Feeds

Middleware hotshot to bake biz-friendly apps

Magnet Systems exits stealth with big backers

High performance access to file storage

Alfred Chuang, who brought the TCP/IP stack to the original IBM PC, ran several software product development units at Sun Microsystems, and was one of the founders of middleware software maker BEA Systems, wants to take another crack at business software.

Specifically, Chuang's startup, Magnet Systems, which just came out of stealth mode, wants to make business applications more social. Somewhere between the siloed applications on your corporate PC and the social networking mojo epitomized by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

In late 2008, after Oracle bought BEA Systems for $8.5bn, Chuang set up Magnet Systems to make business applications that deal with unstructured data such as audio and video snippets, and that can run on compute clouds such as Amazon's EC2 utility.

Chuang has cooked up a business application framework he calls the Workplace Interaction Network, or WIN for short. The first rev of the WIN framework is a product called Sales WIN, which automates the computing needs of a sales force, including data feeds, opportunity and deal tracking, collaboration with clients, and integration with customer relationship management tools such as those offered by Salesforce.com as well as Gmail and Outlook mailboxes.

Magnet Systems logo

In a blog post announcing the company and its $12.6m in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with some money kicked in by Warburg Pincus, Chuang laid out his vision of what he calls enterprise social computing, but did not get into the weeds of what the WIN software stack really was.

"Now ... about enterprise social computing ... it's almost impossible to believe, but after hundreds of millions of people worldwide have embraced social applications in nearly every aspect of their personal lives, businesses are still resisting social applications," Chuang wrote.

"In fact, many enterprises have not made any significant investment in social applications despite obvious use cases for customer service, HR, marketing, product development, recruiting, sales, training and much more."

Rather than try to fight the way people are communicating over social networks, Magnet wants to harness these techniques, which Chuang called "more human, more natural and more useful for the way real people work in the real world," but to bring them under control and keep it all secure. This is what businesses expect in their enterprise applications.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Magnet's Sales WIN tool has been in beta at customer sites since last October.

The company's distribution model will have some of its code being open source to generate a user base, and some of it closed off to generate revenues. Rather than charging a set fee for services and support, Magnet is contemplating charging a cut of the sales action among customers or using some other metric to earn its keep. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.