global services at LifeSize; and Chief Evangelist Josh Little, former national training manager at Stryker Instruments, who was also the original brains behind the Bloomfire app.
“Behind every business problem is often a learning problem,” says Malloy. “Bloomfire is the best way to share knowledge within a team to stimulate engagement and increase productivity. People can create and post great content, ask and answer important questions, and search and browse what they need to know now.
“Nowhere is this learning gap more pronounced than within sales organizations where teams may be highly dispersed, and time and resources are limited,” he continues. “Where other solutions might take thousands of dollars and months to deploy, Bloomfire gets you up and running in minutes to help enable your sales and channel teams, launch products more effectively and reduce the ramp to productivity. The value of your Bloomfire grows as your teams interact online and help each other.”
Bloomfire will work on any Web-enabled platform, covering PCs, smartphones, and tablets, and there is a native app for iPhone and iPad users too. Bloomfire is adopting a pay-as-you-go business model, starting at $99 a month for up to ten users.
Such a platform will be best suited for companies that have employees working in multiple locations. Users can start a ‘Bloomfire’ based on any product, department, territory or other area of interest. Categories and keywords help keep the content organized, whilst social tagging is used to highlight the most popular topics.
Meanwhile, check out the demo video below.