Mzinga Upgrades OmniSocial Platform
Mzinga Tuesday unveiled the latest version of its flagship OmniSocial social media platform for business users that promises cloud-based hosting, a more user-friendly dashboard and deeper analytics. The company has also rolled out a mobile version of OmniSocial via applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
Through its software-as-a-service offering, Mzinga helps corporations create both internal and external social networks encompassing blogs and profile pages, wikis, polls, calendars, and file uploading tools, among other features. Clients include Ford, Ciena Corp., and ABC. It competes with social technology vendors including Lithium, Kickapps, Telligent, Jive and Pluck.
With the new release, the company's control panel will include zones -- spaces within sites where groups of users can interact around specific topics or areas of interest and expertise, with access by user, by group, or open to everyone. The social applications and widgets available through Mzinga's platform can now be used through a self-service model that doesn't require technical assistance.
Expanded analytics in the upgraded OmniSocial allow companies to determine which users are key influencers, track behavioral trends based on social interactions and track patterns in search terms and phrases. New heat maps and multiple reporting views are aimed at providing further insight on site activity in graphic form.
The upgraded system also promises smoother integration between sites powered by OmniSocial and popular social networks such as Facebook as well as Microsoft's SharePoint software. And with the launch of OmniMobile, corporate users can extend their social networking sites to smartphones.
Dan Bruns, senior vice president and director of Mzinga Labs, said companies are past the experimental stage with social media and are now focused on getting more out of investments in the space. Executives charged with running social media operations now have to demonstrate return-on-investment and how their efforts advance the company's overall strategy.
According to a recent survey of executives from 100 companies of varying sizes (ranging from under 50 to over 1,000 employees) by Digital Brand Expressions, 78% of respondents said their companies were using social media -- but just 41% said they had a strategic plan. In that vein, Bruns pointed out that Mzinga also provides consulting services to help companies figure out what approach they should take to social media.