Making Outlook more interesting? Believe it!

It seems nearly everyone in the corporate world uses Microsoft Outlook. Outlook has had a lock on that #1 spot for many years. So why not use that dominant position to your advantage? Mike Beaty and wife, Erika Lambert, founded RedCritter in Dallas early last year to augment the native functionality of Outlook with their own creation. It’s called RedCritter for Outlook, the first in a line of tools to link your contacts with the plethora of web apps that people use on a daily basis, such as Google Docs, Basecamp, YouTube, etc. Even foursquare and Groupon are getting in on the action. RedCritter is really an app store, but specific to apps that can be used within Outlook.

RedCritter intends to wrap many of the social media elements around your email to make interaction more interesting and user friendly. The YouTube app can be used to find videos that are related to people in your contact list. The Groupon app allows you to share your daily deals with your contacts and keep aware of all the deals you’re participating in. To display a map of where all of your contacts are, use the Bing app. Not only does RedCritter create these apps. But anyone can use their API to develop and upload apps to the app store as well.

RedCritter for Outlook Bing

RedCritter for Outlook Bing

RedCritter for Outlook Groupon

RedCritter for Outlook Groupon

 

Beaty (CEO) and Lambert (VP of Marketing) have other products in the pipeline too. RedCritter Guide allows the creation of interactive guided tours of your website, for situations like when companies want to give a demo of a particular product, for example. At press time, it’s in invite-only alpha mode right now. Readers of this article can use promocode: LaunchDFW at http://redcritterguide.com. The beauty of this product is that it requires the addition of only a single line of Javascript code.

RedCritter Tracker, scheduled for release this July, is a project management service designed to reward users for completing their project tasks via gamification. Gamification is a relatively new term used to describe the usage of game play mechanics to induce people to use an application. No doubt that the act of performing various tasks in a project can be mundane. This product allows users to collect rewards and later redeem them at a rewards store for gift cards and other similar prizes. Our readers can preregister at http://www.redcrittertracker.com.

RedCritter has a very strategic relationship with Microsoft, and has chosen to base it’s products on Microsoft technology. RedCritter is in a very exclusive club. In April 2010, it was chosen to be part of the Microsoft BizSpark One program, the top partnership tier available. But they are open to partnerships with other cloud-based providers if it makes economic sense. There are more upgrades and enhancements in the very near future. For one example, the company is planning to build functionality into their infrastructure to allow the hosting of Virtual Cloud solutions in the 3rd quarter of 2011.

RedCritter is privately held and self-funded. And it is not currently seeking any additional funding to support their operational growth. But Beaty and Lambert continually weigh their options. If the right situation comes along, they will take advantage.

NOTE: A special promo code for our LaunchDFW readers allows the first 100 to get a free RedCritter Guide account. Get them while they last! Use LaunchDFW at http://redcritterguide.com.

Brad Anderson
beanderson@juno.com