The audience at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, a UBM TechWeb event, crowned Saba Software the winner in the Launch Pad contest for new social software products.
Best known for its learning and talent management software, Saba approaches social software as a natural extension of its "people systems." In this case, the winning innovation was Saba Social Learning, which can be configured to enlist employees in an online community at the same time they enroll in a course or training program. The online community then lets them interact with current and past course participants, and prospective students can also sample the stream of comments to see if it's a course they would like to take.
The Launch Pad contest is a forum for unveiling new social tools for the enterprise, and this year it started with applications submitted by Twitter, which were then narrowed by a panel of judges to eight vendors who were invited to upload a short video pitch to the Launch Pad website. The top four vote getters who were invited to present onstage Wednesday also included:
-- Acquia: a commercial open source software company providing products, services, and technical support for the open source Drupal social publishing system.
-- Next Principles: captures inputs from Social Media platforms into new or existing consumer profiles in CRM, and uses the consolidated profiles to better serve consumers especially at the point of purchase.
-- Podio: an online work platform combining specialized and flexible work apps with messaging, tasks, reporting, workflow and contact management, to help build and shape the online workplace most fitting to each individual's role.
The final "People's Choice" winner was selected by an audience vote.
Milind Pansare, senior director for collaboration product marketing for Saba, said he was excited by this validation of the company's vision of applying social principles to training. "The most important resource in an organization is not what I learned but who I know," he said. One of the strengths of the Saba social platform is that its profiles for employees can draw on data from the company's learning and talent management products, he said.
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