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Startup goes beyond LinkedIn for deep enterprise social networking

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Among the entrepreneurs launching social, enterprise and consumer technology at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC this week, insightful, Inc. debuted its enterprise social networking solution on Monday, May 5, less than 48 hours ago, for beta testing. insightful is geared toward large enterprises to allow employees access to their colleagues' networks, even if the employees are in different departments or locations.

Stemming from the frustration of dealing with bureaucracy layers in large corporations (as is the case for many entrepreneurial ventures and startups), insightful's CEO, Ilya Billig, decided to tackle the problem. Using existing data, such as email metadata and other surface-level information, insightful measures relationships between people and companies. In turn, teams can review this knowledge to make connections to potential sales leads or experts, he said.

Using the example of the intern that golfs with Bill Gates, Billig provided an exclusive demonstration to the Springfield Entrepreneurship Examiner of how insightful works. The tool's proprietary algorithms score contacts within the enterprise. A sales person looking for someone who knows Gates could contact the intern for an introduction. insightful also offers companies the option of "gamifying" the tool so that the intern can get accolades for being helpful, for example.

"People are a company's biggest asset.. but (they) don't really capitalize on this asset and don't understand this asset," Billig said in an interview.

Some may shrug and point to LinkedIn as a solution, but the problem with LinkedIn, according to Billig, is that it doesn't score relationships. The sales person could see that the intern is connected to Gates, but the intern may have just met him at a conference, for example, and have no real meaningful connection.

Billig also detailed how insightful scores skills, which is more robust and accurate than LinkedIn's scoring system. Users can search for someone by company, name or skill set, and insightful ranks connections to that company, person or skill set. Currently, insightful is a freemium service for individual users and offers a pricing model for small internal launches and company-wide installations.

Unlike a lot of other startups, insightful is a wholly-owned subsidy of Invisible CRM, which works with the large enterprise clients of Oracle, SAP, Siebel and other software industry heavy-hitters.

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