Hornbill Blog

Hornbill Brings Business Collaboration to the Masses with Collaboration Platform and Business Applications Store


Enterprises of All Sizes Can Benefit From Simple Pricing, Full Customisation and Collaboration-Centric Design

Hornbill today launched a powerful collaboration platform that, with its own App Store, is designed to allow organisations to deploy comprehensive, powerful, easy to use business and productivity applications with the click of a single button. As well as the comprehensive collaboration and work assistance features offered by the platform today, applications including Service Manager, Document Manager and Contact Manager are already available for immediate deployment and use. The platform also provides exceptional mobile and multi-language capabilities to support modern, global businesses.


Unlike many social business applications which are in reality modified legacy business applications, Hornbill’s applications are built from the ground up with collaboration capabilities at their very heart. The user experience is therefore as familiar and as natural as using workers’ favourite consumer and mobile applications. The Hornbill platform and its applications are available as a cloud-based service: providing a simple switch-on implementation, fast time to value and a very attractive price point.

“The growth of ubiquitous, easy to use and powerful consumer social applications which are easily accessible anywhere, any time and to anyone, has coloured workers’ expectations of IT,” said Gerry Sweeney, founder and CEO of Hornbill. “Essentially, business users expect the same familiar ease of use and ability to communicate and share information at work as they get when using consumer social applications to share information with their friends and family; and why shouldn’t they? Successful software applications in the workplace need user adoption: user experience trumps almost everything else and the success of large web-scale consumer applications has already set the standard. There are too many second-rate business applications that have been created by bolting on an activity steam and jumping onto the ‘social business’ bandwagon. Yet if you are serious about building collaborative applications, then the only way to really deliver is to build a platform and applications purpose designed for the job: which is exactly what we have done.”

According to McKinsey, social tools that speed collaboration and make information easier to find have the potential to raise the productivity of high-skill workers by up to 25%.  Hornbill and its business applications are designed to make access to these tools as simple as possible. Organisations can subscribe to just the platform, allowing users access to the core collaboration capabilities, or pick and choose specific business applications from the App Store in a way that mirrors installing an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Additional key features include:

Mobile: Being a cloud solution, Hornbill’s native mobile app enables users to collaborate, communicate and use their business applications from any device, at any time and from anywhere.

Language and Culture: Hornbill’s platform and collaborative applications are multi-language; not only supporting the user interface in multiple languages, but also providing real-time content translations. Users can exchange ideas and information in multiple languages as easily as in their native tongue.

Workspaces, Messaging and Activity Streams: Organised and structured ways to collaborate on projects, specialist topics and conversations are easy and natural: making it easy to transfer knowledge and share information with rich multimedia content including images, video and documents.

Communication based on familiar social concepts: Most primary entities in Hornbill such as Customers, Organisations, Tickets and Documents are also first-class social objects meaning they can be followed, liked and commented on. Using these familiar concepts, users can search and access user profiles to identify co-workers with specific skills; as well as view timelines and syndicated news feeds to stay up to date and informed.

Fully Upgradable Customisations: Hornbill’s business applications are highly customisable, with all customisations retained during platform and application upgrades. Upgrades are entirely automatic; happening without any disruption to the application or service.

Always-up-to-date: Upgrades are delivered continuously, thanks to an agile development model called Continuous Delivery designed to ensure a non-stop flow of feature enhancements. As a result Hornbill is always up-to-date and always being further enhanced and improved.

To ensure organisations always have the precise applications their business needs, without having to worry about applications becoming surplus to requirements, Hornbill has created and innovative points-based billing scheme, giving organisations ultimate flexibility. From within the App Store businesses can simply add and remove applications within the bounds of their subscription. An easy-to-understand visual pricing calculator lets organisations determine the required subscription level based on their specific needs. Once subscribed, users can adjust and use any combination of application and platform features or user logins, with full control to change this at any time.

Data from Forrester Research, revealed in its Benchmarking Technology's Effect on Employee Engagement report (July 2013), shows a majority of the engaged workforce uses at least one consumer social tool (53%) and/or one communication and collaboration tool (83%). TJ Keitt, the report’s author, wrote: “We're beginning to see the benefits workers receive from these tools: 85% of social software users say they know how their work contributes to the company's mission. Furthermore, these tools help build community, as the bulk of those using communication and collaboration tools say their colleagues do the same."

 

Duncan Brown, Head of IT at UK and European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney firm JA Kemp, stated: “Our workers are used to tools that help them collaborate in their social lives; bringing these concepts into the business would help our employees work more effectively, using tools that are familiar to them. We can already envisage new ways of working for a number of our employees, and we’re excited to discover what else collaboration could do.”

The Hornbill Collaboration Platform is available immediately. For more information, visit http://hornbill.com/

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