Attensa, the Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in creating business-class RSS solutions, has been busily working on an enterprise RSS solution. No, not the Star Trek Enterprise spacecraft; I am referring to a new hardware product called Attensa Enterprise Suite RSS Server. Attensa Enterprise Suite RSS Server, or AES:RSS for short, is targeted at companies looking for employees to safely and securely use RSS as a communication channel.
There are a number possible uses for RSS within the corporate environment. Anything that can be done via email most likely can be done using RSS with the additional benefit of having increased metrics on the communication’s reach, which can ultimately help to gauge its success. An RSS stream could be used from something as primitive as a mass communication or as targeted as corporate building services communications (i.e. fire drill, fridge cleaning, phone upgrades, etc.). Corporate RSS could be used for secure items such as financial statements, project management, paycheck stubs and top-secret abstractions. Not to mention, corporate RSS could be used for rich-media communications via podcasts and video-casts for shareholder meetings and training, among other things.
AES:RSS is a self-contained Linux-based server that has simplified the deployment process, thus making all of these corporate RSS dreams a simple reality by offering an enterprise solution as a piece of hardware, which comforts even the most stringent corporate IT. Most corporate IT professionals know the ease of plug-and-play hardware versus having to install and configure a server with a product themselves.
A major benefit of the Attensa server solution is that it will go out and pull down RSS feeds for the various users within the corporation once and then distribute them all via the server. This takes some of the stress off the corporate infrastructure by limiting the number of repetitive feed retrievals. Feeds are then presented to user with slick AJAX web-based feed reader. Administrators within the company will also be able to create RSS messages an AJAX web application.
In speaking with Matthew Bookspan, Director of Product Management at Attensa, the company has been busy with the AES:RSS in addition to revamping its online feed reader, which I highlighted prior to being updated for a post on TechCrunch comparing the online feed readers. Attensa also offers a desktop solution and a mobile solution, both of which sound pretty interesting, though I have not used either of them so cannot comment on their capabilities.
I should mention a few other competitors in the Enterprise RSS space: Newsgator Enterprise Server and KnowNow Enterprise Syndication Solution. Both use similar enterprise server solutions. KnowNow in particular has been implemented by Rentals.com to help manage its lead notification process.
However, Attensa offers more than just the server; Attensa also uses "attention," as I highlighted previously on Somewhat Frank, to offer corporations valuable metrics on usage and influence. Attention can be used by employers to monitor who is producing the most influential content and use it as a gauge for rewards. It also can be leveraged to fight information overload by having the most influential information bubble to the top. I could see Attensa even taking it a step further and look forward to seeing what they come with in the next couple months. The pricing for AES:RSS is still unclear but I would presume is will be comparable to other hardware options like Google Mini and others. Be on the lookout for more to come from Attensa.