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Deki CRM – MindTouch and SnapLogic

Two RedMonk clients, MindTouch and SnapLogic, released a mashup, or composite application if you like, narrowed down to CRM systems, SalesForce and SugarCRM to be exact. Check out a screencast here. The idea of such a compositing platform reached an apex of hype last year and earlier this year if you’ll recall.

Taking the non-technological explanation and settling it in a work context, the idea is that all the applications you use for your job can’t hope to put together your Ultimate User Interface Dashboard Hoopty. More important – and pulling from, of all places, Citrix vision – the traditional round of “portals” out there that were to solve this problem seemed to have fallen with a wet thump.

Dark Data

Key to mashups for business, though, is getting access to the “dark data” that’s obscured in boring and difficult to get to data sources behind the firewall. While we’ve gone leaps and bounds to make data and process access easier in the business software world, I’d theorize that the majority of business data and enterprise process out there is locked behind difficult and tedious interfaces.

Yes, I know we all have already learned ABAP, but I couldn’t have written all that AJAX and drag and drop stuff in ABAP in the 2 days it took me to build the [Ruby on Rails] application. —Dan McWeeney

As a more consumery example, think of how boring geo-data was before Google and others finally put a dead-simple, fun even, UI on-top of it. Better, their programatic interfaces were there and easier to use than obtuse protocols. No one even uses the word “protocol” anymore.

Lighting Dark Data

The operative theory behind things like Deki CRM, then, is to light up that dark data. SnapLogic adaptors hope to make accessing that data easier and possible, and the Deki wiki hopes to provide and UI that finally lets users assemble that now lit data into something usable. And, even more contemporary, the idea is to this mashing up across the firewall, pulling and pushing data from cloud-bound services like SalesForce.

What I find interesting here is the focus of the packaging. It’s always tempting for a vendor to go out there and target everything – as both MindTouch and SnapLogic have done in the past – but narrowing down to something as specific as just SalesForce and SugarCRM can give a vendor the focus needed to explain just what a mashup is and then, if that works, pull customers and users through the thought exercise of generalizing that compositing across other data and process silos.

As a sort of undiscovered example from the IT Management world, check out generationE’s wiki-driven runbook. They don’t have a lot of information online, but they’re an interesting example having a go at applying mashups to systems administration and automation.

Disclosure: MindTouch and SnapLogic are clients.

Categories: Cloud, Collaborative, Enterprise Software, Marketing.

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2 Responses

  1. Cote, thought a lot about how to package and position this. Tight vertical made the most sense for us. Horizontal platforms such as this seem to be technologies that struggle to find high value problems to solve (i.e. IBM QED wiki). With the CRM focus we demonstrate obvious value.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] of Redmonk, the most capable tech analyst firm on the planet in my opinion, had this to say: Deki CRM – MindTouch and SnapLogic by Michael […]