Every Friday I’m going to attempt to summarize any relevant news in the future of work/collaboration space. I’ll provide the name of the vendor, a short summary of what the announcement or piece of news is with a link to the original, and finally a short POV. I can’t cover every single thing that comes out but I will do my best to provide as much relevant content as I can. If you have something you think I should include then please send it over and I will decide if it’s something I can add. Again, keep in mind this is weekly roundup so the news or announcements need to be from that week.
This week was relatively quiet most likely due to the long weekend coming up. Here is the roundup for this week:
Clarizen releases Version 6 (client)
Clarizen is an enterprise collaboration and project management vendor. A few days ago Clarizen released the newest version of their product which has a strong focus on social and collaborative capabilities. Key features include the ability to add hashtags to conversations and updates and the ability to tag people in relevant conversations. Clarizen also added drag and drop functionality for project management, a powerful new search engine, and the ability to more effectively collaborate on and share documents directly within the platform.
The new release is fantastic. As my business partner Connie mentioned, the big challenge with Clarizen in the past was that they were a great project management tool that lacked in social and collaborative capabilities. While many of the existing enterprise collaboration vendors out there have been offering these new social and collaborative capabilities for a while now, what they have been lacking (and still lack) is a powerful project management solution to help bridge the social, work, and collaboration layers together. Clarizen has now been able to bridge that gap because with this recent update they now not only offer a superior project management platform but they also have the capabilities of many of the leading enterprise collaboration vendors today.
Badgeville launches new behavior lab
Badgeville is a technology platform which adds game concepts and mechanics to work environments (such as Jive, Yammer, and others) to make it more fun and engaging for employees to participate (i.e. badges, leaderboards, status, etc). Today Badgeville is launching a center of excellence for behavior management solutions. The goal of this new lab is to focus on: research and innovation, solutions methodology, and solutions templates.
When I first heard about this I immediately thought of Pavlov’s dogs except instead of dogs we are using humans. It’s certainly valuable for organizations to understand employee behavior but a part of me things it’s a bit strange to use game mechanics and concepts to manipulate employees in doing things that we want them to do. I’m sure the new lab isn’t just going to be about that though (or at least I hope it won’t). I’d like to this this center of excellence extended to go beyond just looking at workplace behavior and game mechanics to looking at what employees actually value from a broader perspective. For example do employees care more about money or doing something they are passionate about? I’m curious to read about some of the research and findings that come out of this.
Smartsheet adds Dropbox and Zapier access
Smartsheet is an enterprise collaboration with an emphasis on document collaboration and information management. Today Smartsheet announced an integration with Dropbox so that customers can easily attach and share files from Dropbox inside of Smartsheet. They also announced a connection with Zapier which is a marketplace for connecting various apps together. The Zapier addition means that Smartsheet can now be connected to hundreds of other applications through a third party.
Smartsheet is a much smaller vendor but I like the approach they are taking, especially the Zapier addition. This widely opens up their ecosystem to hundreds of other vendors. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if Smartsheet was acquired by a larger vendor in the next year or so.