The Email Killers Updated: 14 Cloud-Based Team Collaboration Tools
Redbooth started in 2008 as a developer of a project management app called Teambox. But enterprises, sizable financial service firms, and universities -- not just small teams -- began using its app. And more and more the word "box" became associated with companies and services providing online document storage. So the name had to change.
Another change was the tight focus on project management. In 2014 Redbooth revamped the app around a "virtual workspace" metaphor that centralizes collaboration, communications, and document storage, while at the same time retaining the advanced task management functionality that was Teambox's forte. At about the same time the company tightly integrated group and one-to-one messaging with presence indication into the task management functionality. Click to video launches a Zoom video conference, while click to call initiates a callback service that rings my phone and the phones of people I'm trying to call, then conferences us all together.
This summer Redbooth issued a 2.0 software revision that includes the voice and video comms functionality noted earlier, a redesigned UI that makes chat easier to access, and OneDrive and SharePoint integration (for enterprise customers, particularly those using Office 365).
Redbooth has about 70 employees -- 40 or so are in Spain and the rest in California (despite the U.K. connotation of the company name). Angel investors include executives from Cisco, Facebook, Rackspace, and Zoom. CEO Dan Schoenbaum says about 150 universities are using Redbooth, with the University of Indiana having thousands of users. In total, Redbooth has about 4,000 paying customers.
Unlike many other online team collaboration app providers, Redbooth does not have a freemium model. That is, it offered a free plan until last year, but discontinued that so that the company's support and development teams could focus more on paying customers.
Also unlike similar apps, each Redbooth plan comes with specific integrations. The $5 plan comes with Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive pre-integrated, while the $15 plan has Outlook, Zendesk, SharePoint, and others. This could raise its appeal among users looking for a collaboration app but disinterested in customizing it themselves.
Finally, Redbooth provides enterprises with a version of the app that they can deploy in their data centers and manage privately. While this is not unique among team collaboration app developers, it's something that is only a roadmap item at a number of them and as such is something that helps Redbooth stand out.
Here's a status report on 14 team collaboration apps.