There’s certainly no shortage of online office applications these days. You can find anything from general-purpose office suites (such as Google Docs or Zoho‘s ever-growing suite) to dedicated CRM solutions at a variety of price points. If you’re running a small or medium business, LongJump wants you to take a look at their offering, now available as a free trial but with subscription pricing announced starting in January.
LongJump brings four major selling points to the table. The first is a fairly extensive set of prebuilt business applications: sales force automation, lead tracking, email campaign management, IT asset tracking, deal tracking, support case management, and more. These all interconnect, so you can avoid duplicate data entry.
The second big feature is pricing that’s designed to undercut some of the high-end players in the hosted business application market: $19.95 per user per month. While you can find, for example, open source CRM applications for less, you’re unlikely to match the full set of functionality here at that price.
Third, you get the ability to build and customize your own applications. Their in-browser application development environment actually works fairly intuitively, if you’ve got any experience with database-backed applications, and lets you quickly build and tweak your own entry screens and reports.
Finally, you can take those purpose-built applications of your own and publish them back into the LongJump catalog. They haven’t announced the details yet, but when subscriptions go live in January there will be some form of revenue-sharing for application developers. So potentially there’s a hook here for web workers to make a few dollars while also getting their own work done.
Will LongJump take off? It’s hard to say at this point. They’ve got a reasonable set of starter applications, and their customization story is good. But the markets for both online offices and application builders are pretty crowded these days. I’m still waiting to see whether any one player can pull away from the pack to become a runaway success.