At our firm, Spark Capital, we use a variety of enterprise web services for internal use.
We use Dropbox to share documents within the partnership. We share things like portfolio board presentations, financials, legal documents, investment history within the partnership. (we are testing Box.net as a way to share information with our Limited Partners).
We use 37Signals’ Highrise to keep track of all deal flow across the partnership.
Several years back we ditched Microsoft Exchange and Share point, and happily use Google Docs, Gmail and Drive.
We use Skype to video conference between our NYC and Boston office and with founders all over the planet.
(We have started to experiment with Yammer. I don’t think it’s gonna stick for us but we’ll see)
All of these enterprise products have several things in common.
1. We didn’t need to hire anyone to install or manage this for us. We made the decision as end users first.
2. We didn’t need to speak to a salesperson to get started.
3. They have great mobile experiences
4. Strong network effects.
Enterprise software has come a long way over the past 15 years or so.
We have made a number of investments in the enterprise space and will likely continue to do so. But within the enterprise space, we tend to favor those that have some, if not all, of the characteristics listed above. They are powerful characteristics and we celebrate how they have impacted us as users inside of the enterprise.