Kenesto 2013 now focuses on Social Business Collaboration

28 Jan 2013: Last week I had the opportunity to meet, via the web, with Stephen Bodnar and Maya Olsha-Yehiav of Kenesto, the startup featuring Mike Payne as CEO. Bodnar is Vice President, Products and Marketing; Maya Olsha-Yehiav is Director of Customer Success.

The topic under discussion was the announcement yesterday of what Kenesto calls their Unified Social Business Collaboration Platform, a substantial change from their former business strategy offering a cloud based workflow based system.

For some background information readers can review my two previous blogs about Kenesto.

Kenesto was formerly a cloud based workflow system. Here, from my previous “what is it” blog, is a description of what they formerly did. “Aimed at the category called business process automation, this cloud-based application allows asynchronous spawning of processes. Different from similar systems that try to model processes, Kenesto builds processes on the fly. Users wanting to track a process they are initiating, for instance an ECO, initiate a process, attach documents to it, and add users to the next process by adding their email addresses. Different types of “next processes” can be defined, such as “review and approve.” At each step in the process the recipient can add additional processes that add steps to the overall process. Kenesto builds the process diagram as steps are added. Note that this differs significantly from the BPM (Business Process Modeling) approach that models processes using a cumbersome programmatic approach. Kenesto calls it Business Process Automation (BPA).”

Kenesto 2013’s Kenesto Social Business Collaboration platform expands on their workflow system by adding extensive capabilities that vastly expands their offering by adding collaboration on documents, document storage sharing and control, team building and messaging collaboration among the team, and a text based team capture and audit trail. Users can also build multiple teams, and invite users to teams. Documents automatically link to related viewers and more than 200 are currently offered, including special extensions for viewing of Revit documents.

Pricing

Pricing has now changed from buying of bundles of processes to a more traditional user based pricing. This chart is taken directly from the Kenesto.com website.

Kenesto Pricing chart

Definitions of interest (from Wikepedia)

  • Social collaboration refers to processes that help multiple people interact, share information to achieve any common goal.
  • A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.

Conclusions

Bodnar described what they are doing as both social business and collaboration. For companies to realize social business they usually have to deploy 3 to 7 separate technologies. For example: specialty social business sites include: Yammer, Chatter, Socialtext, Nuage, file sharing sites like Dropbox, etc. Kenesto incorporates many of these into one.

While I am a CAD/PLM guy, not a social collaboration expert, I can see quite a few things in the Kenesto demo that seem really useful. You can organize teams, add people to it, add documents that can be shared, and record textual comments of the entire team. Of course, documents can be any type of document. Different than a doc sharing site such as Dropbox, you have limited control of access to the document, for instance, viewing only. Other elements can be added, such as workflow. Bodnar states that Kenesto is “**highly** complementary to the existing PDM/PLM tools.” It seems to me that this offers more ready access to design data than many PLM systems of today. While PLM systems are more rigid in document control, they are often very difficult to navigate. Perhaps there might be some middle ground by coupling the two systems.

In summary, different than many other social business sites, Kenesto provides multiple capabilities. It’s a cloud based, secure document sharing site, has team groups, document (including CAD) viewing for team members, task management, and a history audit trail of team communication.  Yet, the solution is a general solution applicable to many areas other than engineering and design.

Try it yourself by joining the free Kenesto Community at http://www.kenesto.com .

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Wallet theft causes major distress

Last Friday my wife had her wallet stolen from her shopping cart. Her wallet was in one of those large, heavy purses that women commonly carry today. Naturally the purse was unzipped.

During her shopping she was distracted for several minutes by a seemingly friendly fellow shopper asking her questions about a product. When she went to check out she discovered her wallet missing, but thought she might have left it home or in the car. After returning home and fruitlessly searching for the wallet, she returned to the stores she had visited; they did not have the missing wallet.

Just 40 minutes after noticing the missing wallet, we received a phone call from American Express advising us that there was a potential fraud on the card. Over $4500 had been charged on the card at Apple and Best Buy!

What a mess this became to notify and card issuers and cancel the cards; to notify the police and fill out the crime reports, and to notify the credit agencies to alert them of a possible fraud and to lock our accounts against future credit card applications.

In addition, the thieves now had our home address, social security number, medical cards, and driver’s license, making us an ideal candidate for identity theft.

So in addition to the above we now have to sign up for identity theft protection for both of us.

Here is my advice as to how to prevent or ease this process for you in the future:

  • Keep copies of the front and back of all your credit cards
  • Sign the back of all credit cards immediately
  • Never put your wallet or purse in a shopping cart; instead keep it tucked under your arm
  • Keep copies of your drivers license at home
  • Beware friendly strangers while shopping

Be alert, be aware, and be prepared!

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Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy hits TechniCom and NJ hard!

Guess I was wrong about the early intensity of Hurricane Sandy!

It started slowly, but rapidly gained intensity. We lost power a few times during the day Monday, but it came back within a few minutes — until Monday night. We do not live near a train track, but in the early evening Monday it sounded like we were living right next to a railroad! at 9:05 PM the power went out and stayed out. As of Thursday evening it is still not back on and we have no idea when it will be back.

