Teambox Touts Dropbox, Box, Google Integration - InformationWeek

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8/6/2012
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Teambox Touts Dropbox, Box, Google Integration

Task-oriented social business collaboration suite wraps itself around cloud file-sharing apps, adds note and chat capabilities.

Questions About Microsoft's Acquisition of Yammer
Questions About Microsoft's Acquisition of Yammer
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Teambox says it can be the one box to bring all your cloud file boxes together.

Teambox offers a social business collaboration tool often used for lightweight task and project management. On Tuesday, Teambox will announce the availability of version 4 of its cloud service, adding a note tracking and sharing capability, as well as group chat.

To date, Teambox has built its user base largely among small to midsize businesses who find it through the Google Apps Marketplace. However, it has won business from some larger organizations such as BP and Southwest Airlines, where it's used by the operations team, as well as prominent startups such as Groupon and Square. CEO Dan Schoenbaum said Teambox often is a replacement for Yammer and sometimes for SharePoint.

[ Are you managing from the right altitude? Read Social Project Management Gets Big Picture View. ]

"We're now seeing some much larger accounts," Schoenbaum said. He joined the company in September from the security software firm Tripwire and established a U.S. headquarters for the company in Palo Alto. The core technical team remains in Barcelona, Spain, under founder Pablo Villalba.

One of the main attractions of Teambox is its integration with Dropbox, Box, and Google Docs, with more integration with the newer Google Drive in the works, said Schoenbaum. "We're adding collaboration to the environments we're seeing widely used by our customers." Although Box has broadened its document collaboration tool with social comments on files, Teambox is more complementary than competitive with the features built into these cloud file sharing tools, he said.

At Southwest Airlines, where different business units use both Box and Dropbox, "people on Box can't collaborate with people on Dropbox very well" but Teambox helps bring them together, he said. "Because of consumerization, a lot of business departments are choosing their own file storage, not mandated by IT," Schoenbaum said.

The new Teambox Notes feature adds a Web-based editor for creating and sharing notes, and Teambox Chat adds easy synchronous communication, Schoenbaum said. "What's unique about Teambox is the combination of these apps together" in an a la carte model where customers can turn on the ones they need, he said. Because this is project-centric collaboration, Teambox also makes it easy to create a note and turn it into task, he said.

Teambox offers free accounts that can be used to manage up to three projects. Paid account pricing starts at $5 per user per month, with discounts available for annual subscriptions and large teams.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Every company needs a social networking policy, but don't stifle creativity and productivity with too much formality. Also in the debut, all-digital Social Media For Grownups issue of The BrainYard: The proper tools help in setting social networking policy for your company and ensure that you'll be able to follow through. (Free with registration.)

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