Way back in May, our own Aliza Sherman took a look at DeskAway, a Basecamp-like collaborative project management solution from Synage, a SaaS pioneer based in India. In terms of features and pricing, it compared favorably to the more widely used Basecamp. Today, it gets an upgrade, including the introduction of new features that make it feel more like you’re working with people directly, than with computers working with people.
The new features incorporate elements of social networks into DeskAway’s project management and collaboration architecture. Specifically, what used to be the “Services” link now brings you to the “My Account” page where you can update your profile, associate a profile photo with your account, and provide a brief bio or mini-CV for team members to look over.
Your profile photo will be visible to all project team members, and will appear next to your comments in discussions, which is a nice touch when you’re working with relative strangers scattered in diverse geographic locations and there’s not much opportunity for face-to-face interaction.
There’s also a status update feature, like on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. that allows you to notify team members of your current activity/progress. Useful if you need to instantly communicate with a group of others about work package status updates, but don’t want to interrupt them with an obtrusive email or message.
DeskAway promises more to come, as well, including RSS status update subscriptions and more. Of course, in a project management framework, the key to successfully implementing social networking features will be knowing when to stop, which is probably why DeskAway is doing a gradual, multi-staged release, rather than a single overhaul.
The new features are available now for both free and paid plans. Let us know if you think they add value to DeskAway’s existing services.