I ventured out late Tuesday for a drive around the neighborhood, but was very frequently detoured by downed trees and along with them the overhead power lines. With the wind speeds at over 40 mph, the work crews were on hold.

The only way I was able to keep in touch was with my cellphone.

It sure makes one realize the utility of what we normally take for granted. A few days without the Internet, heat, television, and lights makes me feel like a farmer, but without the satisfaction. I was prepared, with flashlights, spare batteries, and a full gas tank in both cars. But, hey, this is the third time in three years this has happened. It looks like those 100 year storms are coming every year lately.

Not only were we without power, but virtually all our fiends and neighbors were in the same state. Of course it became impossible to find any hotel rooms. After two days my wife and I decided to drive 240 miles to our son’s home in Massachusetts – he had power. Soon other relatives began clamoring for shelter also. We are getting real crowded now and things are becoming testy.

It turns out that a major problem is finding petrol for cars. With most gas station pumps powered by electricity, few stations are left that have generators. Lines often extend more than a half mile waiting to fill up.

All we know now is that more than 2 million residence still do not have power and it could be another 7 to 10 days before we see power again.

In the meantime I am busy searching for the right type generator to buy. Any recommendations?

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SolidWorks founders start new company

11/01/12: You heard it first here! Earlier today I received a call from John McEleney, the former CEO of SolidWorks. John explained that he and five of the original founders of SolidWorks started a new company that will explore and develop solutions for the product development space. He shared with me that this includes: Jon Hirschtick, Dave Corcoran, Scott Harris, and Tommy Li.

Hirschtick, Harris, and Li were among the original founders of SoldWorks. McEleney joined a few years later. Corcoran led product development, while Harris was a key architect. In the early years, I was most impressed with the way the entire team was focused on a single perspective and all pulled together to accomplish their common goal. Since then I have seen many a company flounder, not because their product was flawed, but because the team was unable to work cohesively together.

McEleney further explained that the company has just been initiated today. They are obviously, in the super early stages of development. John would not discuss their products. He said they are still exploring many alternatives.

He went on to say that he was contacting many of the people in the CAD and product development space who will be able to promote the fact that their company was beginning its development. People like myself.

With a team like this, I don’t doubt that they can be successful. Hmmm, but what will they turn out? Keep tuned for further information.

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iPhone 5, not yet for me

An avid fan of Apple products, I am holding off on upgrading my 4S.

While many of the features seem nice, especially the faster network downloads, there are only minor feature upgrades for the most part.

I am about halfway through the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson. [By the way, it’s an excellent read.] I wonder whether Jobs would have continued to allow the introduction of each with so few real advances, Where is the innovation?

Nevertheless, Apple announced that they sold 2 million phones on the first day! Using an average selling price of $600 each, that’s $1.2 billion USD! Perhaps not a bad business decision. No wonder the computer manufacturers are hurting. Each smartphone drains the need for traditional laptops and their siblings.
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Steve Bodnar leaves Autodesk for Kenesto

Stephen Bodnar joins Kenesto as Vice President, Products and Marketing

—See ‘My Take’ below—

WALTHAM, MA–(Marketwire – Sep 18, 2012) – Kenesto Corp., provider of cloud-based Social Process Management solutions today announced that Stephen Bodnar has joined the company as Vice President of Products and Marketing.

“We are very pleased to have Stephen join our team. As the demand for cloud-based business solutions continues to grow, Kenesto’s Social Process Management solution is gaining increased market traction,” said Kenesto’s CEO Michael Payne. “We are excited to begin a significant growth phase under Stephen’s marketing and products leadership.”

“I am extremely excited by the opportunity to join the Kenesto team,” said Mr. Bodnar. “Companies in industries such as manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and others are increasingly looking to leverage cloud, social, and mobile technologies to improve productivity. By automating day-to-day business processes such as managing Change Orders, managing Engineering Change Requests (ECR), and communicating bid proposals, Kenesto enables our customers to increase agility, responsiveness, and productivity across the value chain.”

Mr. Bodnar comes to Kenesto with a 24-year career in B2B technology development and marketing. Prior to joining Kenesto, he served as the Vice President of Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) at Autodesk, Inc., where he led the growth of Autodesk’s Vault PDM business by 15x over four years. Most recently, Mr. Bodnar oversaw the launch of Autodesk into the discrete PLM market with the introduction of the cloud-native PLM 360 solution.

Mr. Bodnar began his career serving Chrysler Corporation in its Engineering and CAD/CAM/CAE groups. After eight years with Chrysler, Mr. Bodnar joined Control Data System’s Manufacturing/PDM division where he served as a sales engineer, product architect, and product manager for Control Data’s PDM solutions: EDL and Metaphase.

