Home Convofy Opens Its Freemium Service to the Public Today

Convofy Opens Its Freemium Service to the Public Today

Convofy, the new enterprise collaboration platform we covered last month, opens to the public today. It’s launching using a freemium model similar to Yammer‘s, so you can try it out for free.

We got a demo from CEO Faizan Buzdar yesterday, and it’s a solid product. It’s unique, fast and has clear value for teams collaborating with visual media such as photos, video or data visualizations. It has a few discrete apps that run on its platform already, including an image gallery and media player. Users can comment on specific elements of an image, website or video. A nice touch is the ability to comment on a portion of a video and create a link that will start the video at the relevant point.

It’s obvious how useful this could be for creative agencies, but what about other types of enterprise? Buzdar is confident that the product will be useful in other contexts. Many organizations, from manufacturers to mining companies to extractive industries use visual data as part of the decision-making process. The company has a few pilot customers already, but Buzdar can’t disclose which companies.

Convofy faces two big challenges: 1) an already crowded market for next-generation collaborative tools and 2) the need to drive adoption. The first, as we pointed out before, will be helped by the buzz the company is already receiving, particularly from Robert Scoble. The second issue is trickier.

Convofy requires an Adobe AIR based client. The team already has an HTML5 and JavaScript based mobile site that can be used without the client, but at the moment it’s a desktop-centric application. Mario Cavagnari, CEO of competitor SimplyBox, says his company has faced resistance to its desktop applications in large enterprises. “What we see out there is that business users and IT want solutions that do not bring more work for IT departments.” Cavagnari says some companies are comfortable with the SimplyBox desktop application, but many just want the Web-only version of the product. “The majority of customers want a method of socializing their apps, without having to install another app,” he says. “We can do it, and that has been key for adoption in the enterprise.”

The key to success for Convofy will be rich media. Thanks to its close relationship with Adobe, features have been added to AIR that enable some of Convofy’s media features. The close relationship stems from Adobe’s investment in Convofy’s parent company, Scrybe.

Convofy has many competitors, notably Qontext and Socialcast, both of which offer browser-based integration between social software and enterprise applications.

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