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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Web 2.0

As I've discussed before, major technological drivers behind Web 2.0 are web services mashups and AJAX. AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML enables a desktop-like experience and interactivity via a browser. Mashups, on the other hand, allow for web services to actually run over the public Internet.

It is no surprise then that these new technologies open the doors to new ideas--and thus new entrants--into the SaaS market. Venture Capital money has poured into a number of Web 2.0 startups, and Esther Schindler at IT Bussiness Net reviews three such Web 2.0-based CRM startups in CRM for the Web Crowd. Below is an excerpt:

[M]ost of the well-known Web 2.0 sites, such as MySpace.com and digg.com, are inherently consumer-oriented. While a business site can use some Web 2.0 elements, such as location mapping features, few of the Web 2.0 developers are putting their attention on the needs of corporate users.

One exception is Customer Relationship Management (CRM), long a standby of the sales and marketing crowd, and low-hanging fruit for a developer looking for a problem to solve. Once, applications like Goldmine were strictly desktop applications; now they've moved to the Web. It's a crowded market for any CRM vendor, so I gave a cursory look at three sites listed in the Web 2.0 category -- 24SevenOffice, Pushcrm, and Zohocrm -- to see if the substance matches the hype.

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