Startup Of The Week: WorkLight Enables Web 2.0 Mashups
The WorkLight server pulls data from corporate apps and makes them available in Facebook and Google gadgets.
Do you wish your business applications were more like Facebook or a gadget? WorkLight brings Web 2.0 inside the enterprise by letting users mash up information from CRM and ERP systems with consumer apps such as RSS feeds, Facebook, and iGoogle--while also maintaining IT security controls.
-- Andrew Conry-Murray
PRODUCT: WorkLight 2.1
PRINCIPALS: Shahar Kaminitz, founder and CEO; Yuval Tarsi, founder and CTO
INVESTORS: Genesis Partners, Index Ventures, Shlomo Kramer
FUNDING: $5.1 million
EARLY CUSTOMERS: Ness Technologies, financial services companies
Kaminitz harnesses consumer innovation
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Rather than rejigger business apps to behave like Web 2.0 tools, WorkLight combines consumer apps with corporate data and security controls so companies can leverage that innovation while letting employees use familiar products. "Innovation comes from the consumer side of the Web," says CEO Kaminitz. "You can't catch up with Facebook and Google."
So where's the business value in Facebook? Kaminitz says organizations can encourage users to create corporate profiles, which can then be used to search for knowledge-area experts. The key value is that WorkLight can get information out of application silos and let enterprises use it in new and inventive ways to boost productivity. For instance, employees can create gadgets that compare sales records with inventory levels. And user-created gadgets can be shared company-wide.
Kaminitz and Tarsi both served in the Israeli army's elite intelligence unit, which has produced other tech entrepreneurs. Kaminitz comes from Amdocs, where he built Web front ends for enterprise apps.
The foundation of the product is software that runs on a server inside the corporate firewall. The software includes adapters that extract data from ERP and CRM applications from vendors such as SAP and Oracle and from other data sources, and it uses common Web formats such as Ajax to expose the information to end users. It can integrate with Microsoft's Active Directory to enforce existing authorization policies to ensure that information isn't exposed to people who shouldn't see it.