Cloud collaboration service Huddle is to bring a host of new cloud-based software to its services in a bid to eliminate the need for on-premise hardware. The update, called Connected Desktop, will centralise email, document and media storage as well as create an experience consistent across all devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Updated Windows and Mac OS Huddle clients are said to remove the need for local storage, with all files available to be edited remotely, regardless of the application used to make the changes.
Huddle has also been integrated into Microsoft Outlook to flatten multi-user document collaboration email threads into one single page, with each email response converted into an easily legible comment alongside the latest version of the document under discussion.
The new Huddle Dashboard lays out entire workflows in one place, with a feed of all activity, ongoing tasks and related files displayed on a lightweight client as soon as a user logs in. A new media-viewing app has also been added, which allows for quick browsing and sharing of media files including images and videos.
The firm's chief executive Alastair Mitchell told V3 that the update was Huddle's biggest yet. "It jumps over the dark ages we're in now and gives you the ability to have thin client and nothing else. You don't need the network, you don't need local storage, you don't need VPN, all you need is a client with which to access the web and a thin layer of productivity apps."
Huddle claims its customers include 80 percent of the Fortune 500 list of biggest companies, as well as 80 percent of UK government departments, many of which would be able to make a major change to their IT systems as a result of Connected Desktop. "Our biggest customers have the ability to roll this out to all of their machines and actually start phasing out some of their hardware and network storage," said Mitchell.
IDC analyst for enterprise social networks and collaborative technologies Vanessa Thompson said she believes that Huddle now has the edge in enterprise cloud content collaboration (EC3). "They have made a clear play for the EC3 market and this latest update does take them a step beyond current competitors, particularly through streamlining user productivity with the Outlook integration," she explained to V3.
The Connected Desktops update is available to all Huddle customers from Thursday 12 September.
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