In the enterprise world, endless meetings, cross department communication, and the need to complete redundant tasks is akin to bloodletting. Slow and deliberate torture.
Sparqlight, the latest entrant into the crowded enterprise social workflow application market, is designed to automate a great deal of these progress disrupters in the name of getting things done (or GTD!).
The application has been in public beta for nearly two months, and is being used by more than 1,000 companies ranging from so-called “Fortune 500s to agile project management grounded engineering firms.” The cloud-based service integrates with both Google and Yammer can be accessed directly through the Internet browser on a desktop, tablet, or phone.
Through these platform integrations, Sparqlight has done something not many others in the space have. It has created an environment where users can assign and monitor tasks, share documents, and communicate progress in real-time with limited disruption.
Sparqlight, which is a fully bootstrapped company, operates on a freemium model and will for the first time launch its enterprise features on Tuesday. These features include global search, enhanced security controls, and advanced analytics. Additionally, enterprise companies gain data ownership and export functionality (as opposed to data being owned by individual users), branded networks, and additional training and support.
One of Sparqlight’s biggest differentiators in this competitive space is its focus on automating recurring, yet time-intensive tasks. Sparqlight co-founder and CEO Brian Reisgen describes the workflow his application creates as “both improvisational and templated.”
Whatever that means, the result is hopefully employees that have fun working on interesting and challenging projects, while reducing the drag of the mundane and repetitive.
Companies obviously need help working more efficiently. Workflow transparency and better communication are tried and true ways to drive improvement. That said, many of the Sparqlight’s social workflow competitors specialize more in social voyeurism than in productivity.
“The solutions we offer are probably something that the customers of Yammer and others have asked for,” says Reisgen. “Many of the social tools out there are very sophisticated but limited to an activity stream which you can comment on. We believe that users want more productivity in their activity stream and Sparqlight allows people to do this.”
Users can send Sparqlight events directly into their Yammer feeds and can assign tasks directly to users or groups in Yammer. Workflow can be hashtagged to to various departments such as marketing, PR, or accounting, then be viewed and analyzed based on these categories. As a small company with employees spread across the nation, PandoDaily is actually a perfect example of its target customers.
A second key focus within the application is measuring “business impact.” Each project or goal is analyzed in a real-time dashboard through charts and reports that tracks milestones and deadlines in real-time.
This is a highly competitive space with new products seemingly cropping up daily. For example, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz’s Asana is currently the tool of choice among Twitter, Uber, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Airbnb to name-drop a few elite valley companies. A senior engineer at Twitter recently told PandoDaily that his team of Apple alums within the social networking company are in the process of duplicating an internal tool used at the Cupertino company.
The winner in this space is going to be the one that offers a flexible and tailored solution that adds efficiency without introducing additional distractions and encouraging undue socializing. The jury is out on whether this will be Sparqlight, another application currently in the market, or even one yet to be created.
The enterprise version of the Sparqlight application for a monthly subscription fee of $20 per user (a free 30 day trial for up to 50 users is available).
“If you’re ready to upgrade to the enterprise version, it’s ready to rock and roll, and we’re ready to take your money,” says Reisgen.