Generic in-house project management platform Comindware Project is more real-time and enables ‘social collaboration’. It’s becoming a trend….
Keeping an eye on interesting developments in generic SaaS collaboration platforms, I see that Comindware, who I wrote about in July 2012, recently launched Comindware Project, a product designed to “simplify project management, improve real-time visibility into projects and enable social collaboration to create a productive and predictive work environment.” Key product features include:
- Predictive Real-time Gantt Chart: Allowing project managers to see the real-time project status as project plans are automatically recalculated as tasks get completed or are delayed.
- Automated Priority-based Planning: Enabling automatic scheduling of tasks based on priorities and resources, saving time typically spent on manual scheduling.
- Social Collaboration: Bringing the industry’s first social collaboration into project management with project-based activity streams, “rooms” to discuss matters across or beyond projects and company organizational charts that include employee skill sets and resource allocation.
- Visual UI Across All Devices: Allowing users to continuously collaborate on projects, track project process and consistently search for the right people when it’s needed across laptops, computers, iPhone and Android.
- Available in Microsoft Outlook: Benefiting more than 300 million Microsoft Outlook users who can now use project management software within their familiar Outlook environment.
Three things stand out for me.
First, the ‘social collaboration‘ angle. Project collaboration has usually focused on supporting interactions about objects (typically, files such as drawings, documents, etc, but also sometimes about workflow-generated notices). Such ‘collaboration’ has also been mainly closed and asynchronous. Most construction project delivery platforms haven’t yet enabled social forms of collaboration where discussions can be more open and about wider topics, and which can involve more collaborators (regular readers may recall me talking in October 2013 about US startup FieldLens trying to make construction collaboration more social, echoing earlier developments I’d seen, and UK AEC SaaS vendor Asite has a CEO who’s talked about ‘cocial networking‘ approaches). I’m expecting more ‘social collaboration’ in enterprise tools, and once these become accepted in generic business platforms, then construction will surely follow suit.
Second, Comindware embraces “the any information, anytime, anywhere, on any device” real-time mobile approach. Workers are increasingly mobile, and vendors increasingly need to ensure their applications and associated data can be accessed on any device (oddly, no mention of Windows 8, despite the Outlook support?).
Third, in its marketing Comindware, offered both as a cloud service and on-premise, remains focused on project management and business process management within organisations, with solutions focused on IT projects, HR, finance and marketing. If it wants to reach beyond the enterprise and into particular industries, it therefore seemingly faces similar challenges to common in-house platforms such as Microsoft Sharepoint, around which businesses (eg: Cadac) have developed industry-specific implementations of the core platform to suit the file-sharing and workflow collaboration needs of particular verticals, such as construction (post).