Archive for the ‘What's New’ Category

HyperOffice gets iCalendar Integration


Scheduling is no longer a pain

One of the greatest pains of professional life is schedule coordination. A time which is suitable for some is not suitable for others, and a perpetual game of scheduling and rescheduling ensues.

Internally, if a company is using calendar software, the pain is somewhat mitigated, as everything can be done through inbuilt calendar features (simply click the “request reschedule” button).

However, if the parties involved are from different organizations using different calendar software, the only recourse is email. Scores of inbox clogging emails fly back and forth before a time is finally agreed upon.

That was until now.

We have added iCalendar integration (also called iCal and CalDav sometimes) to HyperOffice calendars. iCalendar is a protocol which allows different calendaring systems to interact with each other – which means HyperOffice calendars can now interact with diverse iCalendar compliant calendar systems like Outlook, Exchange, Google Calendars, Yahoo, Hotmail, IBM Lotus Notes and so on.

So, if you want to invite an external party to an event, just add their email in the calendar invite field, and they will instantly be sent a meeting invitation by email. Clicking on accept in their email will instantly set up an event on their calendar and send you back a confirmation. Or, they could request a reschedule.

It also works the other way. If someone with an iCalendar compliant calendar sends you a meeting invite, clicking on “accept” instantly sets up the event on your personal calendar. And in true HyperOffice spirit, we have added more to the experience. You can browse through your schedule right there in the email body to see if you can accommodate the new event or not.

Please do try it out!

What does the FaceBook IPO mean for social business?

$104 Billion in valuation, 16 billion raised in its IPO, we can’t help but gape at this phenomena of our age with open mouths.

With more than 900 million actively engaged users, it’s the largest community the world has ever known. Google search is not quite dead yet, but Facebook is where we spend our internet time – we discover, share, and connect like never before. And we spend a lot of internet time..

Facebook has no plans of slowing down at 900 million. Zuckerberg is likely eyeing at the 7 Billion odd global population. The mobile phone is how it now plans to enter our lives. The endless resources the IPO gives Facebook access to are probably going towards this.

Any marketer worth his salt wants to be on Facebook. If you are not where your consumers are, you are gone, finished, rendered irrelevant, nada. Moreover, if Facebook is where your customers are, maybe that’s where you want to be to deliver them service? So undoubtedly, the social phenomena of Facebook means everything to businesses.

But that’s not what social business is. Sure, it is part of social business, but not all of it.

Social business is the broader philosophy of using the social design of social media technology to break down all artificial barriers – those which exists inside the organization, as well as those between the business and its environment – prospects, customers, partners, and the larger market. Social business is more than Facebook, or even Twitter, or even Pinterest. It is about using the learnings of social media to alter the very design of organizations.

Being engaged in popular social media services like Facebook and interacting with the market is part of it – best described as social media marketing. But an equally important part is adapting it and making it work with business applications so that employees can share and connect and tap hidden synergies – that is social collaboration (that is the part HyperOffice focuses on).  Facebook is just not geared for social collaboration.

So the Facebook IPO mean for social business? A reminder – a reminder to pull up your socks and make Facebook an important part of your marketing strategy. But an equally important reminder to start using business focused social tools and get some of that free flowing sharing working for your businesses.

5 business uses of iPad (and Android tablets) powered by HyperOffice

So you can’t have enough of your iPad. You use it to browse the net, watch your favorite video, read the news (or a book), check the weather, tweet your opinions, find your way and slingshot Angry Birds. You’re basically inseparable.

Just when you thought you had seen all of iPad’s wonders, iPad’s power can now be extended to work as well. In Steve Job’s words, “there is an app for that” – and it is HyperOffice. Without further ado, here are some business things you can do with HyperOffice:

1. Share and work together on business documents

With HyperOffice you can store and organize your business documents online, together with permissions, version control, comments and more. Now you can use your iPad to access these documents. You can also use free third party WebDav tools to edit and work together on these documents with colleagues.

2. Manage corporate mail

HyperOffice is a corporate email service where you can set up dedicated email for your business – employees@yourcompany.com. You have two ways in which you can access this email on your iPad.

