Ecommerce pioneer Broadvision now banking on socal media

Everything is social today, this article explains it perfectly. Its the next Yellow Pages….I think he’s right…!

Vincent Gentile, www.avminternetsolutions.com

BroadVision Inc., a Silicon Valley e-commerce pioneer that saw its better days before the dot-com bubble burst, today is reinventing itself as a firm that creates social networks for businesses.

The Redwood City firm launched Clearvale, a platform that includes templates – and later this year an “app store” – that enable businesses to build their own private “network of networks,” said Pehong Chen, BroadVision’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“We think of it as the new Yellow Pages,” Chen said during an interview last week.

The company hopes to capitalize on the popularity of consumer-focused social media companies, especially Palo Alto’s Facebook, with a platform that allows similar communication and collaboration networks tailored for the business world.

Among its customers is Japan’s telecomunications giant SoftBank Telecom Corp.

When Chen founded BroadVision 17 years ago this month, the firm made a bet that it could show businesses how to conduct e-commerce on the Internet almost a year before the company that produced the Netscape browser launched.

BroadVision would cash in on that bet, moving into the then-Chronicle 500 list of top public companies in the region. But then came the dot com bust of the early 2000s, which forced the company to shed employees and scale back to stay afloat.

The firm currently has about 300 employees, about one-tenth of its workforce during its heyday.

But now, “the entire focus of the company is Clearvale,” Chen said.

BroadVision isn’t the only company jumping on the social media bandwagon today.

Jobvite Inc., a Burlingame online job recruiting firm, launched a new service called Jobvite Share, which matches companies that are hiring with prospective candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The service is free, but Jobvite is hoping to entice frequent users to buy its premium services.

“We think not only does it help our business, we think it’s the right time with the economy starting to turn around,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Finnigan said.

Posted By: Benny Evangelista (Email, Twitter) | May 25 2010 at 12:20 PM

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About Vincent Gentile

AVM Internet Solutions, a leader in the website design, Internet marketing and web services industries, was born in 2007 when founder and entrepreneur Vincent Gentile took his experience in business marketing and direct sales and applied them to helping others become visible on the web. Rapidly taking its place at the forefront of the industry, the firm grew exponentially in the online marketplace. Featuring a wide range of clients in a variety of industries, AVM Internet Solutions specializes in custom web design development and online marketing on the versatile WordPress platform.