Liaise Dec. 15 launched to public beta its Microsoft Outlook inbox management plug-in, which analyzes e-mail content and helps users keep track of crucial business interactions.
While Xobni helps users search their Outlook inbox and Gist lets users manage the personal contacts from social networks, Liaise identifies action items from e-mails users type to others.
Liaise calls these action items KeyPoints, which could include assignments e-mailed to colleagues with deadlines, or commitments to customers. Liaise captures the KeyPoints by person, date and priority regardless of whether the e-mail recipient is using Liaise or not, and summarizes them.
Summarized KeyPoints are available on-demand in reports, are integrated into the Outlook calendar, and are kept in sync across networks of Liaise users. Liaise tracks responses to Liaise e-mails sent from Gmail or Yahoo Mail, or from mobile e-mail systems such as BlackBerry and iPhone.
The neat trick of this service is that, like a personalization or recommendation engine, Liaise learns the user’s writing style and improves its accuracy in capturing the nuances in these KeyPoints.
The idea is to keep actions from falling through the cracks, something that is all-too-common in frequent, iterative business interactions, Liaise co-founder Sidney Minassian told eWEEK. See Minassian’s video demonstration of Liaise here.
Since the Sept. 22 launch of the private beta, Liaise has added several new enhancements. Liaise was initially a desktop client only, but the company added Liaise Team Services as a Web-based offering that pushes status updates to each user’s desktop, keeping all employees in the loop without forcing them to send new e-mails to each other to update the status of shared KeyPoints.
Liaise has also added automatic integration of KeyPoints into Outlook calendar so that when a Liaise e-mail containing an action item or issue is sent or received, the KeyPoint is created as an Outlook calendar entry on the day that it is due.
Liaise also syncs with Outlook’s calendar on Apple iPhone, RIM BlackBerry and other mobile devices, pushing a summary of Liaise KeyPoints in the device’s calendar on the due date. New options also allow users to make KeyPoints visible or hidden from recipients per individual e-mail.
While Liaise works for Outlook e-mail today, the company will likely expand to instant messaging and other platforms, including CRM systems from Salesforce.com, knowledge management portals and document management systems.
Liaise is free in public beta today, but the company plans to charge subscription fees of $4.95 to $9.95 per person, per month.