Keyfile integrates Keyflow into Microsoft Exchange

Keyfile Corp. has shipped a new software product called Keyflow that enables users of Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange groupware to incorporate automated workflow into their applications.Keyfile which has sold its flagship Keyfile workflow package mainly to customers in the Defense and Agriculture departments has put Keyflow at the center of its federal marketing strategy. Users "see Keyflow as a way to get workflow and business process re-engineering throughout the agency " said Roger Sullivan Keyfile's vice president of marketing.

Industry analysts expect Keyflow to boost the profile of the Nashua N.H. company. "They have always had a bundled package " said Jamie Popkin vice president and research director with The Gartner Group Stamford Conn. "They are unbundling it to an important messaging platform."

The product also may help Microsoft in its competition against Lotus Development Corp.'s Lotus Notes which remains the most popular groupware platform among federal users and which also provides workflow capabilities. "Where Notes is well-entrenched it will proliferate " said Michael Muth senior consultant with Delphi Consulting Group Boston. Exchange however is likely to appeal to new groupware users. "You can't treat the government as a monolith " Muth said.

"The major market for the product is going to be anyone who has need for collaboration on documents " said Bruce Weber Exchange marketing manager with Microsoft Federal. "I do see a fairly significant need in the government for that."

Keyflow is an add-on product that allows users to design an automated workflow process that will run within Exchange using electronic mail to route documents. It is designed for "collaborative" applications Sullivan said when workers need to route documents through an organization for action or review by others but are not repeating the same procedure with the same types of documents over and over.

"If you have a specific policy or procedure people are supposed to follow...you cannot enforce that with a sort of random ad hoc e-mail system or a document system where everyone is sharing documents randomly " he said.

The commercial price for Keyflow - including a software kit server license and five client licenses - is $3 475.

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