Government // Mobile & Wireless
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5/7/2010
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Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Kindling Extends Collaboration To SharePoint, Outlook, Mobiles

Companies that use Arc90's Kindling hosted idea management system can now integrate it with their SharePoint infrastructure, and users can contribute and comment on ideas from their e-mail program or their smartphone.

Companies that use Arc90's Kindling hosted idea management system can now integrate it with their SharePoint infrastructure, and users can contribute and comment on ideas from their e-mail program or their smartphone.The purpose of Kindling is to provide a way for employees to contribute, comment and vote on, and implement ideas. The hosted Web service sets up "rooms" -- basically corresponding to departments, ventures, or whatever other category works for the particular business -- and employees can log on to post and review ideas.

Arc90 has now integrated Kindling into Microsoft's SharePoint environment. "By bringing Kindling into the workflow of these prominent enterprise systems," said Arc90 president Richard Ziade, "members of the organization can participate and enhance the conversation through bringing in relevant information and resources from within SharePoint." Using SharePoint, users can take advantage of existing workgroup and employee directory systems to categorize ideas and relate them to existing documents already residing on the SharePoint server. They can also get to basic Kindling functions through SharePoint and use single sign-on for both systems.

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The company also offers a Microsoft Outlook plug-in that adds Kindling as an option within that e-mail program. The plug-in adds a new choice next to the standard Mail/Calendar/Contacts/Notes selections. Clicking the Kindling tab brings up an e-mail-like window for creating or commenting on an idea. This feature should ease a company's transition to implementing an idea management system and reduce the amount of training required for employees to start using it.

Last, the company also introduced Kindling Mobile for smartphones, including BlackBerry's, iPhones, and Android devices -- pretty much any mobile with a Web browser. Kindling Mobile lets users create a new idea or make a comment as soon as it occurs to them, without having to wait to get back to the office. "Great ideas can happen anywhere," according to product manager Tim Meaney. "By providing an easy-to-access channel for idea collaboration, Kindling Mobile allows users to participate from any Smartphone. While other vendors offer device-specific mobile offerings, Kindling Mobile brings a dynamic experience to any member of the organization, regardless of their specific choice of phone."

Kindling comes in a small business edition (up to ten "rooms") and an enterprise edition (unlimited rooms), priced according to the number of users. Kindle Mobile is free with a subscription; prices for the SharePoint integration and Outlook plug-in were not announced.

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