LiveHive Debuts Microsoft SkyDrive Link, Single Sign OnOnline collaboration specialist LiveHive has introduced a few updates this week including direct access to Microsoft SkyDrive, an Internet Explorer extension and single sign on capabilities.

Visual Workspaces

LiveHive calls its system a visual workspace, a place to share content across teams. The kinds of features it possess, however, are very much in the vein of what we mostly call social business or activity stream tools. Content like documents, Web pages or images can be uploaded, dragged and dropped or shared via a browser extension.

All team members can see the shared items, and can comment on them and generally work together in this familiar way. LiveHive is still a pretty new product, and while it has some advanced features like tagging, it's mostly geared toward academic groups and non profits.

The latest update includes a direct integration with Microsoft SkyDrive, a feature LiveHive already included with Google Drive and Dropbox. This is a good way to ensure users have access to a wide array of online repositories, and items stored in SkyDrive can now be fully accessed and edited right from LiveHive.

Forging Into Business Environments

While LiveHive counts hundreds of schools and non profits as customers, these latest moves are overtures to the business world. With SkyDrive integration, and the Internet Explorer extension features, using LiveHive in a Microsoft environment becomes that much easier.

Furthermore, LiveHive has established single sign on capability via OneLogin and Ping Identity. That way, companies using Microsoft's Active Directory can use those credentials to log right into LiveHive. This also allows LiveHive to support the use of Microsoft Exchange and Office, two business staples that could make LiveHive a bit more attractive to IT teams.

As we noted with the LiveHive tags launch, these are critical offerings needed to entice business users to its platform. It still needs to roll out more integrations with other systems, but the company right now does seem to be focusing specifically on that issue. Pricing for LiveHive has also changed, and there are now three levels based on number of workspaces and amounts of storage needed.

Accounts range from US$ 25 to $80 per month billed annually for an unlimeted number of collaborators, and mobile access via iOS and Android devices. The company also has raised nearly US$ 5 million privately from investors, including Acero Capital.