With increasing numbers of people working remotely, instead of from a central office, the market for business-focused communications tools has rocketed in the the past couple of years.
Solutions like Yammer, SocialCast and Convofy offer simple ways for colleagues to discuss projects, share files and more in real time. Flowr is another such service, which emerged from Slovenia in 2009 and already serves over 5000 businesses. Now Flowr has rolled out a new version of its browser-based collaboration tool, along with an HTML5-based mobile solution.
While many collaboration tools are pretty similar, they all have their own individual benefits. In Flowr’s case, its simplicity is key, although it’s designed to allow coworkers to share a variety of message types. In a addition to Twitter-style status updates, messages can be posted as ‘Ideas’, ‘Todos’, ‘Events’, ‘Pages’ and ‘Polls’ – types of communication the development team believes colleagues collaborate around the most.
With its latest refresh, Flowr’s desktop browser interface has been refined, removing unnecessary elements and improving the navigation. Meanwhile, a speed search feature has been added to the top bar and range of new visual themes have been introduced, along with the ability to create a custom look for your company’s ‘virtual office’.
Mobile access is incredibly important for online collaboration tools, and while Flowr already has iPhone and Android apps, it’s now available on the go to even more people via a new HTML5 mobile Web app, mirroring much of the functionality of the desktop version in a format that’s friendly to small screens.
Here at The Next Web, with a team spanning the globe, we’ve tried many of the online collaboration tools on the market, so I can say with confidence that Flowr is a well-thought through solution. Small but important features like desktop notifcations for new messages (so you don’t have to keep checking the service’s browser tab) are present and correct and the interface is fast and responsive – important when you need to quickly share an urgent message with co-workers.
Flowr is pitched squarely at small-to-medium businesses, and the pricing reflects that. It’s free for a basic account, which allows up to five users. Premium accounts, with a range of additional features, cost $59 per month for up to 15 users (additional users are $3 per month).
If you’re in the market for an online collaboration tool, you could definitely do worse than consider Flowr.