Alfresco extends content management to Facebook

Alfresco extends content management to Facebook

Open-source ECM firm says site has powerful users

Alfresco is taking Facebook into the enterprise via an extension to its open-source enterprise content management (ECM) solution. The new release will let users upload and manage content securely so that staff, customers, partners and prospects can access information in a familiar, highly usable environment.

Alfresco claimed this is the first business application for Facebook, the wildly successful social network that recently opened up its platform to attract third-party developers. Although primarily consumer-focused, Facebook is becoming more attractive to business executives, Alfresco argued.

“A lot of powerful people are coming onto Facebook, particularly in the IT industry,” said John Newton, Alfresco co-founder. “A year ago we started to get requests to do something for MySpace and about six months ago that changed to FaceBook. In particular, we got a request from an international organisation that wanted to communicate with CEOs. The organisation got so excited that we started to say, hey, there’s a real opportunity here from enterprises, governments, churches... people reaching out to stakeholders or their customer base. There’s a whole new generation of employees that want a new set of tools that hook into their social environments, and are intuitive. As enterprises look outwards, this is a capability that will let them tap into millions of users.”

Newton said the Facebook move also underscores a broader change that is being observed by many business software makers at present, namely the “blurring between systems used inside and outside the enterprise”.

Forrester Research analyst Kyle McNabb agrees and wrote a blog entry saying the Alfresco-Facebook partnership was indicative of “tech populism” where “the technology we use at work continues to find its way into the home … and, more interestingly, the technology we use at home … continues to find its way into work.”