Online collaborative work service Huddle has today launched a major upgrade to its offering.
Launching today is a brave move, given that a much higher profile collaborative tool, Google Wave, is opening up to 100,000 new users at the same time. For those unfamiliar with Huddle, it’s an enterprise service that allows online project management, collaborative document creation, document sharing and discussions with an unlimited of users.
Heading up today’s new features is a Microsoft Office plugin that acts as a bridge between the desktop and documents stored with Huddle in the cloud. Desktop files can be saved directly into Huddle and Huddle-hosted files can be viewed and edited. Group notifications and approval requests can be sent without having to open up Huddle in a browser.
The plugin has been developed in collaboration with Microsoft through the BizSpark program. Integration with SharePoint and other Microsoft products is planned for the near future.
Huddle also launches a new iPhone app today. Available in the App Store, the app offers full access to document sharing, project tasks, discussions and whiteboards, as well as a complete view of the user’s account dashboard.
Finally, Huddle is launching a web conferencing solution that fully integrates into its collaboration platform. Ad-hoc meetings can be set up or they can be scheduled on a recurring basis, while users can share their screens and documents with others in the meeting. A limited number of web conferencing minutes are included in users’ monthly Huddle subscription fee, with a competitively priced unlimited package also available.
London-based Huddle certainly isn’t the only company offering the new features it is launching today, but in combination with its existing services Huddle should be a compelling prospect for many businesses.
While Google Wave may be a more exciting way of working together online, Huddle offers a much more reliable and stable solution right now. However, it certainly won’t be a surprise if companies like Huddle start to integrate Wave into their services in the future.