Bloomfire allows external and internal audiences to create content

Bloomfire provides software that allows employees and other audiences to create and share multimedia content.

Link
http://www.bloomfire.com

Specifications
Bloomfire provides clients with enterprise knowledge and collaboration software that allows employees and other audiences to create and share multimedia content. Users can tailor content feeds according to their interest.

Content creation tools include an HD webcam video creator, an HD screencaster, and a native text editor. The software also includes gamification features and Q&A functionality that allows users to ask and answer questions that are keyword tagged, indexed, searchable, and easily updated. Analytics track community engagement and more. 

Cost

Monthly pricing starts at $12 per user. Volume discounts are offered for larger deployments, external communities, and long-term contracts.

User
Reid Wender, VP of sales and marketing at Triad Semiconductor, has been using Bloomfire for about one year.  

How do you use it?
We have an internal Bloomfire community and an external Bloomfire community.

We use our internal community as a knowledge base for employees.

Internal staffers log on to our private Triad community through Bloomfire’s website. Once they’re on the private community homepage, they can ask a question, post information, or search for information.

We have a white-labeled public community for our ViaDesigner software product. The public community has the same features as the private community. ViaDesigner users can post questions, make contributions, or share information.

We have more than 500 users in the public community. A link to the community comes up when people do a Google search for things of interest around ViaDesigner, and the help button inside the ViaDesigner product takes people to the public community.

In the year we’ve been using Bloomfire, the only thing we needed help with was the set up. That was handled with email and phone calls to Bloomfire. 

How does it serve your business needs?
We have a very long and complex sales cycle – it usually runs between nine months and a year and a half. An answer that one salesperson needs at a particular phase of the cycle may not be needed by another salesperson for a year.

Before we starting using Bloomfire, that information was buried in emails that no one could find. Now we ask and answer those types of sales questions in Bloomfire, and our employees can easily find information.

Our sales team doesn’t meet face to face very often. We use Bloomfire to communicate technical knowledge inside our company. We don’t need it as an education tool – we need it to store high value information and make it searchable.

We also use it for ViaDesigner customer acquisition. Our users create content that tends to be about our product, and it’s in a natural language that someone searching for the product would use. So Bloomfire allows us to house this search engine friendly content, which in turn helps people find our product.

It’s also educational because ViaDesigner users show other ViaDesigner users how to do things on the public community site.

What are the main benefits?
Knowledge sharing, persistence of knowledge, and ease of use have all helped us with adoption.

It helps our sales process. There’s no IT support burden. Anyone in our company can use it – if they can fill out a Web form they can use Bloomfire.

What are the main drawbacks?
We haven’t had any negative experiences with people actually using the tool.

This is not a drawback on the tool itself, but it takes time to get people to adopt it. We didn’t schedule a lot of training or force people to use it. Initially we thought we would just roll it out internally and everyone would use it. That’s not what happened. A core group of employees use it, and every month more people become active users. We’ve found that once people start asking questions and getting answers, they’re more willing to use it more often.

What would you like to see improved/added?
We’d like the ability to customize the layout more on the public community side.  The graphics are not styled the same way as on our site, so users can tell they’re no longer on Triad’s website once they land on the public community site. 

Competitors
Jive:
provides enterprise social platforms for internal and external communities.

Yammer
: a private social network that allows users to collaborate securely across departments, locations, and business applications.

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