Inclusion Adds Intranet Products to Sun's Mix
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Los Altos, Calif.'s Inclusion Inc., one of the many firms that bill themselves as knowledge sharing or management enablers (a la IntraNet Solutions and Plumtree) Thursday scored a coup when it hooked Sun Microsystems Inc. to buy its intranet communications solution.
The self-titled software was designed to help workers collaborate and communicate more effectively; Sun said it plans to use Inclusion to improve the mechanics of its Global Sales Organization (GSO) sales staff and field engineers.
Inclusion's solution provides GSO with threaded message exchange within an SSL-encrypted environment, which yields fast turn-around of edits or improvements to presentations. Inclusion facilitates direct communications across organizational and geographic boundaries, regardless of IT infrastructures, operating systems or desktop applications.
It's about keeping workers on the same page, really -- especially in corporate environments where offices are scattered near and far in a particular country. With collaboration apps, management gains direct oversight of dispersed projects and the enterprise preserves the intellectual property created in the process, which in turn leads to a better run organization.
And strictly from a business sense, the across-the-board access that Inclusion will provide Sun can help the hardware titan cut the costs associated with maintaining the most recent document versions.
Despite repetitive doomsday economy reports, knowledge management solutions are gaining momentum for a simple reason: information explosion. This is particularly prevalent among corporate offices with the deluges of e-mail that have prompted some companies to host "e-mail free" Fridays to give employees a chance to catch up to the massive e-mail volumes across the network.
In addition to severely hampering productivity, the e-mail glut stresses systems administrators because they are the ones clearing out the company's inundated e-mail servers. It is Inclusion's contention that extranets bring vital information together so that businesses can get products to market faster, reduce production costs, enhance customer relationships and streamline business processes.
For Sun, the pros are legion because it is a company with several thousand employees depending on one another to put out important products, such as much sought after servers.
Inclusion's software suite integrates the features of an e-mail list server, document publishing service, Web-based workflow and threaded discussion board into a single service. Inclusion solutions require no software to download and use existing desktop applications, so employees are not required to alter their work routines.
Inclusion's Internet based software is delivered either as an ASP or as software licenses. Professional services are also provided.