Central Desktop is one of many collaboration solutions that competes in the small to medium business space. It offers many of the same features that the others do, like shared calendars, task management, web conferencing, and wikis. While the ability to collaborate with your own employees/staff/colleagues is basic, what’s powerful about Central Desktop is its ability to take information from other sources and pull them into the application.
Earlier this year, eWeek covered Central Desktop’s release of a database API that lets teams integrate data from other enterprise applications:
Central Desktop CEO Isaac Garcia said the new database API is designed to create custom workflow between Central Desktop and third-party software applications, such as CRM software from Salesforce.com, ERP software from NetSuite or even a bug-tracking tool.
So, a worker logging on to Central Desktop to work on another project may decide he needs data from Salesforce.com CRM. The worker can pull that data into Central Desktop without having to toggle, switch and log in to multiple software applications.
Now the company has announced a new customer social network that will enable customers to share and connect directly with other Central Desktop users. The site also includes deeper integration with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Delicious and Flickr for cross-network community engagement and content sharing.
Beyond a simple support or discussion forum or even a corporate social networking page, in which customers typically only communicate with the vendor, the Central Desktop customer social network will enable users to tap directly into the collective knowledge of the hundreds of thousands of other Central Desktop users to exchange best practices, tips and tricks.
The initial social network will include profiles for 30+ customers. If a reader has question or comment about a particular profile, they can start a direct dialogue with that customer or simply make a comment about their use case (think of it as a personal blog or social networking page for each Central Desktop customer). This is a prime example of how social networking is going beyond consumer usage and addressing real business issues.
Allowing users to access the “wisdom of the crowd” (or is the cloud?) takes Central Desktop beyond a simple collaboration tool and leverages the power of social media.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com