by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 25 July 2013
In this TallyFox Review, we will look at its features, interface, and see how it can be of use to you.
Unlike traditional knowledge management tools, which are focused on a single horizontal or stack up vertically, TallyFox is an intelligent collaboration toolthat acts as a gathering place for experts and information dissemination. Using the solution, you can configure expert searches, create libraries of interesting material,socialize and work with experts and other team members interested in the same problems and issues as you are.
Trudi Schifter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at TallyFox, says the platform is "a single comprehensive integrated solution in a nested network architecture." It comprises three separate products rolled into one.
Networks, which are aimed at communities of practice and large organizations.
Clusters, Which are aimed at project managers across multiple departments.
Event Fox, Which are aimed at event managers.
The idea is to share content, knowledge and know how across the entire network platform. Because the company offers each product independently, small businesses or organizations can opt for individual modules. "No one starts by building the whole, it is an iterative approach based on providing teams spaces where they can do their work efficiently and build long term value," she says. According to Schifter, the value of this approach lies in its scalability. "Small teams get the same features as large companies with custom projects and both can start small then scale to build long term value," she says. She says this approach makes TallyFox "fast, easy, and flexible."
Schifter provides the example of a live meeting page on a calendar. The page can be scaled to display all meetings with attendees, agenda, chat messages, action items with comments and documents in one space for each meeting for all participants to reference. This makes runningmore efficient and effective meetings easy. "If one tried to Integrate equivalent functions for example from Microsoft it would entail several different products and could take months and thousands of dollars," she says. On the other hand, TallyFox has a single platform that can be set up in a matter of minutes.
Schifter says the main benefit of using TallyFox is that it provides big company enterprise grade solution out of the box for small company pricing. "Our complete integrated solution is about the same as what just one app or just Yammer, for example, would cost," she says. Plus, setting up TallyFox does not require investment in technical infrastructure or resources. Then, she points to the numerous other benefits that are bundled along with TallyFox. For example, TallyFox enables design and implementation of custom taxonomy at a fraction of typical costs and comes integrated with a CRM solution.
As I mentioned earlier, TallyFox is a cloud-based platform with the three basic elements. These elements are Cluster workspaces, Networks, and EventFox. These elements are hierarchical and network from the basis of these elements.
Because the essence of TallyFox is dissemination of knowledge, networks are learning spaces to collaborate and share knowledge artifacts with each other.
TallyFox's stated mission is to create knowledge networks around important sectors. For example, they have already built the world's largest gathering of professionals, events, and knowledge base related to the water industry at thewaternetwork.org.
Clusters are branded workspaces within networks that can be created, managed and branded by individual companies. In turn, these cluster communities can be scaled at an organizational or departmental level.
Event Fox is a separate module that integrates with networks and clusters to bring a real-world element of interaction into the system. "It is a common thread, people meet in the real world, to hear thought leaders in their company or industry to share insights," says Schifter. She clarifies that EventFox and Clusters are the same core product. "Both are identical with some of the features turned off and purposed for specific applications," she says. "Building a new network is fast when you have hundreds of events with all the speakers and attendees automatically attending as members." TallyFox also has a customer relationship management software or CRM to communicate with stakeholders, including community members and clients.
There are several, other elements that you can opt for while using TallyFox. Thus, you can create custom taxonomies, expert search modules, or content categories and, also, a knowledge bank. These modules are inter-related. For example, custom taxonomy and content categories can be used to match people with content, thus enabling easy and effective custom search. You can also create filterable libraries using the TallyFox or beautify your presentation using their Media Mosaic tool to display content in an attractive format.
You can also integrate content sharing with communications and collaboration. This makes for better teamwork as it enables collaboration across a wide variety of artifacts and content. TallyFox is open core; this means that they leverage the development of tens of thousands of developers and will make the customization of the application available in the coming months via a REST API.
There are several benefits to using TallyFox.
For starters, the solution's modular structure is perfect for small businesses and organizations, who prefer to take a stepladder approach to knowledge management. Thus, they can scale their use of the solution, based on data from previous success rates. Similarly, non-profits will find the solution especially useful since it helps them connect with other, similar organizations and build their own networks organically. They can also share knowledge and resources using the solution.
Despite the complexity of its modular structure, the solution is relatively simple and easy-to-use. This should be a big plus for small businesses, who are not interested in investing in technical resources to help them understand the use and importance of knowledge management. Then, there is the pricing. At relatively cheap prices, you can get the benefit of a knowledge management and CRM solution rolled into one.
This is one area where the solution could improve its services. Because it is a platform and has three products, the company has different pricing structures for its products. For example, the pricing model for Cluster-branded workspaces is based on per seat subscription while the model for knowledge networks is license-based (with prices varying depending on whether the solution is hosted at TallyFox or on-premise) and includes a negotiable royalty fee . Finally, the pricing for EventFox, their event management solution has one scheme for the online community, and one for the registration and payment solution that is 6% of the attendee fees, capped at $35.
They have not mentioned a comprehensive pricing, if I decide to subscribe to all three products together. Complexity is always time-consuming and a deterrent to conversion; a simplified pricing structure might encourage and convert prospects into customers.
TallyFox is definitely an innovative approach to knowledge management. It breaks down the complexity of knowledge networks into simple structures that work in tandem with each other. For small businesses and organizations, this is definitely an innovative and excellent introduction to the practice.