If you’re evaluating knowledge management software for your team or company, you may have both Bloomfire and Guru on your shortlist. At first glance, it may seem like the two platforms have a lot of similarities, but there are important differences in the ways each work to support knowledge capture, retention, discovery, and engagement.
We’re often asked about some of the key differences between Bloomfire and Guru, so we’ve put together a guide that breaks down the distinctions you need to know.
What Is Bloomfire?
Bloomfire is a knowledge management platform designed to help companies capture, centralize, share, and engage with their organization’s collective knowledge. Users can create content directly in the platform or upload almost 30 different file types, with everything in the platform becoming searchable so that team members can quickly surface relevant information.
Who Uses Bloomfire?
Companies of all sizes and across a wide range of industries use Bloomfire, but because the platform is designed to easily scale, is highly secure, and provides unlimited storage, it is especially popular with enterprises and businesses in highly-regulated industries, including financial services and healthcare. Common uses for Bloomfire including organization-wide knowledge management, delivering customer service knowledge to reps in large contact centers, creating a customer-facing knowledge base or partner portal, and centralizing and delivering market research and insights.
What Is Guru?
Guru defines its product as a modern wiki that businesses can use to share information internally. As a wiki, its primary focus is on capturing and preserving knowledge. Users can create content cards and organize them within board groups and boards, which essentially function as folders and subfolders.
Who Uses Guru?
Guru has historically focused on delivering information through commonly used apps, most notably with their Slack integration and Chrome extension. As a result, it may be best-suited for small or fast-growing startups that heavily rely on Slack for internal communication and knowledge sharing. Common uses for Guru include organization-wide knowledge management, employee onboarding, and sales enablement.
Comparison of Bloomfire vs. Guru
Bloomfire and Guru offer some similar features, including social features like commenting, content engagement analytics, content moderation capabilities, and integrations with popular workplace apps including Slack and Microsoft Teams. However, there are notable distinctions to the ways both platforms approach knowledge management and engagement. Below are some key differences to be aware of.
When a user first logs into their Guru or Bloomfire account, they’ll land on their organization’s homepage. This is where they can get oriented with the platform and determine their next step, whether that’s performing a keyword search or browsing collections of content.
The Bloomfire homepage is completely (and easily) configurable, allowing admins to determine exactly what they want users to see when they first arrive. Admins can use a drag-and-drop editor to add and rearrange different types of widgets, including visually-appealing banners with quick navigation links, embedded documents and videos, featured (pinned) content collections, and shared content feeds. All homepages also feature a prominent search bar at the top of the page (that remains accessible as users scroll down) so users can start a search whenever they want. Admins can update their homepages as often as they want, no coding required.
The Guru homepage is less customizable. It displays default feeds of recently viewed, popular, and new cards along with a user’s task list and overview of recent activity in a sidebar. Users can also drill down to a collection homepage (a hub for related knowledge) where they can see a list of board groups in a column, as well as some basic gamification elements (such as a leaderboard for top contributors).
Bloomfire and Guru both have their own proprietary search engines that deep index content so users can pull up information with a quick keyword search. Although each platform uses its own algorithm, both use a variety of weighted factors (e.g., how many times a keyword or its variant appear on the page, whether the keyword is in a document title, and so on) to organize content by relevance. There are, however, a few differences in the search experience worth highlighting.
Bloomfire deep indexes and searches for keywords across 29 different file types, as well as words spoken in audio and video files. Guru’s product documentation notes that their algorithm indexes content extracted from uploaded files, but it does not list the file types it supports. It does not offer spoken word search. This may be a limitation for teams or businesses that need to store and reference a large volume of video content (e.g., organizations with a lot of video training content or a large collection of customer interviews).
Guru and Bloomfire also treat search result previews somewhat differently. Wth Guru’s search results pages, users will see text-based previews of cards with a title and short content snippet. If a search term appears in the title or snippet, it will be highlighted; however, search terms that appear in tags or other areas of the content will not be shown. Users must click into the card to see all the places the search term appears and decide if it’s relevant to them.