-  Use the HyperOffice web app to access email through an interface specially designed for your iPad.

-  Push corporate email to your native iPad email app. So as soon as an email arrives in your corporate inbox, it is instantly pushed down to your iPad email app.

3. Manage projects

HyperOffice’s web app allows you to use your iPad as a project management tool. You can manage all aspects of a team project – create projects, add tasks and activities, set dependencies, assign responsibilities, set timelines and priorities, attach resources – from a single interface.

4. Manage and share work schedules

You can also create group calendars that everyone on your team can see on their iPad. This ensures that everyone is on top of group schedules. You can also set up meetings and send out invites directly from the calendar console. You can even sync with your native iPad calendar and share events that you set up on your iPad calendar. So if you create an event on your iPad calendar, it with instantly show up on your teams’ iPad calendar as well – isn’t that cool?

5. Manage and share corporate contact lists

Like calendars, you can access and manage your corporate contacts, all categorized in groups and lists (HR, Marketing, important clients, partners – anything you like) right on your iPad. Your other team members have access to these contacts as well (provided they have the rights). Also, like calendars, you can sync these contacts with your native iPad address book, and share contacts with teammates.

So, what are you waiting for? Go extract productivity from your iPad! Find more information about the HyperOffice iPad app here.

Guess what’s coming soon…? Be Social (and productive) at work!

The moment of social business is here

It is a great moment in the history of social collaboration. The idea itself is not new. Much has been written over the last 2 years about what enterprise software can learn from the principles of “social” design of popular consumer tools like FaceBook and Twitter – the impact on user adoption, on information access, on time saving, on productivity, and indeed, on the fundamental structure of organizations.

There are also scores of solutions in the market which specialize in “social collaboration” – Yammer, Chatter, Podio, SocialText and so on.

However, the last 2 years can be best described as the early beginnings of the social business movement.  Experts were just starting to flirt with the idea and its implications, and only a handful of bold companies were implementing and experimenting with this new approach. Over the last 2 years, the movement has matured, gained strength, and is now at a cusp. Although not yet close to mainstream adoption, the approach has been tried, vetted, and oozes promise.

The shortcomings of social collaboration solutions today

However, “social collaboration” software today suffers from various shortcomings. Although they claim to be more than “Facebook for business”, most current social collaboration tools offer little more than thin networking and social messaging (or wall messaging) capabilities. This approach may be great for fostering cross organizational connections and communication, but is apparently not suited for structured business needs (project management, document management, scheduling). Other social collaboration tools see themselves as “glue”, where third party applications can be plugged on top of their social layer. However, the integration in this case is limited at best (because of the divergent agendas of the social collaboration vendor and third party), and importantly, the plugged-on applications have no inter-integration. In a true collaboration solution, every piece interacts with other pieces.

The problem of current social collaboration solutions, in our view, is a lack of collaboration depth.

On the other hand, traditional collaboration software providers like Google Apps (Google Plus is NOT a social collaboration app!) and Office 365, by virtue of their size, and their user bases and positions to defend, are understandably slow and cautious in making bold changes. For this reason they have not entered the social collaboration market in a bold way (Office 365 has some basic networking features).

Guess what’s coming soon?

At HyperOffice, we have the nimbleness of a startup, and more than 10 years of experience of developing collaboration software for SMBs. We have the goods to create a social collaboration software with substance.

And we are going to.

We are within weeks of launching new social capabilities to our HyperOffice Collaboration Suite.

While we are not revealing much at this point, the best way to describe the new features is that structured collaboration needs of businesses have been combined with the open, democratic design of social media tools. The following graphic is a good conceptual depiction:

If you want to be informed when we launch, please visit the following page, and reserve your spot on our invitation list. Don’t miss out!

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Free Webinar | The State of Business Collaboration 2012. What’s your strategy?

A lot has been said and written about the business impact of collaboration software. And businesses seem to be on board, as indicated by the fact that communication and collaboration software has been one of the fastest growing segments of the cloud. However, collaboration software remains an ambiguous term and is used for a wide umbrella of software products. This is undoubtedly confusing for businesses owners looking to find how they can put the promise of collaboration software to use for their companies.

