Today, Huddle is launching a new experience called Connected Desktop.
This experience will integrate desktop apps with Huddle, making it faster and easier for workers to get their work done with fewer digital paper trails, status meetings, and cover sheets for TPS reports.
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In a conversation with Huddle chief marketing officer Chris Boorman, we learned about the company’s broader vision to make it easier and better to do work from anywhere.
“The cloud is now your computer, and we want to bring it together … to allow people to work together using any device they want to use, to work on all the content they have,” said Boorman.
There are five new features for Connected Desktop. First, there are new abilities to open, lock, collaborate on, edit, and save files directly from the Huddle cloud — that means you won’t have to save separate (and possibly outdated) files on your own computer.
The second feature is related; all the files can now be saved to the cloud with Huddle Drive. This “enterprise-grade virtual drive” also means there are fewer opportunities for information to escape the walled garden via leaks or break-ins.
Third, Huddle’s added an image and video viewer. “The engineers have done a phenomenal job with this,” said Boorman. ”We’ve been living in an era where image and video tools are in the desktop. Now, we’re in an era where these can live in the cloud and people can view them from anywhere, making the process more collaborative.”
The fourth new feature is a very interesting hookup to Outlook. Huddle for Outlook is capable of moving content and conversations from e-mail to the cloud-based software. Attachments are saved as files, and e-mail chains are saved as comments.
“Email as a way of moving files around is a poor collaboration tool,” said Boorman. “It’s never going to go away, so we’re making it easy with one click and make it collaborative.”
Nexy up, Huddle might be looking into Gmail and Mac-based e-mail programs — basically, anything that’s popular with current Huddle customers.
The final feature is a revamped Dashboard.
In Boorman’s words, “The new dashboard … is a lot like Facebook. It delivers an entire activity stream to you.
“We create a way of separating projects into workspaces, and you typically have several workspaces. The Dashboard looks across all these workspaces and makes a consolidated feed of all the files and documents … from your entire business world, all of your team, all the tasks you have set up, in a single view.”
But more than just spitting out a distracting wave of updates, files, and tasks at you, Huddle Dashboard prioritizes your work.
“Balancing an overwhelming stream of information versus what needs to be priorities … things that you most need to work on, documents that you are explicitly being asked to look at — it actually improves productivity,” Boorman said.
Circling back to the e-mail piece, Boorman said this type of workflow can actually do a lot to cut down on back-and-forth e-mail as well.
“We’re all overwhelmed with e-mail,” he said. “It’s become a generic tool for doing a range of things, and it’s not designed for that. This moves a lot of the e-mail dialog out of e-mail, letting direct email do what it’s good at — not a collaboration stream.”
And here’s a handy infographic to tie it all together for ya: