"The biggest problem with traditional Intranets," begins CEO Isaac Garcia of Central Desktop, "is that they get stale very quickly." Of his company's new collaboration solution he peacefully concludes, "These turnkey Intranets are dynamic and living.”
Garcia makes a fair enough assessment of everyday Intranet, which is technically still in its infancy. But what exactly are turnkey Intranets? For the new Central Desktop, they're the natural companion to intra-office collaboration. Their new offering includes a company directory, a calendar and a dynamic interface with personalized information for all users involved.
Turnkey Intranet provides a central space at which employees and other group members can share knowledge with the company at large, even outside the projects they may be working on. As an additional feature, information dynamically updates with little bubbles from different workspaces -- think Twitter meets Office Space. This means announcements, workplace activities, bookmarks, RSS feeds and favourite links are instantly shared in real-time while users are plugged into the system.
We're not sure why all this is necessary, but apparently see-all know-all syndrome transcends reality TV and infiltrates even the most professional of cubicles. "Right out of the box, users will have a powerful, fresh Intranet that complements their project-centric workspaces and wikis," preaches the collabo-happy guru Garcia. "Our research showed that most of our customers were already using Central Desktop as a departmental or team Intranet to share bookmarks, files and company announcements, so we decided to make it easier for them."
Garcia's words can't be far from the truth considering customers gladly admit to drinking the Kool-Aid: "The wiki-based platform that Central Desktop has built is ideal for our company Intranets and team collaboration,” says Phil Gordon of Expert Insight. “Adding the turnkey Intranet to its already rich platform rounds out the collaboration needs of our company."
Other Spring '07 release highlights include the following: Enhanced Workflow Capabilities * User-defined document and file stats. This means users can mark an item or draft as pending, approved, final, or per the enterprise's unique labeling system, as needed
* Email-enabled comments for easy communication regarding shared files and tasks
* Password protection for online docs and various wikis Improved Calendar Functions for Teams * Event notification via email
* Busy/Available settings Improved Productivity * Dynamic auto-save
* Office '07 document index support
* Workspace archiving
* Greater content delivery speed for Europe-based users
With functions that strike us as heavily inspired by AJAX-lovin' Google (whom Central Desktop crossed once before with the EditGrid liaison), this release makes Enterprise 2.0 look like a contemporary tech-laced take on the Summer of Love. Is there such a thing as too much collaboration? We are beginning to wonder.
Nonetheless, we can't deny the trend has fans. Industry analyst and Collaborative Strategies managing director David Coleman vouches for the necessity of the solution to the market. “These are all core services that should be standard with any collaboration platform," he says.
Intranet isn't the only thing Central Desktop is turning inside-out. In recent news, they also standardized the user Extranet experience.
The Spring 2007 release is now live and available to over 30,000 existing Central Desktop users worldwide. The cost starts at $25/month for 10 users, with ascending plans for larger teams. You can also catch the trial version at the Central Desktop website.