hyperoffice_logo_2010.jpg In an interview with CMSWire, HyperOffice President Farzin Arsanjani reviewed some of the new social features his company is planning to add to its cloud-based SaaS enterprise collaboration platform. Key changes include the addition of a mobility engine and social components to help the application complement other collaborative tools.

IT Does Not Live On Social Collaboration Alone

"I don’t see social collaboration by itself as a silver bullet,” said Arsanjani. “It only works if it supports a well-defined workflow. In the absence of that, social collaboration becomes ineffective.”

With that in mind, HyperOffice plans to provide social tools which can be used around structured collaborative tools. “Some structured collaborative tools are better suited to defining processes and workflow,” he commented. “We believe in combining social collaboration with structured collaborative capabilities.”

Taking Social Collaboration to the Next Level

HyperOffice intends to allow users to go back and forth between different project management applications and social collaboration applications. While HyperOffice users can already achieve this capability, the new features will expand it to other third-party social collaboration apps.

“We will allow customers to aggregate objects, users, events and information into one activity stream,” said Arsanjani. “You will be able to engage in conversations regardless of platform.” In addition, he said a new mobility engine will help users “get information from any device.”

More specific features include customized activity stream navigation that allow users to follow specific users, groups and objects. In addition, users can perform a portal-wide keyword search, create a personal profile including skills that can be searched, share content such as documents, calendars and notes, and communicate via IM.

“The market has moved from email-centric to social-centric collaboration,” said Arsanjani. “You can’t eliminate email 100%, but social media has become the preferred method of collaboration and communication.”

Social collaboration and social business are clearly moving from a means of allowing employees to have remote conversations to becoming platforms for advanced content and workflow management. Numerous vendors have released solutions to make the Microsoft SharePoint platform more socially-enabled, and at the other end of the spectrum vendors are also releasing add-ons to make established social business applications such as Salesforce.com and Yammer more conducive to full collaboration. HyperOffice's planned new social features fit nicely into this emerging paradigm.

The new HyperOffice social collaboration tools are expected to be released in Q4 2012 and available in multiple languages.