Igloo Software’s roots reign from international initiatives needing collaboration across the globe. Igloo is in our backyard, and a friendly software neighbour here in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada, so we have to put it at the top of the list and give kudos to this local success story. The company’s origins trace to 2004, when Mr. Jim Balsillie, former Chief Executive Officer of RIM, and Dan Latendre, a former executive at local enterprise software giant Open Text Corporation, joined together to develop the social software platform.
The platform evolved from Jim Balsillie’s desire to create a way to bring together International Governance Leaders and Organizations Online - IGLOO - and researchers at the Centre For International Governance Innovation and researchers from around the world, to collaborate.
Although the roots of this platform are in an easy-to-use cloud-based extranet, it has evolved into a robust enterprise level social business platform, including company directories, calendars, blogs and microblogging, status updates, instant messaging, and spaces and places for teams to collaborate.
Strengths: Light, easy-to-use, and built for rapid deployment, you can be up and running very quickly on Igloo Software. Igloo can deploy simple and effective online working communities for all sorts of collaboration needs, for both large and small teams, working groups or companies, such as:
Virtual Boardroom - a simple and effective way to build an online tool for meeting minutes, tasks, and ongoing collaboration with your Board of Directors.
Global Community - an online collaboration tool for working groups across divisions, task forces working in different cities, or project groups working together across the country, or working internationally on projects or initiatives.
Customer Portals - an easy way to improve customer service you can provide everything your customers need in one place, including files, support, or access to your internal team for communication or updates.
Company Intranet - a company wide deployment to keep your entire organization up to date and engaged. Your intranet can be designed to have separate areas online for departments, divisions, working groups and projects. People can choose to follow areas of their choice if they have access and permissions to view this content, and you can also have company-wide areas to keep the entire organization up-to-date on key dates, events or company announcements.
Weaknesses: If your solution requires a highly secure, on-premise installation behind a firewall within your organization or corporation, Igloo will not be the right software platform. Igloo Software has consistently supported a cloud-based-only platform solution. SharePoint still has deeper and more robust document management features and Igloo Software will need to continue to evolve and improve on their technology road map to compete with SharePoint in this area.
Mad Tip: A great out-of-the box solution, Igloo Software is quick and easy and you can choose to set up an online community for a very specific need, or even simple smaller working groups. Prior to the deployment of a full intranet solution company wide, an easy and low risk way to see if Igloo is a fit for you, is to try a deployment for one of the simple pre-configured solutions. Once you are on the platform, for a working group, such as a Board of Directors, it will be easy to evaluate whether or not the Igloo Software platform is a fit for your company.
Get familiar with Jive, who we discuss in part two of our series.