9 Must-See Enterprise Products From DEMO 2014

Countless fledgling companies showed off new products and services in Silicon Valley last week at DEMO Fall 2014, but these nine enterprise products stood out from the pack.

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Enterprise Products at DEMO Fall 2014

Last week in Silicon Valley, some of the world's most innovative startups pitched new products and services at DEMO Fall 2014. While many of the companies targeted consumers with their quirky wares, a set of startups that cater to enterprises also made waves. The following nine companies stood out from the pack and made a lasting impression on us. While you probably haven't heard of many (if any) of them, chances are you'll hear a lot more about at least a few of these startups in the coming months and years.

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MakeTime Marketplace

What it is: MakeTime provides an online marketplace for buying and selling manufacturing capacity by the hour. The platform aims to replace or at least bolster the traditional error-prone RFQ-based process of vendor selection with instantaneous search, discovery and transaction features.

Why it's noteworthy: The idea behind MakeTime is both novel and promising, and it could shake up the industry of manufacturing supply chain intermediaries. MakeTime could also increase competitiveness between U.S. manufacturers through improved industry-wide capacity utilization, and the reduction of lead times and scheduling errors.

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Contract Room Inc.

What it is: ContractRoom calls itself a "complete digital transaction management system," and it aims to automate the collaboration, contracting and compliance process between B2B buyers and sellers.

Why it's noteworthy: Today's process for agreeing on and finalizing new service contracts is arcane, and ContractRoom wants to capitalize on the newly created Digital Transaction Management (DTM) category. ContractRoom says it has done away with the traditional paper-based contract process, and its data-driven process can be 100 percent automated without losing control of the details and minutiae.

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Skillpocket

What it is: Skillpocket is a community marketplace that aims to help you quickly locate and hire the expert professionals you need. Skillpocket provides a platform that allows you to find a variety of talent, on an hourly basis, for onsite or online work.

Why it's noteworthy: Skillpocket could potentially save organizations significant time and money and help them quickly locate trusted experts in specific fields or niches, including design, development and marketing. The company wants to "put a hire button on every top professional on Twitter."

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Celect Optimization Platform

What it is: Celect's Optimization Platform is designed to help retailers understand how and why customers at specific store locations "select" the goods they buy from among all available products. The platform is aimed at merchandisers, retail planners and inventory managers, and it's a valuable tool to determine "what to put where."

Why it's noteworthy: Though store managers and retail designers often consider store windows design and in-store product placement an art, Celect says there's room for some science. Celect's platform is meant to personalize individual stores and improve the in-store customer experience.

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AppZen

What it is: AppZen is a new service and mobile app designed to automatically track your expenses, creates reports when you're ready to submit them, audits the reports for signs of expense fraud, makes sure the claims are all acceptable based on your company's specific policies and then submits them for payment.

Why it's noteworthy: AppZen is useful for organizations and their workers who file expenses — unless, of course, those workers are purposely submitting bogus expenses. The app is simple and looks easy to use. The service uses single sign-on with Microsoft Active Directory and integrates with popular ERP systems from Oracle and SAP. (Support for additional ERP systems is also expected.)

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Klink

What it isKlink is a sales productivity offering that provides customer intelligence data for the telephone in real-time. It is CRM for your phone, and it’s designed to integrate with a number of the most popular enterprise systems to automatically provide relevant information when salespeople initiate calls with potential customers or return calls from potential leads.

Why it's noteworthy: Klink says that with more data sources than ever, consumer insights are growing more and more fragmented and difficult to manage and use. The idea of bringing all of this information together isn't unique, but the industry focus is largely on improving communication via email and websites. Klink aims to provide real-time customer data for what it says is the "most powerful communication channel" — the telephone.

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MeshMe

What it is: MeshMe is a peer-to-peer mobile messaging and location-sharing application that's designed to let users communicate without traditional wireless networks or technologies, such as Wi-Fi, cellular or Bluetooth. The app uses mesh networking tech to connect users.

Why it's noteworthy: MeshMe is initially targeting consumers who want to communicate with friends at large events where cellular networks are overloaded or near capacity, but the company also has the enterprise in its sights. MeshMe's reps named a number of interesting potential uses for businesses at DEMO, including quick connectivity between meeting participants or presentation attendees, or workers at a single job site who don't want to rely on Wi-Fi or disparate cellular networks.

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Iota Equipment Tracker

What it is: The Iota is a tiny GPS-based tracker designed to run on Iotera's crowd-sourced wireless network. You can use it to keep track of just about anything, including pets, people in specific facilities and expensive enterprise assets such as construction equipment. The company is building out its customer base, and therefore its network, by targeting consumers to start, but its goal is to transform enterprise asset tracking with the Iota.

Why it's noteworthy: Businesses lose billions of dollars each year as a result of misplaced or stolen enterprise assets, according to Iotera. The market opportunity for a company that can effectively simplify asset tracking while also improving efficiency is significant. The company also cites Iota battery life as a major competitive advantage compared to rival devices, which it claims has up to three times the battery life of other devices.

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Healium

What it is: Designed by an ER doctor, the Healium Google Glass app uses augmented reality, voice control and clinical language understanding to provide an intuitive interface that lets doctors focus on their patients and not their technology, according to the company.

Why it's noteworthy: Healium's on-stage DEMO demo didn't go exactly as planned, but the idea behind its app is an interesting one. The company is one of a number of players in the medical market trying to make Glass work for healthcare, and it's still unclear if Glass will prove to be reliable enough for real-world medical scenarios. Healium, however, is worth keeping an eye on.