Research organization SMB Group went beyond the talk, and recently undertook a comprehensive study titled the 2011 SMB Communication and Collaboration Study involving 800 business decision makers to find actual communication and collaboration software adoption, attitudes, usage behaviors and actual business benefits.

HyperOffice is getting together with the SMB Group to deliver a joint webinar to discuss the findings of the study, the state of the collaboration market in general, and establish the critical link with real business benefits.

The webinar will have invaluable takeaways for business owners looking to adopt collaboration software in 2012, or wanting to extract more out of their existing solutions. Analysts, journalists and experts, who want a comprehensive picture of the collaboration market based on hard data will also find it useful.

The Webinar will take place on Dec 15, at 4 PM EST and is open to all for free. Please register at this link.

HyperOffice is movin’ on up!

We are pleased to announce that HyperOffice is moving from 6101, Executive Boulevard, Rockville, Maryland to a bigger, better space at 30 West Gude Drive, Rockville.

A bit of remembrance

It is not without nostalgia and a slightly heavy heart that we bid adieu to our office at Executive Boulevard. To imagine as empty the place which saw constant buzz and chatter – of sales delivering their pitches, the management clinching their deals, support dealing with customers – some irate and some amicable, repartee going back and forth over the cabins, and a few jolts (remember the recent earthquake).

This office was home to HyperOffice for more than four years, through a crucial period of our development. We matured as individuals and professionals, as a company, and our industry matured from a nascent only-heard-at-tech-conferences market to the next current big thing in business IT – the cloud. It was also a period of great growth and wide recognition for us as one of the most well established vendors in the space – a “market pillar” as a recent Info Tech Research study called HyperOffice.

An exciting future awaits!

But the truth is, the old office was simply starting to burst at its seams. It was no longer large enough to contain our fast expanding team, and our ambitions. We all love our larger, snazzier new office, with a little bit of sci fi décor thrown in. It is here we hope to write the most exciting chapter in our history yet. As a sign of things to come, we have already landed some important customer wins in the first couple of days here, and one can feel the energy of this “new beginning” reverberate through the new office.

Accordingly, our primary contact number has changed from 301 255 0018 to 240 428 1700. The old number will continue to be operational for a few months before we rest it. Everyone’s extensions remain the same. Our toll free number 1.800.434.5136 also remains the same.

Our new address is 30 West Gude Dr, Suite 150, Rockville, MD 20850. That is the place to direct your correspondence, fan mail, or personal visits in the future :) . 

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HyperOffice Recognized as Collaboration Market “Market Pillar” in Info Tech Research Study

Info Tech Research Group just put out a market study titled “Vendor Landscape Plus: Collaboration Platforms”. Info-Tech Research Group’s well known Vendor Landscape reports help enterprise IT decision-makers identify a short list of vendors for their IT programs depending on their needs.  Vendors listed in the study make the cut only after fulfilling rigorous criteria.

We are pleased to report that HyperOffice is one of the solutions Info Tech covered this year, and has been recognized as a “market pillar” in the collaboration market. This is testimony to HyperOffice’s more than 10 years of experience and prominence in the collaboration market.

The is one of the most comprehensive studies on the collaboration software market in recent times. Apart from profiling prominent vendors in the market, it includes larger insights on emerging themes and trends in the collaboration market, maps user needs to type of solution, and includes primary end user research as well. One of the things that stood out for us is the growing importance of “social collaboration”.

It is a paid report, but we recommend it highly to analysts, writers and others who are interested in larger trends in the collaboration market, as well as to end users who want to assess collaboration vendors and chart out an implementation strategy.

Please do visit the Info Tech site and check out the study.

Eminent industry analyst compares HyperOffice with Office 365, Google Apps and others

You hear us gush about HyperOffice’s socks-rocking capabilities all the time don’t you? But we are supposed to do that right?

How about hearing about HyperOffice from an eminent industry analyst who has been observing, writing about, and commenting on the information technology industry for more than 30 years? You can bet on one thing – they know their stuff.

We are super glad to tell our readers that Amy Wohl, widely known analyst and commentator on the cloud and collaboration markets just published a whitepaper comparing HyperOffice and other prominent solutions in the collaboration market.

