Cubetree.com is an online collaboration tool built on a social networking model. The suite of applications provided by the site allow a company to create a complete company-wide intranet. It is especially useful for geographically diverse companies, as all interactions take place on the Internet in a browser. The site is modeled after sites like Facebook and MySpace. Employees and clients can belong to the network, and have most of the features available to them that are found on the major social networking sites. Each user has a profile and a wall, which shows a summary of all of their activity. Users have a feed, to which they can publish any of their activities. The user has a Home page, which shows a summary of their feed, their message inbox, the groups they belong to, the Company Feed (which shows activity throughout the organization) and the Top Conversations currently taking place on the network. Users can also post status updates, create blog posts and create tasks and polls. There is also a company-wide wiki which can be edited by all users. Users can belong to groups within the network, and can follow groups or individuals.
Redwood City, CA-based Cubetree.com was founded in 2008 by Carlin Wiegner and Ross Fubini. Carlin Wiegner is currently CEO, while Ross Fubini is Chief Evangelist and Navin Budhiraja is CTO. CubeTree has been acquired by SuccessFactors in May 2010.
Competition to Cubetree.com comes from sites like Officemedium and Wizehive. Officemedium.com offers a similar service, but does not have such a heavy emphasis on social networking aspects as Cubetree. Wizehive has more of a focus on collaboration than either Cubetree or Officemedium. Cubetree is certainly more directly similar to a social network than the other two sites.
The Cubetree.com site has a somewhat uncluttered look and feel. Anyone who has used a social networking platform should be able to use Cubetree, however there is a learning curve involved with the more advanced features, such as the wiki editor. The site is quite responsive, and page loads and file transfers happen quickly. Navigation is fairly intuitive, although the menus are somewhat complex. There is no advertising displayed on the site.
Registration is free and is required to use the site. Users must have an email address from a top level company domain in order to register – i.e an email address from Yahoo or Hotmail will not work. The registration process asks for email address, first and last name, password and time zone. A free registration allows unlimited users in a company, but access to advanced features requires a premium membership.
There are two premium membership plans available from Cubetree – Professional and Enterprise. The Professional plan provides support for a workgroup, has unlimited users and offers more storage space than the free plan. Cost for the Professional plan is $3 per user per month. The Enterprise plan includes unlimited users and workgroups, an admin feature to designate who has access to what content, and offers more storage space than the Professional plan. The Enterprise plan costs $5 per user per month. The site accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express as payment for premium memberships.
The Cubetree.com service is recommended to any company or workgroup who would like a collaboration tool modeled after a social network. Cubetree.com is one of the sites involved in changing the way people work, and they have produced an excellent product. The site offers a suite of tools which do a good job of providing collaboration in a social networking environment.