A Social Network That Connects Cubicles
Think of it as Facebook for the office—social networks that connect co-workers and increase productivity. It's an already-crowded space, but relative newcomer Unison Technologies is hoping to stand out.
"Our ambition is to give one billion office workers a new way to talk to each other and collaborate. We want to make working remotely as productive and meaningful as working in the same space," said Unison's CEO Manlio Carrelli.
Carrelli, the former chief marketing officer of the cloud-service company Intermedia, believes companies can get more out of their workforce by arming them with tools like real-time voice, text and video messaging and virtual "rooms" that can be shared by teams and synced across laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Venture capitalist Paul Lee, a partner with Lightbank, believes Unison is late to the game.
"[Unison] is a fantastic idea if it were pitched five years ago," he said.
But Carrelli said his company is different from the competition.
"Unison is a 'live' tool, not just text/photo posts and comments," he said. "In Unison you can 'see' which co-workers are working on the same projects as you at this second, and talk live in groups instantly."
Carrelli said that Unison's edge is in the real-time technology integrated into the software.
(Read More: Q&A With Unison CEO Manlio Carrelli)
"We started from a fundamentally different place [than our competitors] and that's why we're being very successful now with small and mid-sized businesses that have many people working on different teams inside and outside their company."
Carrelli would not share exact numbers, but he said Unison has a diverse client list with workforces that span the globe.
The company offers a basic version of its software for free and a premium version that runs $5 a month per user. Unison's competitor, Yammer uses a similar free and premium business model. However, Yammer's premium version charges $3 a month per user.
Unison was founded in 2008 by Michael Choupak. Carrrelli said the company is 100 percent owner financed and currently has 45 total employees, 30 which are full-time.
—By CNBC's Joanna Weinstein and Erin Barry