Enterprise business management software provider Deltek is introducing Kona, a free cloud-based private social collaboration network aimed at easing project management.
Kona is designed to offer a platform where users can establish members-only data repositories for specific groups. This data can include conversations, tasks, calendars, files and photos. Group members can have access to currently updated information from any location, including via mobile device. Additional privacy controls are available within individual group spaces.
Deltek says Kona provides “generous space allowance” that eliminates the need to store any documents or files anywhere else. Kona also allows users to create group tasks with to-do items that can be assigned to individuals or the whole group. The service is integrated with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Docs and Yahoo, and Deltek says “more enhancements and features are in development.” Mobile apps allow access from Android and iOS devices.
Collaborating within Workflow
October 2012 commentary on the beta version of Kona in the Enterprise Irregulars blog pointed out that “Traditional project management tools do a great job of ‘managing’ or providing the information necessary to oversee the work and mitigate risks, but don't really provide much help to the people actually doing the work.” In addition, Enterprise Irregulars said most project management tools fail to allow collaboration with other team members, resulting in projects “com(ing) apart when team members can't or won't communicate and share.”
Furthermore, collaboration tools that are separated from the workflow push team communication into overburdened and insufficient email systems. Enter Kona, which the blog post describes as a “social project execution networking tool” which appears “fairly simple on first examination but has very sophisticated functionality underneath.” Kona is also praised for its ease of use, many features and “good, clean” UI.
Advancing Social Collaboration at Light Speed
By closely tying social collaboration to project management, Kona is joining a trend of “light speed acceleration” in the social collaboration space identified in a recent CMSWire guest column from social enterprise senior analyst Tom Petrocelli. “The Social Enterprise discussion is now about use cases — real business value — instead of a mystical benefit from having microblogging in an organization,” said Petrocelli.
Petrocelli went on to identify the “the integration of social collaboration into the mission-critical processes that mid-sized and large organizations operate by” as the “most important change this market has seen yet.” Sounds a lot like what Kona is trying to let its users accomplish.
It is also interesting to note that Deltek is positioning Kona as a tool with as many consumer uses as it has enterprise uses — such as serving as a common repository for family photos, a collaborative planning tool for youth organizations, etc. Employees have long adapted consumer technology in the workplace (as evidenced by the “BYOD” trend), Kona is anticipating a possible move toward adapting workplace technology in the consumer space.
Kona is coming out of beta phase and has more than 12,000 global users.