PBworks, a startup that provides online collaboration tools for businesses, announced a beefed-up version of its service today, one that adds a layer of project management and external collaboration. For now, the San Mateo, Calif., company is calling this its “Project Edition,” but Enterprise Marketing Vice President Chris Yeh tells me this could eventually become its primary offering.
You may know PBworks under its old moniker PBwiki, but as the name change earlier this year implies, the company has broadened its focus from business wikis to general collaboration, with features like document management/file sharing. The new Project Edition expands on these tools in several ways. First, it connects individual workspaces into a network so that a company or team can have a network of multiple projects. Second, it lets users create tasks within those networks so they can see to-do lists from all their projects. (Currently, those tasks can be assigned and edited by anyone, but Yeh says PBworks will eventually add a more sophisticated authorization system.) Third, companies can invite clients to collaborate on individual workspaces (but not on the larger network) for free.
More than anything else, that last feature helps justify the big price increase — the Project Edition costs $20 per user per month, compared to the Standard Edition of $6 per user per month. After all, you’re getting an unlimited number of free users as part of the package. It also makes PBworks a good fit for advertising and professional services companies, since they often need to consult and collaborate with clients outside the company. Professional services company Deloitte Digital and advertising agency Ogilvy both say they plan to use PBworks Project Edition.
PBworks has raised a total of $2.45 million and says it has more than 50,000 customers.
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