One of the best things about being an independent cloud educator is that I get to spend lots of time speaking to folks about cloud. In fact, as some of you know, I spend an hour or so a week talking to Canadian cloud startups about their companies and solutions and giving honest feedback on how they can better market their solutions, and how it could fit into the solution gap in today’s market.
While not every idea I listen to is a great one, once and awhile I get the pleasure of seeing some really cool stuff. Case in point, yesterday I had the ability to check out a company called Tabillo, a small startup from the Toronto area and I can honestly say, it’s been awhile since I have been this impressed.
Software companies are funny things. In today’s age of mergers and acquisitions, it’s not uncommon to see 101 add-ons for every major software suite. It’s like buying a car and adding on every feature from audio systems to GPS and heated seats. It’s still a car, and you probably started your purchase path with the intention of getting a car as opposed to all the extras. But somehow, those extras became part of the overall requirement once you figured out all the great little luxuries that came with it.
But is it really about the car anymore? Do you need a fully-loaded sports car or do you need a simple commuter car?
Unfortunately, while most of us would love the fully-loaded car, often reality says that we are really in the market for a commuter car. This is the same when it comes to enterprise solutions: Do you need a full-blown CRM/ERP/Collaboration tool with all the bells and whistles, or do you just need a simple platform that does what you need it to do?
Call me realistic, but as much as I think there is a strong market for solutions like SalesForce.com and MS Dynamics, the reality is that unless you are an enterprise, small organizations and even midmarket ones often cannot afford all the bells and whistles that these big solutions provide. As much as we would like to think these companies make enough money to dedicate funding to comprehensive licenses to support all the great add-on functionality from these folks, the reality is they cannot afford it and need to think of new ways to deal with the demands of managing collaboration and customer relationship.
So when I got an email from Tabillo asking if I’d talk to them about their product, you can imagine my skepticism. Well, it does happen, I was wrong.
As I mentioned, Tabillo is a nice little startup from here in the Toronto area that has successfully done what I call “reverse engineering the market”. They saw the problem of mid market companies trying to function like enterprises with full blown solutions to manage everything from CRM, collaboration, HR, lead generation and management and even content management. While you are probably thinking that it sounds like the luxury car edition of the enterprise management world, it’s actually more like a diesel car filled with NOS that can parallel park for you. It has the right oomph in the right spots, and never forgets it’s focused on small to mid-market with enterprise fundamentables under the hood.
Here is why Tabillo is unlike any other platform I have ever seen.
First off, unlike other solutions out there for managing content, Tabillo takes a different approach to management. Instead of running tons of apps at any given time in order to be able to pull data for various tasks like display, searches etc, Tabillo uses a dynamic application approach. What I mean by this is that instead of having to launch different dashboards and applications to see how information is connected across systems, Tabillo integrates it across all systems so that you can choose how you want it connected.
See in the illustration above how the different views show you not just the account info, but also related files (in any format), collaborators, company information, deal information etc. It’s a single pane view that you can customize to access any data. And since the metadata (data about data) is tagged at the actual data level, it’s much more efficient to search by keyword than in other uncustomizable database solutions. Yes, I know some other solutions do this too, but the beauty of this particular platform is the search capabilities behind it which combines results across all apps, data & full text within the files uploaded. It allows you to link anything to just about anything in a meaningful way based on how your company operates. The flexibility of this open-template approach means that it can be as unique as your organization.
So where is the additional oomph? Tabillo makes it easy to create application within the system by offering end-to-endtemplates that you can leverage as opposed to leveraging a third-party application designed by someone else, which may or may not fit the need. Through simple boolean drop down menus which power the app, anyone can add in additional functionality such as HR to manage hiring processes and track employment information, and also add tons of different types of marketing functionality.
Check out the slick home page. Looks similar to another simple content-driven platform, no?
So why should you care about a solution like this? Well, as I mentioned previously, for organizations who find themselves struggling to manage their content and database information and really want to streamline their business operations without a huge price tag, Tabillo provides a really solid alternative to the big box solutions. It’s sleek and nimble and packs a sizeable punch in functionality, which can grow with your business.
For more info, check out their site at http://www.tabillo.com