The Cold War warriors will remember "glasnost" -- the term coined by the USSR's last head of state, Mikhail Gorbachev, that stands for transparency and openness -- as signaling a gradual end to the threat of thermonuclear Armageddon. Now, Glasnost 21 is the clever name for a new U.K.-based collaboration suite to open up those fusty communication channels.
Openness, The Way Forward
Glasnost 21 offers project, image and contact management at speed for those who just want to pick a service and go. Even the tour takes just a minute, showing a project, linked documents, images, companies and people all on one page to make accessing the information you need the work of a couple of clicks.
Powered by Adobe Flex, Glasnost 21 offers Enterprise 2.0-like collaboration features on a suitable budget. You can give it a spin on a 30-day trial and then sign up for one of the price bands, each of which has every feature enabled, only varying on the number of users and storage available. Features include company logos, custom color schemes, newsletters for users and tasks.
Glasnost serves up relevant information on a plate
Openness In The Cloud
Documents and data are all hosted on Amazon's S3 service. All users need is a web browser and Flash installed. If you already have a contact database, it can be imported into the system. Projects can be limited to certain users to maintain security. Tasks can be created and assigned to users.
Contacts can be categorized with tags and you can use those to find companies when your database starts to grow beyond your own recall. Newsletters are a smart idea in Glasnost 21. Users can create custom mailing lists to keep customers and contacts informed of new projects and offers, or just use it as a way to keep all partners up to date on the progress of a project.
Chat can be used to hold remote or informal meetings and transcripts can be saved to see who said what, while documents and images can be shared. There are some useful posts in the company blog about what Glasnost does.
With plenty of competition in the space and newcomers launching on a weekly basis, including the likes of Glasscubes and Google Wave, it will take something a little special to win over customers. Possibly, Glasnost's sleek Flex interface will do it for some.