Mzinga Sept. 23 banked $10 million in funding and rebranded its SAAS enterprise social software as OmniSocial, which comprises three applications suites for companies seeking social, Web collaboration and and analytics capabilities.
Mzinga Chairman and CEO Barry Libert told eWEEK OmniSocial can be viewed as a kind of cloud operating system customers can use to manage their company-wide and individual social interactions, collaborate with contacts in a network, and provide feedback about those interactions to hone business practices.
Libert believes future operating systems will look more like Facebook than Microsoft Windows: based on social interactions in the Internet cloud, rather than operating systems tethered to individual machines.
The social suite in OmniSocial provides businesses with social media and networking capabilities to let colleagues and partners connect. Think profiles, blogs and idea-sharing, among other tools, which Mzinga acquired when it purchased Prospero in March 2008.
Collaboration tools include file sharing, team presence, Web conferencing and other tools to let colleagues and partners work together. The analytics capabilities help customers pinpoint some of the trending topics that are core to their business, providing real-time insight into member influence and engagement.
To be clear, the technologies are not new for the company, but Mzinga previously poorly marketed its offerings and did not adequately explain them to customers, press and analysts. Company product names Mzinga Social Suite and Mzinga Publisher have been cast aside in favor of the OmniSocial umbrella.
Mzinga is looking to clear up any misconceptions, and the $10 million in funding from Acadia Woods Partners BlueCrest Venture Finance Master Fund and existing investors W Capital Partners and Shared Capital Partners should help. Mzinga said it will use the funding to boost its sales and marketing and improve its social software and analytics offerings.
Mzinga, whose customers include Wolters Kluwer, RealNetworks, and New England Sports Network, is tailoring OmniSocial to foster better communications and collaboration among marketing, human resources and customer service and support teams. Libert said Mzinga expects to penetrate additional verticals in the future.
With OmniSocial, businesses can easily create single Mzinga-powered Web sites, or multiple instances of standalone sites or integrated applications and widgets, which can all be managed from one administrator environment. OmniSocial also supports up to 20 languages.
OmniSocial is available now, starting at roughly $3 per month, per user.
Mzinga faces a lot of competitors with similar goals. Jive Software, for example, Sept. 15 launched Jive Market Engagement, which also blends social media, collaboration and analytics tools. Socialtext, MindTouch, RightNow Technologies, which recently bought Mzinga rival HiveLive, also play here.
These relatively young companies are angling for slices of the enterprise social software pie along with incumbents such as IBM, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.
Though the newcomers would all argue that their small size makes them more nimble and faster to spot new market trends and act on them, the larger companies have long-standing customers that tend to stick with them, making it a challenge for upstarts to gain headwind.