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HyperOffice beefs up its online project management application, aimed at cost-conscious businesses

By Nathan Eddy | Nov 1 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HyperOffice has added new project management features to its cloud-based collaboration software suite—offering collaboration tools, and online document management and Web-based e-mail features.

HyperOffice integrates a range of online tools for teams to collaborate and work together—business email; document collaboration; intranets and extranets; shared calendars and contacts; Web conferencing; databases and Web forms; forums, polls and wikis; user rights; backup; and more.

“We use shared tasks to assign work and keep track of activities of employees and independent contractors. Task dependencies are a huge enhancement because my ‘to-do’ lists are now an automated and interactive project management tool for the entire team. I can set up projects and tasks of any duration, and anyone in my group can be informed when their task is due or when another task is complete and theirs can begin,” said David Marlatt, AIA, of DNM Architect. “I love the interactive Gantt charts because they really speed up setting up and managing my projects. Now, I can just drag and drop to get activities in the right order and drag the task bar to adjust the schedule.”

The offering, aimed at the small to medium-size business (SMB) market, is available with the new update, which the company said provides an alternative to Google Apps. HyperOffice’s project management module started out as a shared tasks list designed to synchronize with Outlook tasks but has evolved in every subsequent update—milestones, notifications, drag and drop, mobile task management, Gantt charts and other features. The latest update adds task dependencies and interactive Gantt charts to an existing list of online project management and collaboration features that SMBs can start using.

“Although there are many distributed project management tools, many like Google Apps are siloed, whereas HyperOffice’s project offering is well-integrated with the collaborative functions. There are many choices in the market, many from larger vendors who have just downsized their enterprise applications, whereas HyperOffice was built from the start as a SAAS tool for SMBs,” said David Coleman, managing director of Collaborative Strategies, a consulting and analyst firm following collaboration. “Small businesses generally don’t have much time or inclination to find the best-of-breed tools and then deal with integration—more than just a common sign-on. HyperOffice offers them another choice.”

Also included is a Calenders feature, which offers calendar overlays; color coding of events, notifications and reminders; contract management; and mobile collaboration feature HyperSynch. The company also offers a free 30-day trial for businesses. A task dependencies feature now allows users to create project management workflows based on standard task relationships

“Marketplaces are mushrooming everywhere. SMBs do not have the expertise or resources to go through the entire software buying cycle, or invest in solution integration, every time they need to add a new component to their collaboration toolkit,” said Shahab Kaviani, executive vice president of marketing and product marketing for HyperOffice. “Rather than contending with multiple vendors, diverse user interfaces and loose integration, SMBs can focus on their business and drive up productivity by selecting HyperOffice’s tightly integrated suite of collaboration applications. One vendor, one interface for all your collaboration needs and sole accountability for your satisfaction.”