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This morning I spoke with GroupSwim, an innovative company that has created an intelligent community building and collaboration SaaS solution.

GroupSwim aims to connect individuals and build knowledge utilising social based methodologies. There method of working come from four observations of  current offerings and methods of working;

  • Knowledge is everywhere – be it within individuals, in Salesforce, via Google, in emails etc
  • Search sucks – it’s hard, it’s not semantic and everyone has different ideas how to use it
  • Knowledge is locked in people heads so an individual doesn’t know who is an expert on any one particular subject
  • Other offering are difficult to use and expensive

So what does GroupSwim offer? Their solutions has;

  • A nice Web 2.0 interface
  • An open architecture that allows it to grow, adapt and morph at will
  • The benefit of leveraging community intelligence
  • A robust enterprise grade architecture

So how does it work?
Once a user creates an account, they can create multiple communities within their account. This has two benefits – it means a business can have different communities for different parts of the business, but it also means that an individual user, with one single sign on, can access all of the groups they are subscribed to. This is all nice but not unique, GroupSwim’s extra benefit however comes from its semantic approach and its qualitative differentiation techniques.

Semantic Approach

Content entered into a discussion is automagically analysed and tagged with keywords. This allows better classification, better searching and a more relevant and proactive customer experience to be offered to the user. Of course users can edit, change and add to the automatically generated tags but it speeds up the process no end.

Qualitative Differentiation

GroupSwim keeps a running tally on both explicit and implicit rating of material. Explicit rating comes from user ratings as per other solutions, implicit rating comes from a host of automatically assessed criteria – how often an item is read, how many times it is on-forwarded, how long it remains open etc. In this way users get a true assessment of the quality of any piece of content.

Not only text posts can be entered but files can be uploaded and in the next release due in a couple of weeks, these will also be assessed using the semantic approach.

Summary

GroupSwim provides a compelling offering – I can see it providing real value for both organisational community building but also external communities. The functionality being rolled out in the next few weeks will create a fully featured offering that should garner a loyal following.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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