Home AppMatcher and B2B Buzz: Recommendation Services That Need Something More

AppMatcher and B2B Buzz: Recommendation Services That Need Something More

Earlier this week Rackspace launched AppMatcher, a service that matches businesses with apps. The service is a recommendation engine of sorts that help businesses locate the apps they need for accounting, project management and other corporate functions.

The service takes businesses through a questionnaire that asks questions about company size, industry, department and the title of the individual looking for the app. It uses predictive analytics and an algorithm to filter through the apps and make the recommendation.

With the service comes a locker where the apps can be stored and viewed by other people before making a commitment to the service.

Recommendation engines that work well go through multiple data sources to refine the recommendation. This may include tags, reviews and other criteria to make the recommendation.

But Rackspace does not appear to have the data richness that would make it truly useful.

There should be far more data sources to explore and analyze. Four questions may drill down to some extent but we wonder if it is enough.

First off, the service is missing a category in one of the questions. Looks like you are are out of luck if your company has 10 to 19 employees.

Once you get into the service, though, the user interface is crisp but the information is often not suited to the profile of the user. Further, the breakdown is confusing. An app is recommended but upon further drill down you are told the app is really not suited to your business at all.

This seems to be a matter of fine tuning the filtering. It may also be the lack of information about the apps and the need for third-party data.

Expertise is lacking in the SaaS and general cloud computing market. Rackspace is recognizing that void. Other companies are also developing services to provide expertise.

Hoovers recently launched B2B-Buzz, a service that provides community expertise on how to use business data. It also takes you through a series of questions to help define your needs. They have sought out contributors to provide guidance.

But it also sorely lacking. It has blogs for sales, marketing and small business. Each blog, though, has the same content. Posts are cross-posted to all three blogs. That’s pretty poor in our book.

It also has questionnaires. It takes you through 10 questions. An email is supposed to be sent with more information. After 30 minutes, we still have not received a reply.

The market needs these types of services. Apps are so new and the data is in such volume that people need guidance to understand what it all means. But we need far better than what Rackspace and Hoovers are bringing to the table.

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