If your small organization doesn't need a full-blown collaboration tool, but wants a quick way to interact in one place, Glip is talking to you. The company's flagship software (also called Glip) is a platform that focuses on the conversation part of the collaboration process.
Glip is designed to accommodate the different sorts of interactions and meetings that define the working process: instant messages, conference calls, project planning exchanges and task/schedule management. It presents these communication histories in a searchable conversation stream, integrated with shared calendars, task management, and document sharing capabilities. (An illustration of that presentation is below.) Glip works in the cloud to keep synchronized across desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
“After more than 20 years of research and development in real-time communications, we know that the old-fashioned approach of putting tasks, projects, or documents at the center of workflow creates friction and limits engagement," said Peter Pezaris, founder and CEO of Glip, when the platform was introduced in late 2013. "With Glip, we are harnessing the natural way teams work together through conversations that include the essential productivity tools to make them successful.”
One company that has found that approach useful in helping bring together a team of 10 is the Evangelical Covenant Church, which is the denominational headquarters for about 830 churches across the United States and Canada. "For us, it is a touchpoint that is open that is not just instant messaging, but that is secure and coordinated," said Ben Eash, director of interactive services. "We tried out a couple of other things … but they were one-dimensional."
The Evangelical Church team is fairly distributed from a geographic, and it is already comfortable with cloud applications as users of the Google Apps suite and Google Docs. Ease of use was a major consideration after the "cumbersome" approaches of other Web conferencing services and the wary attitude of some of the managers, who prefer face-to-face encounters. "It lets us get to the business of work more quickly," Eash said.
As conversations progress, documents and meeting requests are added to the stream, so that they are associated automatically and provide a history that can be referenced later.
In January, Glip announced full integration with Google Drive and Dropbox, to assist with content sharing and management. Glip users can share links to the source file, while ensuring version control. Content from other application can be used with a "From the Web" upload option.
Glip's pricing starts at $5 per user per month, or $50 per user per year, after a 60-day trial period. The platform currently supports Apple iOS; the Android mobile version is available in beta.
The team behind Glip actually developed an instant messaging platform in 1992 for user in a business setting, and it included the features in their online fantasy sports site, Commissioner.com (sold to CBS Sportsline, which is related to the parent company of this Web site). They also developed the social feed features in Multiply.com.