January 13, 2014

MetaCommunications' Spark! Gives New Life to Mobile Collaboration

Collaboration is a hugely important facet of business. It's pursued avidly, and new solutions constantly appear in a bid to bring more of it to the workforce. Whether it's talking face-to-face, or communicating via remote device, businesses want employee collaboration. MetaCommunications recently brought out the Spark! component of its Workgroups DaVinci solution, and in turn made this already-potent collaboration system all the more powerful.

The Spark! component is MetaCommunications' answer to the question of whether native mobile apps or HTML5-driven Web apps can produce the best solution in the field of mobile collaboration; MetaCommunications is backing HTML5 as a way to get its platform on as many devices with as little difficulty as possible. Spark allows users to proofread and review documents regarding designs from most any available device, thanks to that HTML5 functionality that works so well across multiple devices and device types. This saves a step in setting up the initial infrastructure to put the collaboration measures in place, removing the need to download a separate app to engage in the collaboration process and instead turning it over to a Web-based app. The HTML5 proofer, meanwhile, is going into its second generation, at last report, with a private release currently underway ahead of a wider release set for this spring.

Workgroups DaVinci, meanwhile, steps in to alert users that new proofs are available via a quick e-mail, and then users simply click the link contained in the e-mail to proceed directly to the proofing tool. That makes for fast access not only to the document in question but, again, from most kinds of devices all at once, making it an excellent alternative for mobile workers.

Right around a year ago, Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer took quite a bit of flack over attempts to reduce telecommuting in a bid to improve collaboration  by requiring more face-time out of everyone in the office itself. Many of those tossing out the flack in the first place wondered why Mayer would take such a step when a host of applications made mobile-based collaboration efforts that much easier, some of which were actually made by Yahoo itself. But Mayer's view became at least somewhat clear over the weeks that followed, as Yahoo was expecting more collaboration and seemed to believe that getting it face-to-face was the way to go. It's hard, however, to look at the sheer array of tools out there for collaboration, especially for mobile workers, and reach the conclusion that the best answer here is “none of the above.”

Still, for those businesses that are embracing the telecommuting culture—and there are plenty of said businesses out there—as well as the growing bring your own device (BYOD) culture that goes at least somewhat along with it, HTML5 apps like Spark! should go a long way toward providing those all-too-necessary functions of workers no matter where the workers happen to be at the time.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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