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Startups cleaning up Microsoft Exchange, Gmail and JavaScript

Bob Brown | Sept. 26, 2013
Webinno event in Cambridge introduces Skimbox, Qbaka and more newcomers.

Finding an enterprise IT company at a startup gathering these days can be like searching for an obscure email in a crowded inbox.

But in prepping to attend Tuesday night's Web Innovators Group (Webinno) event in Cambridge, Mass., I did find one, and maybe two enterprise-focused newcomers: Skimboxand Qbaka.

Skimbox, of the two, is most clearly enterprise-focused, not that it doesn't also cater to consumers in this blurry world where personal and work lives intermingle. The Skimbox product (formerly known as Gander) is an AI-powered client that's designed to help users get to the emails they really need to see in a "Mainbox", and sort the rest for later viewing if necessary in a "Skimbox". The app, which requires the end user to mainly tap and swipe, employs information such as past relationships with a sender and keywords to sort messages into one box or the other.

A free version of the app is available from the start for iOS devices and works to clean up your Gmail account.

(I started downloading it on my iPhone while writing this post...and it's still plowing through my messages as I finish this. I'll blame iOS 7 for that. Though I am curious to see if it's all that much more effective than the new Gmail, which does a pretty good job of sifting through and sorting primary, social and promotional emails for me already.)

A Microsoft Exchange version, which is where the enterprise IT angle comes in, is in the works for mid-October and you can sign up if you want to be notified when it gets approved for the App Store. CEO David Wihl told me at Webinno that Skimbox will charge per user per month for this version of the product, which can be run in the cloud or, for very security conscious customers, on premises as a virtual appliance. Wihl says: "the more you use [Skimbox], the better it gets."

(We're guessing a Windows Phone version of the app might not be right around the corner despite the fact that Watertown, Mass.-based Skimbox spun out of SoftArtisans, a company heavily into Microsoft Office software.)

Startup Qbaka is less obviously an enterprise IT firm, but it offers a cloud-based service that helps companies' developers spot problems and fix website front-ends and mobile HTML5 apps.

The offering, which involves inserting a small block of script into your web services, can be used to analyze the cause of JavaScript errors, such as software bugs, problems interacting with different browsers, etc.

The service is free for tracking up to 200 errors per day and at least initially costs $20 per month for unlimited tracking. (Here's a link to a video explaining the offering further.)


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