Apart from a main feature comparison chart, Amy identifies other important parameters and themes in the collaboration market, and how different solutions compare of them. Amy has identified four major areas that companies looking for collaboration software must consider.

Features: What is the feature range and depth. Does the suite have the features you want?

Mobile Collaboration: Companies are increasingly looking to enable their mobile workforce with access to important business information on their iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and other mobile devices. Does the solution support the features and devices you are looking at?

Social Collaboration: The “Enterprise 2.0” debate has been around for 2 years now, and the benefits of “social” tools in companies have been widely accepted. Does the collaboration suite you are looking at have social tools like profiles, wikis, and activity streams?

Integration: Since many collaboration solutions in the market have been built through acquisitions, it is important how well different features of collaboration software play together, as well as integration with commonly used software. How well integrated is the product? Does it work together with other software you use in your company – MS Word, Outlook etc?

To see how HyperOffice compares on these factors, please read Amy’s white paper – HyperOffice and the Online Collaboration Marketplace.

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Active Directory and the Cloud

Active Directory is a directory service widely used in organizations to implement policy controls and manage access to company IT resources.  It simplifies things for administrators as well as users by centralizing creation of usernames and passwords. Administrators are saved the effort of setting up usernames and passwords for every person for every computer, software and piece of information; and keeping these policy controls updated. On the other hand users can use the same login credentials to access all the network resources relevant to them.

However, things have changed in the era of cloud software. Employees need access not just to systems and information within the company network, but also to numerous cloud solutions which are hosted on the servers of the solution vendor.

However, the need for integration with Active Directory is as pertinent today as it ever was. Now that many business critical on-premise software are now moving to the cloud – email, accounting, collaboration, CRM etc – managing usernames, passwords and policies for each of these systems separately is highly inefficient. And the more cloud systems a company implements, the greater the number of users, the harder it is for administrators.

Since cloud based software have found wide acceptance in businesses only in the last couple of years, it is only now that vendors are considering advanced technical requirements such as integration between Active Directory and their cloud software.

At HyperOffice, we are fully appreciative this requirement, especially given the strategic nature of our collaboration software. We conduct on-demand Active Directory integrations based on the specific needs of our users. We have developed special tools, which let us do anything from simple Active Directory integrations, to highly customized integrations which meet enhanced security requirements, or let administrators trigger specific actions within HyperOffice right from Active Directory.

We just put out a white paper discussing in detail the relevance of Active Directory to the cloud, and presenting HyperOffice as a case study of the various degrees of integration between Active Directory and cloud software.

You can read it at “Active Directory and the Cloud”.

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HyperSync is now HyperMobile!

Given the growing importance of mobility in HyperOffice capabilities, we thought it was time to give our mobile sync services a slight image makeover. So what you have hitherto affectionately referred to as HyperSync, gets the crisp, all-new, and descriptive title of HyperMobile. The same beloved product, but in new garb. There are a couple of reasons for the change:

HyperSync had the potential of being confused with the other “sync” services HyperOffice provides, namely, Outlook synchronization and the ability to sync with Mac mail and contacts. We felt that “HyperMobile” was a lot more descriptive, in that it makes clear the mobile specific capabilities of HyperOffice.

This is a great opportunity to re-emphasize our commitment to support an ever greater range of “mobile” features, and help popularize the concept of “mobile collaboration”. Mobile collaboration does not refer merely to the ability to collaborate on mobile phones, but reflects the emergence of new age devices – mobile phones, tablets, netbooks – and workers’ desire to access and collaborate on business information independent of device. Workers want to instantly collaborate and access information across all these devices depending on where they are – at office, at home, at a client site or on the road – without being tied to a single one. That is the spirit of “mobile collaboration”.

HyperMobile already offers powerful mobility features  including the ability to push and sync mail, contacts, calendars and tasks on their devices; share this information with colleagues; push information from third party sources like Gmail, Yahoo mail, and Hotmail ; and support for most major mobile devices. We plan to keep building on these capabilities and exciting new mobility features form a prominent part of our product roadmap. Keep following us to keep updated!