Horizon-backed Access Group (Access), the business management software provider, has acquired Tech City start-up Sazneo for an undisclosed sum. The transaction represents Access’ eighth add-on since Horizon invested in the company in March 2011.
The deal for the online communication and collaboration technology, likened to Chatter and Yammer, follows the launch of Access aCloud, Access’ SaaS-based self-service platform. The move will accelerate the integration of persistent instant messaging services into the company’s product suite by up to 18 months.
CEO for Access, Chris Bayne, comments, “Sazneo goes beyond the social media tools currently available, taking interactive dialogue to a whole new level. This is Yammer for the enterprise, but for real-time discussion rather than status updates. Sazneo keeps a complete audit trail of conversations including access to documents and links so everyone involved has full visibility and our aim is to build the ‘go to’ place for communicating and collaborating with employees, customers and the supply chain. This technology makes that easily available across any platform including tablets and smartphones.”
The SaaS-based solution is already being integrated into Access aCloud, which has been described by the analyst community as the platform where ‘social meets enterprise applications’. Sazneo allows organisations to develop different activity streams such as support services, sales, product development or specific projects, bringing a cross-function and multi-company approach to real-time communication. “Connecting the whole business network, without the additional set-up, takes collaboration beyond the immediate workplace,” said Chris. “This makes it perfect for connecting with clients or for outsourcing and offshore scenarios.”
Sazneo customer Nick Fera of US-based Firm58, which provides technology to the capital markets, commented, “Persistence is the key layer for us, providing a record of the conversation; email notification keeps everyone in the loop even if they’re offline for a while and alerts grab attention. Internal email flow has reduced considerably too as visibility within the Sazneo channels is broader and more compelling than random email flows that can omit relevant people.”
A benchmark for the future of business communication tools, Sazneo surpasses the discussion functionality of products such as Chatter and Yammer, Twitter-style solutions for the enterprise. Offering real-time group collaboration, including IM functionality, topic tagging and voting-style Q&A, the technology captures conversations in a fully-searchable and easily manageable form. A freemium version of the tool is available, which Access will continue to support and invest in.
Chris concluded, “Sazneo will allow us to fast-track the expansion of our cloud platform by adding real-time communication capabilities that can be deployed anywhere, anytime and from any device. The instant messaging, group chat and online communities tool is available either standalone or from within any application that is capable of embedding a web page. This can be set up quickly and easily in less than five minutes — and with no coding. Now it’s being integrated with Access aCloud too.”