Serial entrepreneur Frank Joshi founded Mvine Ltd. in 2005 as an online record label and music social network but he soon realized that B2B cloud platforms have great market growth potential and Mvine platform was re-designed to serve also as a social businesses software system. Recently, the company released its new social business platform in the United Kingdom and most experts agree that Mvine is trying to set foot at markets traditionally occupied by business collaboration platforms like Microsoft Sharepoint and Salesforce Chatter. The UK-based company also faces other serious competitors like Google Docs cloud-based service and platform and the Jive Jive social networking platform.
The company claims its cloud-based platform is more secure and more capable that other similar products offered as Software as a Service (SaaS). Unlike other platforms, Mvine bets on niche markets trying to serve particular communities, rejecting the one-size-fits-all business model applied by leading companies in the field.
“People think that the internet has changed the way people do business, ironically in some respects it has and it hasn’t: the internet hasn’t replaced human communications, it has enhanced them. At the same time it takes the drudgery out of mundane processes and allows people to focus on the content of messaging, letting the technical worry about distribution. Mvine’s technology tries to find better ways to do transactional processes which will typically involve people not machines,”Frank Joshi explains in a statement on the company’s website.
The company develops a variety of portals that are based on open source software like Debian (Stable), PostgreSQL, Apache and Perl. The platform offers the usual advantages of cloud computing and open source technologies like scalability, high level of customization and acceptable degree of security functionality. Mvine uses Perl’s Mason HTML template software that allows each page users see to be unique for it is dynamically created after user’s log in.
The Mvine platform features capabilities offered by all major cloud collaboration platforms like upload and management of documents, text, images, audio, and video. Users are allowed to create unlimited number of groups and subgroups while various types of communication are available – live/passive communication, instant messaging, video conferencing and telephone calls are offered within the platform. The company has integrated a BI platform in the system, allowing customers to get detailed reports on various events occurring on the website. In addition, reporting can be cross referenced with and linked to other databases.
Mvine develops and supports different types of portals in four different categories: customer portals, business communities, alumni & diversity portals, and membership portals. The first one provides businesses with the ability to run customized dashboards aimed to deliver a customer-centric experience. Customer portals feature central document repository and management areas while providing instant messaging, private messaging, telephony and discussion groups functionality.
The platform offers extended functionality to business communities by allowing organizations to connect remote offices and teams, including mobile employees, through a cloud-based service. Mvine’s cloud platform boasts secure environment for enterprises to share and collaborate on various projects in different file formats, providing unified content management and cloud storage facility.
The company develops two major types of cloud-based social software for alumni & diversity communities. Alumni Communities for schools allows customers to manage and administer their community portals while publishing important information about the school and its activities. The platform also features tools for mass communicating messages to community members although this cannot be considered an advanced functionality anymore. Alumni communities for businesses provide similar functionality, betting on social networking as a tool for creation of devoted communities that can assist business development.
Membership portals offered by Mvine take advantage of available cloud computing technologies providing instant messaging, telephony and video conferencing functionality. Portal owners can create different subscription levels and get a holistic view of the site and coherent analysis.
Recently, Mvine’s platform has been adopted by a number of clients, including British Telecom, that are eager to outsource their document management and online communications to the Cloud. The platform features integrated document management, CRM, data integration, content publishing, security, identity management, online communications and business intelligence (BI) and analytics, functionality, which makes it a real competitor to rival services offered by mastodons like Microsoft and Google. At present, the company is targeting primarily the financial services sector and insurance companies in particular. Mvine established a subsidiary company, named Exvine, to target the insurance industry with former former Lloyds of London chief information officer Chris Rawson heading the new business unit.
Mvine loudly announced the launch of its businesses collaboration platform in the cloud but it is hard to assess whether it will be able to grab significant market share in the coming years. Nevertheless, the company is aiming at business sectors that rarely experience financial difficulties and, provided that its platform is well accepted, it could witness fast paced growth of its services. Mvine has long been on the radar of those interested in cloud computing start-ups but it finally unveiled a solution that can help the company to set foot at the lucrative market for online collaboration and cloud-based B2B services.
By Kiril Kirilov
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