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Summary:

[qi:056] When it comes to software, collaboration is the next big opportunity. It’s being driven by the proliferation of broadband connections, ubiquitous wireless connectivity and the distributed workforce. From Google to Cisco Systems to Microsoft — all are trying to make their way to the treasure. […]

[qi:056] When it comes to software, collaboration is the next big opportunity. It’s being driven by the proliferation of broadband connections, ubiquitous wireless connectivity and the distributed workforce. From Google to Cisco Systems to Microsoft — all are trying to make their way to the treasure. Meanwhile dozens of startups are aiming to bring their own unique approach to a $10 billion market generically known as collaboration software.

One such startup is San Francisco-based DocVerse, a company started by Alex DeNeui and Shan Sinha, both former Microsoft employees who worked on the Redmond giant’s SharePoint and SQL Server. DocVerse, which emerged from stealth mode today, has received over $1 million in a first round of financing from Baseline Ventures, Michael Dearing and a few other angels.

DocVerse has also developed a Microsoft Office add-on that connects to the software’s back end to enable simple collaboration. Most of us exchange documents with team members via email, with changes highlighted for others to review. But this is a cumbersome process and not the best use of email, quite frankly. With DocVerse’s plugin, sharing and editing of documents is dead simple. It can automatically sync the document to an online vault and from there, with other team members. I used it briefly and really liked it.

Simon Mackie, editor of WebWorkerDaily, took it for a more extensive test drive and shared his take with readers. The company is sharing 200 beta invites with GigaOM readers, but Mac people need not apply. Functionality is also currently limited to PowerPoint, but Microsoft Word and Excel support is coming soon.

Even though it is still early days, DocVerse has a steep climb ahead of it. As I’ve said before, collaboration software is a very crowded space. Moreover, the company will have to live with the constant fear that Microsoft will release a similar offering as part of its future Microsoft Office upgrades. Nor can it ignore the fact that folks are starting to use Google Docs as a way to collaborate, never mind the other competitors that I haven’t bothered to mention. Of course, who said playing and winning in the big leagues, where billions of dollars are at stake, was going to be easy?

crossplatformfeedback

  1. Nice! I was one of the early testers and was extremely impressed by how simple, yet effective the beta was. Now my entire company uses it!

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  2. Andy

    I was impressed by the simplicity of the product and as a result decided to write about it. Hopefully more people like it.

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  3. Seems like a natural progresstion would be to pair this solution with other Office collaboration solutions like digital signature programs.

    http://www.digitalforumtv.com/Nav_Community_719.aspx

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  4. This is a great idea, in fact I created something very similar a few months ago whereby you could collaborate in real-time just like Google Docs and also maintain versions within Word 2007 and Excel 2007. Powerpoint was on my roadmap.

    http://www.livelydocs.com

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  5. My company is starting to unit test Sharepoint projects. Would you recommend using a mock framework ? If yes which one would be best to use ?

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  6. Does anyone know of a video Collaboration app . I need this and am very intrigued by the possibilities . RSVP.

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  7. The add-in has it’s purpose in providing collaboration to Microsoft Office desktop products (if it works as advertised). However, you still need the Office Suite to use it – and that defeats the purpose imo. Isn’t Google Docs a collaborative tool, already?

    Technology that searches and extracts content – then distributes it to places such as Google Docs, without the need for native applications is, imo more useful. Then again, I’m biased… as my company has created such a product, PageZephyr (http://www.pagezephyr.com).

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  8. [...] Francisco-based DocVerse, which was founded in 2007, raised $1.3 million in a first round of financing from investors including Baseline Ventures, Michael [...]

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  9. The web based collaboration is getting its way. It’s a good idea for plugging into the original app itself. Google Doc is a half way work since it is only a subset of MS Office. People more like and get used to the things they already are familiar with. Google Doc is not a MS Office, And Google can not re-invent every popular app other companies provide, such as MS Office, Photoshop, Auto Desk. So creating a less equivalent version of web based might not be a good practice even for a gaint company like Google.

    Plugging to the original app is better solution, I think. Following the scenario, our company creates an IE browser collaboration app so users can collaboratively watch youtube or hulu movies with each other. The link: www.toponode.com. It's the first youtube collaboration tool ever have.
    

    Mike J.

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  10. It’s bought by Google already. In a similar vein, what’s next Google is setting its eyes on?

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