Attensa Releases New Version of Its Feed Server

Enterprise RSS vendor Attensa released a new iteration of its attention-data focused RSS service this morning.  The race to see which enterprise RSS vendor can figure out how to drag the business world kicking and screaming into using a technology (RSS) that seems undeniably good for it continues.  

New in version 1.1 of Attensa’s enterprise feed server are the following capabilities, all of which are logical, smart additions to an RSS suite.  Whereas the product previously shipped as a server with software already installed, the company now offers a full installation pack that can be installed on hardware purchased otherwise – as well as a fully hosted solution.  The “virtual server” is intended to alleviate security concerns and the hosted solution is aimed at small businesses.

Also new is the ability for department or project heads to determine their own teams’ selection of subscribed feeds.  This was previously administered on one level, from the top down.  A body of persistent search options has also been added to the feed server product.  Both of these steps might seem strange to consumer level RSS users, but in some highly controlled enterprises, a free hand at subscribing to any and every feed they find is not what many companies seek for their employees.  Attensa told me that one customer, a large bank, has bank tellers using their product just to receive promotional updates – whereas another customer, a pharmaceutical company, wants their research librarians to be able to subscribe to anything.

Other changes to the service include increased sophistication in reporting, with reading habits reported and searchable down to the level of the individual, and a new administrative capability to allow or block particular kinds of RSS enclosures.

Attensa faces competition in the enterprise RSS market from Newsgator and KnowNow.  All three are very different services; Attensa focuses on automatic customization of reading lists and reporting attention data or user behavior.

Any of these three companies’ products have the capability to revolutionize an organization’s relationship with information, yet it seems that none of them are selling a whole lot of product.    Older companies are either going to start using RSS or they will soon have their lunch eaten by upstarts for whom feed reading is an important part of the work flow.