Google Ventures-backed developer Kibits has introduced Collaborate, a mobile app that it says is the first "mobile collaboration platform" for helping "work teams that are not desk-bound" to collaborate and get real work done on fast-paced projects.
Put another way, it's designed to help keep a team on the same page, as it were.
Collaborate brings together features and tools—like the ability to push an alert, invite a colleague to view a document in the cloud or quickly organize a "room" in which colleagues can quickly have a conversation—as well as access to popular apps such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and Apple iCloud.
It's 100 percent private and gives users access to people, documents, tasks, links, photos, videos, chats, comments, ratings and more.
"While it's second-nature to manage our personal lives via our mobile devices, overloaded team leaders are in need of a similar approach to manage their teams and their day-to-day projects," Collaborate CEO and co-founder Matt Cutler said in a statement. "We have crafted our platform to extend familiar mobile conventions ... to the comparatively complex domain of day-to-day team and project management."
The company says Collaborate is already being used by automotive dealers, real-estate agents, large veterinary clinics and businesses large and small for everything from sales force management to field service issue resolution.
One particular early user is Splash Digital Marketing, whose CEO, Justin Chelf, said in a statement that his teams now communicate better, make decisions more quickly and get more done in less time. "The ROI, in terms of team productivity, is off the charts," said Chelf.
Collaborate is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices and the Web.
Mobile Collaboration Tools
The market for global mobile collaboration is expected to grow at a rate of 12 percent from 2012 through 2016, according to research firm TechNavio.
"In the present scenario, the mobile network is expanding significantly. As 3G and 4G networks undergo expansion, mobile collaboration will help service providers to provide higher bandwidth," said a TechNavio analyst, commenting on the report. "This will enhance the quality of communication services and stimulate data transmission via mobile collaboration."
IDC has also pointed to mobile video collaboration as a growing trend and "new business reality," driven by growing broadband capacity and the increased use of smartphones and tablets.
In a 2012 report, it highlighted many of the ways—from sales to health care scenarios—that "visual collaboration" and video conferencing, particularly with the ability to pull in topic experts, offer efficiencies and a business advantage.
Fuzebox's solutions for the iPhone and iPad compete in this space, enabling colleagues to hop on video calls together, view and annotate content that all parties can see, and record the meetings for later viewing.
Less video- and more productivity- and collaboration-focused is Producteev, a free solution that works to unify all the ways that people communicate, reduce duplicate conversations and efforts, and keep projects on target.
Harmon.ie is also among the new collaboration solutions. It has an umbrella goal of creating a single environment in which users work, so they don't have to, say, leave email to go to Dropbox. Moving between apps, or between environments, according to Harmon.ie CEO Yaacov Cohen, is "very expensive for the brain—you lose your train of thought."
It's a price companies don't need to pay anymore, as Collaborate and others are making clear.