Harmon.ie today announced a significant expansion of its Collage digital workplace app, which the company claims offers workers rapid access to all of their content.

High on the list of improvements is easy access to email content. In spite of the proliferation of communication channels and the many complaints against it, email still holds strong in the digital workplace. Combined, the upgrades to Collage will offer a substantial improvement in the user experience, David Lavenda, vice president for products at Harmon.ie told CMSWire.

Single Point Content Access

People are not willing to abandon email. They don't want to have two places to go to get their information, so they need email as part of the information stream, but they don't want 'all' the email, only those messages that pertain to a particular subject. They don't want to have to go to another place to correlate the information. They want a one stop shop for UX," he said.

Collage is a pretty simple idea that aims to make the life of digital workers a lot easier.

It combines updates from a worker’s complete set of existing business apps into a single information stream -- apps such as business applications, document collaboration tools, enterprise social networks and email.

Using machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to automatically extract common topics from these updates, it makes it possible for workers to filter information subject choices so the content needed is surfaced automatically.

In a statement about the Collage upgrade, Alan Lepofsky, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research Workers pointed out that workers are not only suffering from information overload, but they are also suffering from input overload,

We don’t need more tools, we need our tools to work better. By aggregating sources such as email, documents and business applications, employees can discover what’s important and focus on getting work done, instead of wasting time just trying to find the people and information they need,” Lepofsky said.

Collage Upgrades

Other notable additions to the Collage app include:

  • The ability to launch apps in content
  • Share important updates via email and social networks through Yammer and Salesforce Chatter
  • Access to Collage using iPhone: Workers receive all their business updates in their pocket, in one app, with new iPhone support

"It's not enough to follow what's going on. People want to act, but not have to open other apps and look for the records; they just want to click and take action. That's what we've added," Lavenda said. "People don't only want to follow information, they want to be able to click and share the information, without having to launch another app, search for the person and type out a message."

The addition of the iPhone access and apps in context are completely new capabilities, as is the ability to prioritize email content according to need.

Lavenda pointed out that the release is part of a growing trend to develop these kind of single-access points for content. However, he noted that the market won’t be dominated by a couple of notable vendors.

In particular he pointed to the likes of IBM Verse and Microsoft Delve built on top of Office Graph, Microsoft’s big dataset and framework to make data available to other applications work well in certain kinds of environments, but not all.

While these products are great for IBM and Microsoft users, mobile users in the cloud world of the Digital Workplace will need to include services and apps from many cloud vendors -- not just from IBM or Microsoft. And they won't want to do integration of their services into a single cloud, they will want it to be simple and light federation. That's Collage,” he said.

There’s more on the way for Collage, and soon, Lavenda said, but he wouldn’t elaborate. More as it happens.