I receive lots of communication from public relations people (especially those who are independent agencies) who spot a word on our editorial calendar, don’t research what we do and send me requests to interview their outstanding CEOs. Sort of puts the monkey on my back to see if the company plays in the spaces I cover. Every great once in a while these pay off. Guy saw that we cover “collaboration.” Of course, that’s a pretty generic word. But this one works. He actually knows about the PLM space and how product development and manufacturing people often collaborate.

So, I talked with Aaron Fulkerson, CEO and co-founder of Mind Touch, yesterday about a collaboration tool his company has developed that is Software as a Service (SaaS) and a direct competitor of Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server–only cheaper and easier to use. He claims a client can be up and running on Mind Touch about 10 times faster than with Sharepoint (your results will vary, I’m sure). As an “Enterprise 2.0” product, the focus is ease-of-use and integration. Another “2.0” type of focus is on the social part of collaboration. People can build add-on applications that will fit on the Mind Touch platform, and it also plays well with many existing ERP, SCM, CRM and other IT three-letter-acronyms. It uses the latest Web-oriented architecture with Web Services and is RESTful. The main idea is to automate workflows and other work in order to improve productivity and reduce labor in compiling reports.

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