Trampoline Systems, SONAR Dashboard, Facebook for the Enterprise
Seems like we can't get enough of that Facebook social network these days. Not only do we constantly hear about all the consumer-based solutions that want to emulate and even overrun it, we now have to contend with vendor after vendor offering their enterprise 2.0 version of the popular social networking platform. Trampoline Technologies SONAR Dashboard is the latest in a string of solutions for an "enterprise Facebook". While we don't discount the need for social networking inside the enterprise, we just really wish someone would think of a better marketing pitch. Trampoline Systems, is a provider of enterprise social computing software out of London. At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this week, they unveiled their newest solution, the SONAR Dashboard, an "intelligent social network designed to increase cohesion, collaboration and innovation in large organisations". The SONAR Dashboard is a business-focused, behind the firewall solution that doesn't have all the distracting consumer features that a solution like Facebook does. So that must mean we can't buy our co-workers a beer or send them a flower for their wall garden. Shoot! Like all social network solutions, it enables employees to connect, collaborate and innovate strengthening informal networks across departmental and/or geographic boundaries.

Features of the SONAR Dashboard

Some of the features of the SONAR Dashboard include: Profiles, Search and Visualization One of the nice features of this solution is that profiles are automatically populated reducing the amount of time and effort in creating and maintaining profiles. You also get a simple search interface and a visualization of the social networks in your organization. The visualization looks kind of like a mind map displaying pathways to users with the expertise you may be looking for. Status Updates and Feed There's the now traditional status update feature and activity feed. So you always know what your peers are doing right now and who's got a new contact or theme. Automatic updating You can't keep a secret with this social network. The SONAR Dashboard is connected to the SONAR Server and this server analyzes your email, IM and documents to pull out key themes and relationships that it can then use to update your profile. Hmm...careful how many joke emails you send around. Themes and contacts To help define core information elements in the workplace, the Dashboard creates themes and contacts. Themes are topics of interest. So if we used this product, one of our themes would be SharePoint, another open source cms. Basically they are subjects and ideas people are communicating about. Contacts are the people you share your information with whether it be team mates, managers or contacts outside the organization.


The SONAR Dashboard is just the latest in a suite of tools Trampoline provides for business-based social networking solutions. In addition they have the SONAR FlightDeck which provides organisational intelligence and diagnostics for managers. Both products are underpinned by the SONAR Server - the "analytic core of the SONAR Suite". Trampoline Systems was just recently awarded the Red Herring 100 Europe 2008 Award which recognizes the 100 “Most Promising” Companies Driving the Future of Technology". Like that mindmap visualization? Like that you don't have to create your profile? Take a closer look at the SONAR Dashboard. Just please don't refer to it as a "Facebook for the enterprise" solution.