Tuesday, November 3, 2009

IGLOO Software Identified As One of the Top Innovative Application Companies to Watch

IGLOO Software, a leading provider of online community and social software solutions was named as one of the top innovative application companies to watch in a recent report published by IDC, a leading industry analyst firm headquartered in Framingham, MA.

The report focused on companies with annual revenues less than $100 million who are delivering innovative solutions that meet enterprise software application needs. The criteria used by IDC to measure innovation were based on the following three key application trends:

Acceleration of software as a service (SaaS), business process outsourcing (BPO), and open source over traditional on-premise software.
New business models for software use by service providers (software-within-a-service).
Web 2.0-like functionality moves into the enterprise (e2.0).
"IGLOO is thrilled to be named as a top innovating company in the enterprise space" says Dan Latendre, CEO of IGLOO Software. "Disruptive forces are compelling companies to rethink their traditional enterprise technology architectures in order to stay competitive, manage risk and build capacity across the entire organization."

IDC's "Companies to Watch" reports are a qualitative evaluation of a set of vendors within a specific market - they are not a stack ranking nor do they represent an exhaustive evaluation of all companies in a segment or a comparative ranking of the companies in the report.

About IGLOO Software
IGLOO Inc. is develops online communities and social software solutions for organizations of any size. Our suite combines Web 2.0 technology with on-demand hosting, consulting, e-engagement and all of the community support services necessary for a sustainable and successful deployment.

Organizations use IGLOO communities internally to improve employee productivity (Workplace Communities) or externally to foster relationships with members, customers, partners and suppliers (Marketplace Communities). Fully integrated collaboration, knowledge sharing and Web 2.0 social networking tools enable organizations to quickly and cost-effectively create online communities to leverage talent, knowledge and relationships across organizational and geographical boundaries. IGLOO is funded by RBC Venture Partners. Jim Balsillie is Chair of the IGLOO board.

Contact Us
For more information regarding this announcement, please email us at:


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

IGLOO Recognized as One of Canada's Leading Web 2.0 Pioneers

July 28, 2009 Kitchener ON - IGLOO Software (www.igloosoftware.com), a leading provider of online community and social software solutions for organizations of any size has placed in Backbone Magazine's Top 20 Web 2.0 PICK 20 for 2009. IGLOO's marketplace community, the Manufacturing Innovation Network or MIN (www. waterloomin.com) was featured as a solution that demonstrates innovation and carries the potential to change the way we use the Internet.

The Waterloo Region Manufacturing Innovation Network (MIN) is an innovative online community that connects over 1,000 manufacturers in the Waterloo Region. The goal of the community is to create a more responsive and globally competitive manufacturing community through improved networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing. The MIN community offers its members free access to three key online services:
• Marketplace - Job Board, Career Center, Company and Service Provider Directories, Classified Ads, Advertising, Sponsorship Program, Event Calendar
• Professional Network - Personal Profiles, Member Directory, Peer-to-Peer Messaging, Contacts
• Knowledge Exchange - Resource Centre, Expert Blogger Program, Peer Groups, Best Practices, Whitepapers, News, Educational Videos

The second annual PICK 20 roundup of Canada's leading Web 2.0 pioneers was created by Backbone Magazine (www.backbonemag.com) and KPMG and is the only national ranking of its kind. To compile the top 20, they assembled a "crack panel" of judges and asked them, along with the public, to nominate worthy companies or projects. This year, Backbone received more than twice as many nominations as they did last year, generating an even broader picture of Web 2.0 in Canada. Backbone Magazine defines Web 2.0 as "the use of online social platforms to link individuals to each other and, increasingly, to connect companies to partners and clients." According to the magazine, the defining moment of Web 2.0 occurs when "talk goes from a monologue to a dialogue, when everyone gets a say and when those voices can actually change opinions, company policy, government decisions and so on."

What the judges said: Geist said the site does a "nice job of mixing Web 2.0 with area economic promotion" and O'Connor Clarke said this is "exactly the kind of thing the read-write Web should be fostering more of. This is a terrific use of Web 2.0 tools." Napier commented that Igloo, the company behind the site, "boasts experienced technology leaders that it can leverage to grow its visibility both in North America and abroad. Still, there are an increasing number of companies offering corporate social networks in the market that will make it difficult for vendors like Igloo to stand out from the crowd. Igloo's pricing allows it to differentiate itself as an affordable solution, which will be particularly important."

Earlier this year, in April, IGLOO was recognized as one of Backbone Magazine's Top 25 Up and Comers in the Branham300 and also placed in the "The Next 50," a listing introduced by the Branham Group in 2008 that recognizes the next tier of innovative talent in Canada's ICT industry.

