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Clearvale aims to bring together CRM and collaboration

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A year ago, BroadVision (s bvsn) announced Clearvale, which Mathew described as “a white-label social networking platform similar to Ning, but focused specifically on businesses.” BroadVision announced Tuesday that Clearvale is being expanded into an enterprise solution for Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) that uses social media techniques to manage both internal and external communication among customers, business partners, customer service employees and other company staff.

Clearvale is a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service, enterprise, social networking solution that includes interconnected internal and external social networks. It allows customers and employees to collaborate and communicate directly for customer support, idea management, and other needs. Both the internal and external interfaces have familiar components: activity streams, project management tools, communities, discussions, blogs, profiles, embedded media and links.

While there are many¬† tools to meet these needs individually, Clearvale’s strength is in its ease of use, and in the systems it offers to manage and integrate the internal and external communities. Businesses can create separate social networks for each of these groups, but manage them as a whole. Employees can access the networks using existing tools such as Active Directory (s msft), Google Apps (s goog), and OpenID; Clearvale has tools to let external partners and customers use various authentication systems. Clearvale can even integrate with e-commerce websites.

The company says that the Clearvale solution gives organizations greater control, with the appropriate levels of access and security, while still enabling deeper customer engagement, and providing the means to integrate with existing social networks.

When I spoke with Richard Hughes, director of product strategy at BroadVision, he told me that after 18 years of experience with developing e-commerce portals, and their recent experiences with enterprise social marketing, the company feels that there is a market for a solution that allows businesses to manage internal collaboration and CRM in one platform.

He feels such a solution will be more effective than trying to use separate social networks for each activity: “At BroadVision we don’t agree that Social CRM is about tightly controlling customer interaction or that it’s primarily about social media monitoring. It should be about integrating all of a company’s customer engagement channels to enable better communication among customers and employees.”

Clearvale is mainly aimed at medium to large businesses of 100+ employees. More information, including a video demo of a Clearvale ecosystem and a more detailed product demo, is available from the Clearvale website.

One Response to “Clearvale aims to bring together CRM and collaboration”

  1. Michael A

    Interesting approach – i’ve seen this accomplished in a more effective manner (though, only time will tell).

    There’s systems out there, I.E. WORKetc, that integrates multiple business function management (CRM, project management, billing) but brings collaboration to all aspects of the system. Instead of single-focus systems offering collaboration tools, WORKetc allows total business management from one system, while making collaboration easy on every aspect of business management. You can even invite your clients to collaborate!