Mobile

Yammer rival Convo updates on mobile, says file-sharing should start with conversations

office workers Vasilis Flickr
Image Credit: Vasilis/Flickr

According to Convo, file-sharing is just a utility without conversations. Dropbox, Box, Google, and every other file storage provider has the business collaboration model dead wrong.

Convo competes with chat tools like Microsoft’s Yammer and newcomer Slack, as well as project management tools like Basecamp. Although the firm calls itself a “private social network exclusively for your company,” the use-case for Convo is diverse: it functions as a collaboration tool for designers, a project management utility for product teams, and as a newsroom for publications. Customers include semi-conductor companies, firms like Sonos, and publications like VentureBeat (along with quite a few of our competitors).

mobile_annotationConvo imagines its service as the place where your work begins and ends, from announcing new hires, to reviewing designs, to executing a launch strategy. This chat foundation, Convo says, can lead to a far more powerful system than an isolated storage service like Google Drive provides.

The same theory sits alongside Convo’s mobile apps, yet the company did not provide strong file collaboration tools on iOS or Android until today.

Convo’s latest mobile update feature annotation tools, contextualized comments tied to specific parts of a file, and file previews; Convo claims these file previews are significantly faster than they are on Box and Dropbox.

Although syncing and sharing files on mobile is now pretty easy to do, it’s nearly impossible to facilitate a discussion around a design mockup, or PDF file, on mobile. Such activities usually require a desktop machine. This is the problem which Convo claims to have solved.

Convo isn’t flawless. The service leans on Adobe Air on the desktop, and could be far sleeker. Yet, it provides an indispensable tool for thousands of businesses. The firm has much work to do, but — in my opinion — it is absolutely heading in the right direction.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.