Nominees for the Web 2.0 PICK 20 were judged according to five criteria: ROI, competitive advantage, ongoing value, execution and innovation.

Judges and the full article can be accessed here: http://www.backbonemag.com/Web2/PICK20_Winners_2009.asp

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Social Networking for Disaster Relief

by Elizabeth Hanson

The Disaster Relief Rotarian Action Group (DRRAG) was put to the test recently, providing relief for communities affected by the November 2008 earthquake in Pakistan. When the call to action came-delivering supplies for 1,200 emergency shelters for those who lost their homes in the earthquake-the group turned to social networking to get the job done.

A subsidiary of Rotary International, DRRAG's mandate is to support and unify Rotarian relief and development activities locally, regionally and worldwide-including bringing supplies to a devastated earthquake site in Pakistan-in order to save lives, alleviate suffering, stimulate recovery, and mitigate the short and long term effects of hazards.

To provide both a timely emergency response to victims' needs and long term help with recovery, DRRAG turned to an online community solution. With its social networking features, the community has enabled the group to unify and improve communication and collaboration, and ultimately increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Rotary's response to natural disasters.

"Igloo's online community platform gives DRRAG the capacity to engage Rotarians in our disaster relief outreach and provides an effective mechanism for action," says John Eberhard, DRRAG Chairman. "By using a powerful and proven community solution, DRRAG will significantly increase the speed with which our member clubs coordinate relief efforts, funnel donations and provide support for the implementing agencies on the ground."

Making connections that matter
DRRAG needed a solution that would bring together their dispersed membership of 1.2 million and help Rotarians, their clubs and districts to assist communities in establishing effective preparedness systems, programs and structures; in recovering and rebuilding after a disaster; and mitigating the consequences of a disaster.

The online network model is a good fit for DRRAG because it mimics the overall structure of the group. Comprised of a network of networks, DRRAG is made up of 34 districts, with each district hosting 50 - 125 clubs.

The organizations needed a better, faster way to connect, interact, share knowledge and collaborate to coordinate relief efforts, funnel donations and provide support for implementing agencies on the ground. Ideally, the DRRAG community would be accessible from anywhere in the world, giving Rotary members quick and easy access to the information, knowledge, skills and resources required for disaster relief efforts.

DRRAG's long term objective with this online community initiative is to be regarded as a trusted response and rebuilding organization, one that is invited to participate with the major international NGOs, the U.N. and government-related organizations.

Specific long-term objectives include becoming a major influence in global natural disaster relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts, being recognized as major sources of volunteer and financial support in responses to natural disasters, increasing DRRAG membership by providing an outlet for service to potential Rotarians interested in disaster relief, and receiving major funding from governments and international organizations.

Making a world of difference
DRRAG turned to Igloo Inc., a Canadian startup, to provide their online community. Igloo develops online communities for organizations, combining Web 2.0 technologies with on-demand hosting, consulting, and all of the support services required for a sustainable and successful community deployment.

Launched on December 2, 2008, the DRRAG online community securely connects Rotarians using a collection of easy to use Web 2.0 tools. Members can participate, collaborate and share in the community using blogs, wikis, forums, photo galleries and custom maps. The community gives members the opportunity to share disaster related articles and photos with other Rotarians, along with access to DRRAG's online resource library.

Members manage all of this information and their contacts using personal profiles, which outline key areas of skills, experience and expertise and are accessible to every member in the community.

The community also provides regular news updates from the field on specific relief efforts and a collection of invaluable resources directed to the dozens of agencies that respond to global crises. Members can subscribe to receive automatic notification when information is added or updated.

To advance its objective of becoming a recipient of funding from governments and international organizations, the DRRAG community also supports e-commerce transactions. Members can register online and plans are under way to expand the DRRAG membership model to include the general public. Online donations will also be supported.

With the network now fully operational, members from more than 200 countries can instantly tap into the DRRAG network when a disaster occurs to solicit support from other Rotary members, offer volunteering support and access links to other international emergency management NGOs and governments and RSS feeds of the latest news updates.

Inside IGLOO
Igloo's history is entrenched in the not-for-profit sector. It began within the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a nonprofit research centre founded by Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research In Motion. Believing that the Internet and other technologies offer tremendous potential for supporting and facilitating change, CIGI created a free, global online research network that connects researchers, educators and practitioners around the world.

In 2008, with a strong heritage of solving global issues and CIGI as a founding partner, the technology unit within CIGI, called Igloo, spun off and became a for-profit software company. Its mission is to help organizations improve efficiency and achieve results using an integrated community platform of collaboration, knowledge sharing and Web 2.0 social networking tools.


Friday, March 13, 2009

IGLOO to Deliver Web 2.0 Collaborative Platforms

by Elizabeth Hanson

Waterloo-based social networking company IGLOO Inc. will develop new Web 2.0 corporate platforms, thanks to a $4 million USD equity financing round from RBC Venture Partners.

The financing enables IGLOO to extend and commercialize its suite of collaborative social networking tools to corporations and other organizations in the rapidly accelerating enterprise social networking space.

Founded in 2003, IGLOO's social networking platform helps hundreds of organizations globally reduce email burden, remove distances across branch offices and inspire teams with new productivity and collaboration tools. The platform was initially developed to support an online international network of researchers, practitioners and educators working on global issues.

"Today's round of financing enables IGLOO to extend our Web 2.0 social networking platform to corporations for improved social connections and productivity," says Dan Latendre, CEO IGLOO. "Attracting RBC Venture Partners as a valued investor clearly shows that social networking software has matured into an important new competitive tool for corporations."

Dan Latendre, an industry veteran in content management software, says IGLOO's suite was developed as a highly secure platform for academic institutions, top researchers and international development organizations to collaborate and share best practices. Now supporting more than 550 online global communities, IGLOO is ideal for companies looking to harness the power of web-based collaboration platforms.

"Corporations are embracing Internet based services such as blogs, wikis and other easy-to-use tools that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users, while reducing the email burden that is choking effective communication," says Kevin Talbot, Managing Director, RBC Venture Partners. "IGLOO's suite is a strong offering that blends a fully integrated platform of Web 2.0 tools with the security and administration controls required by corporate IT departments."

As part of the RBC Venture Partners investment, Kevin Talbot has joined Jim Balsillie on the IGLOO board.

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Toronto, RBC Venture Partners is the venture capital investment arm of RBC (RY on the TSX and NYSE) with over $300 million under management. RBC Venture Partners invests directly in early and growth stage software technology and services companies targeting the financial services vertical.

IGLOO provides a secure, easy-to-use corporate social networking suite to businesses of any size. Our software improves business performance by reducing email burden and enhancing collaboration between distributed teams and the growing mobile work force. Delivered over the web using a software as a service (SaaS) delivery model, companies can now cost-effectively connect people, processes and information across organizational and geographical boundaries in just minutes not months. IGLOO is funded by RBC Venture Partners. Jim Balsillie is Chair of the IGLOO board.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Community Champions - the New Decision Maker

By Dan Latendre

Creating and implementing successful online community solutions requires champions within the organization. They are the leading adopters who have a vision and believe that online communities and social networking solutions are the right choice. What we are seeing in many organizations, is that the the business owners are becoming the new breed of champions.

Even more interesting is that they are being supported - even encouraged by Management and backed up by IT. This is a very encouraging sign. This new blended decision model has all three stakeholders at the table, right from the beginning when choosing a solution. In my opinion, this model is quickly proving to be the right choice as it offers a more collaborative approach and allows each group to provide input - both on requirements and expected outcomes.

I believe that having champions at all levels within the organization, it helps companies overcome the operational, technical and cultural barriers that have either prevented or slowed down the adoption of emerging technologies like online communities and social networking.

I think there are many reasons for this transformation:

  • Global Competition: to be competitive in the global economy, companies are quickly learning that they need to be more agile, innovative and responsive. The need for speed is a top priority. Companies are looking to dramatically improve productivity through improved knowledge sharing, collaboration and relationship building.
  • Web 2.0: has proven that deploying applications has never been easier, faster or more cost effective. This new try before you buy model also mitigates tremendous financial risk as companies no longer have to put forth large upfront capital investments for their enterprise solutions.
  • Adoption: by having the business owner in control or managing the decision making process, the potential for adoption dramatically increases.
  • Budget: most web 2.0 solutions start at less than $25,000 per year, well below most departmental budget caps. This makes them easier to slide under the radar gun and not get caught up on normal internal budgetary approval process.
  • Lean IT: more and more companies are looking at something called "Lean IT" or outsourcing solutions to 3rd party vendors. With IT & IS departments buried in spam, virus control, email management, enterprise deployments etc., they have little or no time to support internal business requests. Outsourcing is becoming a great alternative solution as employees can find their own solutions with little support or burden on IT.

It will be very interesting to see over the coming months the tremendous ROI results from leading community adopters in the market.

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