Email has quickly become the center of our daily working lives. Many people receive hundreds of emails a day full of information which needs to be sorted and prioritized. However, with such a high number of emails being received, people are bound to forget about projects or actions which need to be completed. This is where Liaise, debuting at DEMOFall 09, comes into play. Their product analyzes the content of your incoming and out-going emails, picks out information which needs action, and then sets up a management list based on this info.
The product works quite intuitively. For instance, let’s imagine I am sending an email to a fellow writer: “Greg, make sure you interview the CEO of Liaise on Thursday.” The software will then recognize that my email is a call to action directed towards Greg and that it is due Thursday. The priority for this will be set at normal because it is due a few days from now. However, Liaise is a learning software; so it will change the way it works based off of the language I use and the edits to the suggestions which Liaise has made. For instance, lets say that I manually changed the priority of this issue to Very High. In the future, when I use the phrase “make sure,” in an email, Liaise will set the priority to high. If Liaise does not identify some parts of an email, there is an edit option to add your own action items.
Liaise currently works as a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, but their CEO Sidney Minassian said that he hopes to create a product for Gmail and is focusing on the mobile market next.
The product is best utilized when all members of a team have Liaise installed, but it still has its advantages even when others do not use it. If you send an email with Liaise installed to someone with Gmail for instance, the email will be displayed as a regular email to them but the information is still put into a to-do list on your end for your reference. Also, emails which are sent to you from non-Liaise based emails will be analyzed in Outlook and a to-do list will be populated. When all users on a project have Liaise installed, the team is able to synchronize the to-do lists and keep track of the projects in real-time.
Liaise is entering quite a crowded market. They state that their competitors include anyone in the collaboration space. Products such as Sharepoint, and companies like Salesforce have a marked advantage as they provide similar collaboration tools as well as having a formidable user base.
Based in Sunnyvale California, Liaise has received a round of funding from Southern Cross Venture Partners. They are currently in a free limited Beta, but plan to price their services at $4.95-$9.95 per person, per month once they go live.