MindTouch Fires a Shot Across the Bow of Corporate Intranets

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 23, 2009

In a guest post earlier this month, Aaron Fulkerson, co-founder and CEO of MindTouch, outlined why he believes that businesses do themselves a disservice by relying on existing social networking tools to boost productivity among employees and foster communication with customers. In reality, it only allows for one-dimensional superficial dialogue that serves very little purpose in the long run, and does nothing for overall workflow.

These days it's common for each team within a company to have its own blog, collaborate on inter-departmental projects via wiki, and plan meetings over email. In the meantime, files, databases, ERP, CRM, and other data are typically spread out all over the place. Companies communicate with customers through social networks, while employees communicate with each other via group chat. Each method works well on its own but "[s]ocial software is not solving business problems," writes Fulkerson. "In fact, these applications only serve to treat symptoms of the problems businesses face."

The solution, Fulkerson says, lies in software that is "focused on groups accessing and organizing data into actionable formats that enable decision making, collaboration and reuse." Today's launch of MindTouch Collaborative Intranet is the first in a series of three enterprise collaboration products the company plans to roll out this year.

MindTouch Collaborative Intranet takes direct aim at old-school corporate intranets made up of random components and addons. It puts company's data, communication and project management tools, hardware, and software all in one pot, then gives it a good stir. The final dish is a unified approach to employee workflow that's scalable and fully interactive.

Since collaboration is the underpinning of open source, it's important to watch the evolution of tools that help groups get the job done. Although MindTouch's new product isn't particularly targeted at open source development teams flung all over the globe, it does provide a glimpse into ways the FOSS community might collaborate and manage projects in the future.