BT Workspace

Almost unnoticed, UK telecoms provider BT has recently launched a web-based service, BT Workspace, aimed at helping people in small to medium-sized enterprises share information and collaborate with each other. It talks about getting rid of email clutter, and managing and controlling projects via extranet functionality, with intranet functionality also available for internal company dicussions and processes.

BT Workspace Lite is free for two people and offers 10MB storage and two Project workspaces. You can start with this and then upgrade to the main BT Workspace service which costs £7.50 (excluding VAT) per company user per month and offers 100MB space per user – pooled between all users, unlimited project workspaces and has extra storage available at £5 per month per 1GB.

Other bloggers have started to report on and review the service (for example, read Dennis Howlett’s two-part review here and here; see also David Terrar’s blog).

This is a major step forward for online web services, particularly as it is coming from a business more commonly regarded as a telecoms provider rather than a software developer (I’m thinking of Microsoft’s Office Live here, for instance). BT is one of the UK’s best-known and most trusted brands, has a large customer base – particularly in the broadband market – and a powerful marketing machine. This Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, being so competitively priced, will doubtless appeal to many small businesses (sole traders, partnerships and other small project-oriented groupings), and could therefore prove a major turning point in the development of SaaS in the UK.

From a construction industry perspective, I don’t see this service threatening the main extranet or collaboration platform providers targetting the medium-large project market (there are just too many complexities about collaborating on CAD drawings, managing contract workflows, etc). But, particularly at the repair and maintenance and small building works end of the construction marketplace, this could be a very compelling offer indeed.

It also underlines that online collaboration is not just something dreamed up by geeky software specialists; with this move, BT could be raising awareness of on-demand solutions and and boosting their credibility. Many conservative construction people may well, therefore, be tempted to take their first steps towards using online collaboration tools as a result.

Update (30 January 2007): According to Isabel Wang, “BT Workspace is powered by a modified version of Microsoft Sharepoint…. BT co-branded it from SMBLive.” SMB:Live Corporation’s role is also clear from the Workspace terms and conditions, terms of use and privacy policy.

Permanent link to this article:


5 pings

  1. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the mention. I’m surprised BT haven’t made a bigger splash about this. With BT’s trusted brand behind it, you might expect a lot of small and medium businesses to try it out and then adopt it, although I think the Lite version needs a few more users to make it really attractive.
    I hadn’t seen your blog before. I’ve got a historical interest in the construction collaboration space through Business Collaborator. I’m intrigued to see how the products in this sector are tackling the competition from recent web 2.0 entrants, both in terms of price and functionality. I’ll be checking back regularly to find out more.

    • reginald tandy on 5 June 2007 at 10:29 am

    I am part of gordon tandy’s workspace and wish to add dialogue

    • Rob Hallums on 23 October 2009 at 11:36 am

    Now it’s closing, Glasscubes has been chosen as the ideal replacement for it… worth a look at the very least!!

  1. […] it describes itself as “a world first”, I guess that depends on the definition; back in January, I talked about BT Workspace – another collaboration product based on Microsoft SharePoint […]

  2. […] ← BT Workspace Tom Dengenis resurfaces […]

  3. […] price positions the Asite product as more expensive than the recently launched generic BT Workspace offering, though it will at least be construction-oriented, with the Brava! viewer allowing users […]

  4. […] on a per-user basis (Asite Workspace starts at £25 per month per user;  BT Workspace – see post – starts even lower, at £7.50 per month per user) may seem attractive, but if the team […]

  5. […] early 2007, I wrote about BT Workspace, a Software-as-a-Service that the UK telecoms giant was offering to small and […]

Comments have been disabled.