Mr. Bodnar later helped create Auxilium, Inc., a software company that pioneered the creation of composite web applications which connected to a variety of back-end systems, including most established ERP and mainframe solutions. After Auxilium’s acquisition by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), Mr. Bodnar joined PTC as Director of Product Marketing for the Windchill solutions group. Mr. Bodnar later re-joined the Metaphase team after it had been acquired by Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) as the Vice President of SDRC’s Collaborative Solutions Group. After SDRC’s acquisition by Electronic Data Systems, Mr. Bodnar joined MSC Software Corporation, a leading provider of structural, thermal and multi-body dynamics engineering analysis solutions, where he served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.

To learn more about Kenesto, download An Introduction to Kenesto at http://www.kenesto.com/intro.

About Kenesto
Kenesto (www.kenesto.com) is a cloud-based Social Process Management tool which empowers people and teams to automate business processes across the value chain. By automating day-to-day business processes such as issuing Requests for Quotes (RFQ), managing Engineering Change Requests (ECR), and generating quotes & bid proposals, Kenesto enables manufacturing, architectural, engineering, and construction companies to expedite responsiveness to customers, increase productivity of internal resources, and better manage supply chain partners.

Contact:
Stephen Bodnar
steve@kenesto.com

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My take:

I know that Kenesto has been looking to fill this slot for some time. While I have not yet spoken to Bodnar, it seems that the turmoil at Autodesk and the attraction of a startup run by Mike Payne were enough to convince him.

Bodnar’s role at Kenesto should enable Kenesto to reach the next level of success.

Readers might also want to read our previous blog on Kenesto.

BUFFALO MiniStation Leads Thunderbolt Storage Sales

NPD Reporting Recognizes BUFFALO MiniStation Thunderbolt as Most Purchased Thunderbolt Storage Product
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My take: Thunderbolt provides a super fast external connection – a speedy 10GBS. Similar to how USB devices connect, Thunderbolt has the added capability for daisy chaining devices and is ideal for graphics displays and external drives. Gone are the clunky fat cables needed for displays and no more waiting for external drives to spew their data through skinny pipes. Originally offered on the latest Apple computers, it’s now becoming more available. For a long time devices supporting this were not common and very pricey. Buffalo’s drives now offer this capability at modest prices. Hmm, I wonder about device reliability.
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AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, today announced impressive sales results for its new portable Thunderbolt™ storage solution in the first full month of sales. In August 2012, the MiniStation™ Thunderbolt Portable Hard Drive outsold all other Thunderbolt technology enabled desktop and portable storage devices in the U.S. retail channel, according to the monthly hard drive tracking service from the NPD Group.

The MiniStation Thunderbolt, announced in mid-June 2012, is the world’s first portable Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 dual-interface external hard drive. Featuring the revolutionary Thunderbolt technology for unparalleled transfer speeds and a USB 3.0 port for universal connectivity, the MiniStation Thunderbolt offers easy plug-and-play storage, ideal for Mac® and PC users seeking the fastest interface speeds available while preserving compatibility with existing USB devices, including USB 2.0. Since its launch, the MiniStation Thunderbolt has received high praise from industry publications and end-users alike, citing great performance, high quality materials and ultimate device compatibility with its appealing dual-interface design.

“In its second month, after only one full month of sales, the MiniStation Thunderbolt has superseded the competition, placing Buffalo at the pinnacle of the fast-growing Thunderbolt storage market,” said Matthew Dargis, vice president of North American sales at Buffalo Technology. “The successful launch of MiniStation Thunderbolt demonstrates Buffalo’s continued ability and desire to innovate world-first technology, and the market has ardently responded to this innovation.”

The MiniStation Thunderbolt is a complete portable Thunderbolt storage solution, uniquely supplied with all cables and components, including a Thunderbolt cable, most often sold separately from other Thunderbolt storage solutions. Simply plug the device in to any available Thunderbolt or USB port on your Mac or PC and securely store files to take on the road.

Delivering maximum interface speeds and universal connectivity, the MiniStation Thunderbolt Portable Hard Drive is the first to couple the ubiquitous 5 Gbps SuperSpeed USB technology for legacy support with the lightning fast 10 Gbps Thunderbolt technology. This dynamic combination and ample storage capacities make it perfect for those who manage large files such as creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts.

Pricing and Availability
Buffalo’s MiniStation Thunderbolt, available now for $179.99 for the 500 GB (HD-PA500TU3) and $229.99 for the 1 TB (HD-PA1.0TU3), is backed by a limited three-year warranty that includes toll-free 24/7 technical support. Buffalo products can be purchased through distributors, online resellers and Buffalo’s website. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit the company’s website at http://www.buffalotech.com.

About Buffalo Technology
Buffalo Technology (USA), Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is a leading provider of award-winning networking, storage, and multimedia solutions for the home and small business environments as well as for system builders and integrators. With almost three decades of networking and computer peripheral experience, Buffalo has proven its commitment to delivering innovative, best-of-breed solutions that have put the company at the forefront of infrastructure technology. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit http://www.buffalotech.com.

Buffalo, Inc. trademark statements. Buffalo is a trademark of Buffalo, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Buffalo Technology

CONTACT: Lori Zielinski, Nereus for Buffalo Technology, +1.503.459.9150, lzielinski@nereus-worldwide.com

Web Site: http://www.buffalotech.com