Stay organized is a big topic at Under the Radar: Office 2.0.
Erica OggFormer Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
What's the best way to use the Web to organize your business? Approver and Big Contact, both here at Under the Radar, had some ideas for small- and medium-size businesses.
Approver wants to help businesses disentangle themselves from e-mail as a method of sharing documents. Approver.com lets users share, review and publish documents through a single interface, eliminating the (dreaded) "reply all" phenomenon--where everybody who sees one document sends their own responses, resulting in a deluge of "me too" e-mails. With Approver, documents can be edited directly in a browser, or uploaded from the desktop or from elsewhere on the Web. Docs can also be approved and published directly to blogs or other Web sites. It's free to start, but will cost $39.95 for unlimited service. Judges from Message, SAP and Sun voiced concern that it is merely a feature and not a full tool set.
Big Contacts puts all your contacts online at once, organizes them, and makes them editable in Ajax format. The company's idea is to get users to move away from relying on Outlook for contacts. Iinstead users can share contacts with co-workers and get those contacts in a variety of contexts: online, on a mobile phone, or through Netvibes. Big Contacts comes with an interface for Web-enabled phones and directly integrates with IM and Skype. It's a subscription model with up to 500 contacts free.
All the judges used the word "ambivalent" to describe their feelings toward both products. They complained about the lack of a sufficient value proposition and were concerned that the products weren't differentiated enough from others in the space.