broadvision.jpgThe relaunch of BroadVision’s Clearvale social business platform is its second upgrade in less than a year. The release aims to re-establish the California-based company as a major player in the Enterprise 2.0 space by offering enterprises Clearvale as a platform for selling their services.

The new platform offers two new components -- PassPort and MyStream. Collectively it gives BroadVision’s clients a way to offer Clearvale’s social networking solution as part of their own services, while at the same time offering a data stream management through MyStream.

Leaving aside the marketing campaign that accompanies the release, which targets its rival Jive Software (news, site), the new release also comes with a new pricing system that should make it accessible to both SMBs and enterprises.

BroadVision and Clearvale

BroadVision has been around for a very long time. Created in 1993, it was one of the darlings of the first boom in California, where it built e-commerce applications and portals after going public in 1996.

Like many companies, in 2000 it was hit badly by the crash and, for many years, was left trying to reinvent itself as the industry started picking up steam again.

Founder and CEO Pehong Chen admits they watched the growth of Enterprise 2.0 companies and the fist green shoots of cloud computing and, in 2008, decided to focus on both those areas as a realignment of their business. The company spent two years developing a cloud-based suite of business services called Clearvale, launching Clearvale v1.0 in May of this year.

Clearvale PassPort

This week’s release of Clearvale PassPort and MyStream is a major upgrade that enables users to build and sell their own services in the Clearvale cloud.

Clearvale Passport is sold as a Platform-as-a-Service (hence the Pass part of its name) and allows client companies to sell Clearvale’ s social networking solution along with premium services to their own customers.

With it, BroadVision’s customers will be able to apply custom themes and layouts to their Clearvale installation, providing branded solutions.

In effect, it allows enterprises, employees, partners and customers to connect with each other and collaborate in an easy-to-use environment.

Already, they have signed Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank, which plans to use the platform as a way of selling premium communications and collaboration services integrated into the Clearvale platform.

MyStream and Social ‘Noise’

One issue that is starting to preoccupy enterprises using social networking is the problem of ‘noise’ or data overload associated with large numbers of people using the same social network.

Only this week, IBM released Lotus Connections v3.0 to deal with the same problem. While Big Blue turned to advanced analytics to dampen the noise, BroadVision will do it using My Stream.


MyStream is a personalized data stream and management system that enables users to integrate a large number of data streams into one place, all of which can be viewed through a single interface without having to leave Clearvale.

While it includes updates and other information from the Clearvale network, it can also be configured to allow updates from external data streams like email, blogs or forums, as well as streams from other social networks.

Jive and Pricing

The final element of this week’s release is the new marketing campaign that comes in the shape of an upgraded price model with an in-your-face marketing campaign targeting rival Jive Software.

If you recall, Jive released v4.5 of its platform last June and added a considerable number of upgrades in September that included a mobile HTML 5 and Facebook monitoring as well as the ability to engage directly with people in Facebook.

Both companies are competiting in the same marketplace, leading Broadvision to launch a campaign targeting Jive itself, rather than its customers, through advertising and its ‘No Jive Talking’ website.

It also responded to Jive’s updated pricing system by introducing its own system. BroadVision Clearvale's pricing uses a pay-per-use model. Pricing is based on the number of users who actually sign in and use Clearvale, allowing companies to specify the number of users in their network, rather than paying a flat fee.

It’s also quite flexible in that it also allows companies to add new users to their pay plan or pay for them at the end of the month.

BroadVision says that the release of Clearvale PassPort as a PaaS is a first in the enterprise 2.0 market. There are dozens of solutions out there that may not be PaaS offerings, but have just as much functionality. The question is whether a PaaS is enough to carry the day.