Enterprise collaboration company Huddle has unveiled a suite of cloud services which it hopes will persuade workers to give up on saving files to the desktop.
Its Connected Desktop, launched on Thursday, includes a number of elements aimed at moving business data off desktops and out of email and into Huddle's cloud service.
For example, Huddle for Windows and Huddle for Mac automatically stores all content from desktop applications into Huddle's cloud. If connectivity is lost while files are being edited via desktop applications, the latest file version is uploaded into Huddle as soon as connectivity is restored.
Huddle for Outlook aggregates email discussions to make information and files easier to find, the Huddle Viewer allows images and videos to previewed and streamed from the cloud, while its Huddle Dashboard shows users their business activity stream and all the people they are working with in one central place.
Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell said businesses are lagging behind consumers when it comes to adoption of cloud services: "Back in the 1990s the network was the computer, whereas now it's the cloud that is the computer. It is where all the storage is done, all the work is done but that still hasn't happened in the enterprise, when you go into the world of work you go into the office it's still very old school... you store stuff on big clunky laptops. It's a very different experience and it's obvious how this is going to go: as the cloud becomes pervasive it will be the place where all this work is done."
Huddle is one of a number of companies trying to combine content management, cloud services with a social media element to make workers more efficient and make company data easier to find and use. Other examples are Yammer (now part of Microsoft) or Salesforce.com's Chatter tool.
"There is going to be a small number of players and they are going to have to play nicely with each other but they're not really competing they all believe the same thing they're just providing a slightly different view on slightly different activity; one is a social view and one is a content. If an enterprise has rolled out Tibbr they're going to want to see Huddle as part of that. Equally if they're rolling out Huddle they're going to want to see a social feed in there," Mitchell added.