With Bloomfire’s search results page, users can see preview cards with thumbnail images, titles, and a summary of search references. Search references appear at the bottom of the card; users can see exactly how many times their keyword appears and toggle through previews of each of the places it appears within the piece of content. This helps readers quickly determine what content is most relevant to them without adding unnecessary clicks.
Guru heavily relies on a folder-based structure for organizing information. When users create a card (an individual piece of content), they have the option to add it to a board (a folder), which can be nested within a board group. Boards and board groups are housed within collections (a hub for related content, such as Marketing Materials or Sales Enablement). While this system may work for users who understand the underlying taxonomy, it’s likely to be confusing for new users or those who spend less familiar with the platform, potentially leading them to waste time digging through folders and subfolders. It’s also worth noting that a card can only be added to one board, meaning it can become siloed within a single folder even if it has wider applicability.
Bloomfire offers customizable categories and filters to allow users to organize content in a flexible way. Multiple categories can be applied to the same piece of content. For example, if an organization has set up department-based categories and publishes a piece of content relevant to both their Market Research and R&D departments, they could assign both categories. Users can then use categories to filter their search results or build content feeds based on the categories that matter most to them.
Bloomfire and Guru both give users the ability to ask questions and crowdsource answers in the platform, but they approach Q&A differently.
With Guru’s Q&A tool, users can send questions directly to groups or individual subject matter experts who they believe may know the answer. Users or groups who are assigned a question will see it in their Questions inbox; it will not be visible to other users. Assigned users can respond to the question and have the option to turn their answer into a searchable card that everyone in the platform can access.
With Bloomfire’s Q&A tool, users can publish questions (if their admins have enabled them to do so) directly in the platform. If they know who might be able to answer, they can mention that person to ensure they’re notified directly (however, this isn’t required). Organizations can also set up notifications about new questions to go out over email or through Slack or Microsoft Teams, if they have the Bloomfire integration set up. This helps cast a wide net so that the right subject matter experts see the question–even if the person who asked didn’t know the best person to answer.
This approach also gives multiple users a chance to weigh in and provide valuable context. For example, let’s say a sales rep asked if any of their colleagues had any good win stories about a customer in a certain industry. They might expect other sales reps to weigh in, but they could also get answers from the Customer Success team or a Marketing team member who recently conducted a case study interview. (For those worrying about too much noise in the answers section, the question asker also has the option to add an Accepted Answer badge to one response, which will bump it up to the top of the question card.)
We’ve seen this crowdsourcing approach to Q&A drive significant engagement: of all the questions asked across our customer’s knowledge bases, 91% have been answered.
Having the right support when implementing a knowledge management platform can make or break your success, so if you’re evaluating both Bloomfire and Guru, it’s important to look at how each company approaches implementation services.
Guru offers some implementation services, as well as access to a designated Customer Success Manager, as part of their enterprise plan. Customers can also access guides for content migration and templates to help them start populating common types of content in the platform.
Bloomfire offers what we call our Ignition Sequence: a guided onboarding process that pairs a dedicated implementation team with new customers. Our implementation team offers help with project management leading up to the launch, content migration from other platforms, Bloomfire platform customization, and–perhaps most importantly–change management. The implementation team offers training to platform users and helps plan internal communications and launch activities to drive engagement in the platform–and ensure users are successful with the platform from day one.
While Bloomfire and Guru have some similar features, they approach knowledge management in different ways, and it’s important to think about which approach will work best for your business.
Guru is, first and foremost, a modern wiki, which means its primary focus is on knowledge capture. They make it simple to document knowledge in cards and store those cards in a folder-based system. But ultimately, because of this folder-based system, the navigation experience ends up being similar to Google Drive. Users either need to have a good idea of what piece of content they’re looking for or how their organization has structured their boards and collections within Guru–otherwise, they may end up wasting time going down rabbit holes.
Bloomfire’s primary focus is on surfacing relevant knowledge and making it actionable. Users have multiple pathways to find information–through a keyword search, filtering with custom categories, and browsing custom content feeds–and don’t have to worry about information becoming siloed in individual folders. And with Q&A and video search, users are able to capture knowledge and search across a wider range of file types than in Guru.
Interested in learning more about Bloomfire? We’d love to show you around.