Firm To Debut Off-The-Shelf Social Networking SoftwareFirm To Debut Off-The-Shelf Social Networking Software
Facesinabox.com is designed to help business managers use keywords to locate staff members with specific skills or experiences, based on profile information.
July 14, 2006
A networking site for businesswomen wants to take the concept behind its online community and sell corporate customers something similar. Downtown Women's Club plans to sell a platform based on its member-profiling software to companies that want off-the-shelf software for launching social networking communities they can use internally.
The software, called facesinabox.com, is slated for an August launch. It's designed to help business managers use keywords to locate staff members with specific skills or experiences, based on profile information. "Maybe your manager is looking for someone who worked at a franchise in China," says Diane Danielson, CEO of Downtown Women's Club. "That's easy enough to find. It's all right there in your profile."
The platform is a variant of DWC Faces, a feature on the site that lets members build searchable profiles. The company plans to sell the software for about $10,000 per license, plus a 20% fee for maintenance and support, which it will outsource to a company in India.
An online community can't replace face-to-face interaction, but it can make personal connections stronger and help employees and management communicate better, Forrester Research senior analyst Peter Kim says.
Social networks will prove less valuable for businesses where the staff is on the same floor or in the same building, or at companies that deal with confidential products, Kim says. A handful of companies, such as Small World Labs and Spoke Software, offer similar platforms for businesses.
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