Generate g2: Go Beyond News to Make Connections

Social networking is all the rage online, and businesses are trying to get into on the action. In response, Generate has introduced a new technology designed to provide enterprise class social networking. Generate g2 was built to help companies, executives, and workers become aware of who they know and who knows them. Working as a tool bar, and culling information from various news websites, Generate g2 provides users with a personalized view of the news, companies, facts, and figures while mapping their connections to them.

This fall, Generate plans to introduce g2, a tool bar that is a customized information and relationship-mapping technology. According to Darr Aley, Generate's CMO, social networking offers "a way to drive relevance in the things we digest on the web everyday." With Generate g2 Aley says, "I can be reading an article from EContent for example, click on the toolbar, and immediately surface information about related companies and executives, see how I connect to these entitities, and do it within the context of the article I read, instead of going to several different web sites to gather all of this data."

The solution is targeted at company development, research, and business professionals. With it, users can get a full view of whom they are connected to, and why it matters to them. Using information mining, g2 crawls over 75 million websites every day, extracting news information about companies, products, executives, and people. It filters hundreds of thousands of news articles from 25,000 media sources and blogs.

As part of its information collection, Generate has designed several databases for which g2 monitors information. These include a company database, an executive database, a news database, a "trigger" or events database, and a social networking database. All of these databases are "plugged-in" to the toolbar. The end user gets a portion of this data when they click on the g2 toolbar.

One key feature of g2 is “trigger events,” which are part of the crawling process. If trigger events have been defined, g2 alert users with information about issues that are important to them. Triggers could be defined as things like product purchases and services, mergers and acquisitions, new investments, management changes, joint ventures and alliances, licensing and contract deals, product announcements, commercial real estate deals, bankruptcies, SEC filings, and events.

Generate g2 includes a dashboard that is customized to each user’s preferences. It can work within a web browser, but also integrates with most CRM and other workflow environments.

According to Aley, “Our enterprise version can be integrated into any CRM or SFA system. The benefit to the user is that they do not have to learn a new application.” Generate integrates its application with, SAP, Microsoft (Dynamics) and the Oracle (Siebel) family of CRM products.

It is the social networking aspect that sets g2 apart from other news alert services, however. Aley says, "We focus on B2B social networking, which we also call relationship mapping." He points out that, unlike Linkedin, users can immediately see all the possible paths to a person (or company) they are researching and not wait for a connection to "invite" them to be introduced. For example: you read an article about Ed Mueller becoming the new CEO at Qwest. Click on the toolbar because you want more information on Meuller and to see if you connect to him in any way. Clicking on his name also delivers a full profile.

Generate offers two product tiers: g2’s “light service” is free for all users; it links the user to bios and alerts the user of vital information. The company's fee-based hosted application is purchased on an annual subscription service basis for $3,000 per person per year, wherein the user can also search companies and executives by name and can be made aware of its competitors.

With improved networking capabilities, companies can enhance the effectiveness of their employees. People can better understand their connections, and opportunities, in an ever-changing, highly competitive work world. Generate's g2 product will be working to help them make the connections.