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CubeTree launches enterprise social networking suite; Can it stand out?

CubeTree on Monday unveiled its enterprise collaboration suite, which mimics popular social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed. In addition, CubeTree said that SAP has deployed the software among 4 percent of its workforce.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

CubeTree on Monday unveiled its enterprise collaboration suite, which mimics popular social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed. In addition, CubeTree said that SAP has deployed the software among 4 percent of its workforce. 

CubeTree's aim: Port social networking to create an enterprise collaboration suite. 

The startup, launched in 2008 and funded by Trinity Ventures and Mitch Kapor (of Lotus and Mozilla fame), is going after companies like Yammer, Socialtext and Jive in bringing collaboration tools for the enterprise (see CubeTree's comparison chart). Like those aforementioned companies CubeTree has a few key challenges:

  • Convincing enterprise customers that they need a social networking tool.
  • Convincing those customers to bet on a startup instead of waiting for an existing vendor like Oracle and SAP to build in these features.
  • And weaning enterprises off of their inboxes. 

 

If you've used Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook you'll recognize what CubeTree is trying to do. The company's software (statement, overview)

Has profiles and feeds;

  • Offers micro-blogging, blogging and sharing tools;
  • Aggregates feeds from Twitter, Google, Salesforce.com, WebEx, Adobe and Basecamp; 
  • To overcome the security worries, CubeTree notes that its network is over secure via HTTPS and SSL. 

CubeTree' pricing model revolves around basic, professional and enterprise editions. The basic version is free and designed for viral adoption, but has a 10 MB storage cap per user. The professional edition will run $3 a user a month and the enterprise version will run you $5 per user.

Will enterprises adopt CubeTree? The jury is out. For starters, CubeTree faces off against other startups that are focused on the enterprise. Meanwhile, many IT managers view CubeTree's software as features that will ultimately be built in their current applications. 

The SAP endorsement may help, but CubeTree notes that the software giant is using its software by more than 2,000 employees. The rub: SAP ended the first quarter with 49,916 employees.

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