Plenty of task apps out there want to help you get your “to dos” done. But Salesforce.com’s is hoping you don’t mistake their Do for one of them.
After acquiring the productivity app Manymoon and relaunching it as Do last year, the enterprise giant is set to announce Thursday that it is rolling out new contacts and deal flow management features that it believes will make Do more of work collaboration platform for everyone from individual consumers to small businesses to teams within big corporations. While Do will remain a free service for unlimited users, Salesforce plans to charge people for the new deal flow and contacts management features.
“One of the challenges we’ve had at Do is that people think it’s a tasks app – and there are hundreds and hundreds of them. But, really, what we’re doing is preparing for something a bit bigger – we call [Do] a social productivity platform,” said Sean Whiteley, Salesforce’s SVP and general manager of Do.com.
With the app, users can not only manage their own tasks, but assign tasks to others, as well as share relevant materials and communicate about a project as the individual tasks are completed. With the new deal flow and contacts management features, which are launching in private beta Thursday, Do is making a bigger social play for enterprise and business clients that might otherwise use Excel sheets, deal flow management software like Pipeline Deals or Asana, the workplace collaboration tool from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz that last week raised $28 million.
Through the new contacts management feature, which integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and other platforms, users can see the entire universe of all of the people they might collaborate with, as well as set alerts that remind them to reach out to specific people periodically or on certain dates. The new deal flow tool helps relevant team members monitor all the deals in a pipeline, as well as the movement of specific deals. It lets users customize the layout, set alerts to call customers, assign tasks to other co-workers and more.
Whitely acknowledged that Do and Asana take similar approaches in providing software that helps groups of people collaborate and execute projects, but emphasized the differences.
While Asana takes a “workplace” approach that organizes the platform around projects, he said that Do scrapped that strategy for “groups”-centered approach that is more similar to Facebook in that it organizes the platform around the people involved in a project. He also said that Do integrates with multiple social platforms and email systems, so that users can collaborate with others on the platform even if they only have their Facebook information, Twitter handle or Gmail address. Additionally, Whitely said that Do supports mobile workers with an iPhone app, html5 version and an Android app on the way. (Asana’s site says it is available as an iPhone app and mobile-optimized site.)
While Do plans to let any number of people on a team use the site for free and charge for increased usage of the deal and contacts features, as well as some admin features, Asana charges clients based on the number of work members they have using the platform.
In addition to Asana, companies like Basecamp and startups like Producteev help businesses with work flow management, and Microsoft’s Yammer also provides a collaboration tool for businesses (although it doesn’t include the task management component). But the fact that Do has been rebuilt on Salesforce’s enterprise-grade platform and can integrate with the company’s social service Chatter will likely be selling points for the expanding platform.
For readers interested in checking out Do’s new features, Salesforce.com is offering priority beta access to those who click here.