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From I/T guru John Udell @ InfoWorld Magazine...
> ... But a company called Visible Path <http://www.visiblepath.com> has
> big plans to use social network analysis to turbocharge sales cycles.
> The company's founder, Antony Brydon (formerly general manager of IUMA
> <http://www.iuma.com/>), recently walked me through a demo. For
> salesfolk, it's all about access -- getting to the right people at the
> right levels in target organizations. The Visible Path software mines
> relationship data from contact databases, builds a network map by
> scanning email headers, and says to the salesperson: "You need to get
> to person X at company Y? Here are the paths that link you to X. Would
> you like to request an introduction via intermediaries?"
> A delicate email protocol then ensues, because to safeguard privacy
> the system will not reveal the identity of intermediaries until they
> agree to participate in the referral. The salesperson can pursue
> multiple paths in parallel; activity is co-ordinated with
> Salesforce.com's CRM system. Powerful Superconductive
> <http://www.ozzie.net/blog/2003/05/13.html#a83> stuff.
> If you're the kind of person who prefers not to think about how
> sausage gets made, you might find this all somewhat creepy --
> particularly when you're approached by an automated relationship
> manager asking you to make an introduction. Personally, I'm fascinated
> to see how this will unfold.
> Can it really work? Well, Antony demoed his own system to me, with
> real prospects, so he is clearly eating the dogfood. How Visible Path
> fares, during this enterprise software sales drought, will be one way
> to measure the validity of the concept.
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