I’ve written previously about CentralDesktop the cloud based collaboration application, has just rolled out a new version, specifically targeted at marketing agencies. The collaboration for marketing agencies approach isn’t novel, late last year PBWorks introduced a similar offering. In this case, CentralDesktop’s “Common Ground” edition allows agencies to perform the following;

  • Client Connect – Create a virtual team room that serves as a centralized online location for communication between the account team and clients.
  • Digitized Review + Approve – Provide in-line edits directly on proofs of nearly any format including JPEG, PSD, PDF, MPG, AVI, MOV and SWF. With Common Ground’s built-in approval workflow, proofs are easily routed to different stakeholders for review and approval.
  • Feedback Loop – Keep clients on track with deadlines and expedite the client feedback process by setting up a shared workspace for discussing the latest proofs.
  • Work Order Manager – Automate the work order process with Common’s Ground’s powerful workflow functionality. Create workflow rules that automatically assign tasks and send alerts.
  • Innovation Room – Establish an “offline” brainstorming workspace to spur innovation. Maintain a knowledgebase of new ideas, research and creatives.
  • Pursuit Suite – Collaborate with key internal members on proposals, RFP responses, presentations and other files. Simultaneously edit documents, hold threaded discussions and consolidate feedback before presenting to prospective clients.
  • Media Share – Use Common Ground to share files with vendors, partners and media outlets instead of using email and FTP.

Many of the collaboration vendors have rightly identified marketing agencies as good prospective customers – they’re heavy users of hybrid teams created on a project specific basis from both within and outside the organization. They tend to use lots of media files and require workflow built around those files and finally they tend to be fairly early adopters and happy to make a move outside of their own firewall and into the cloud.

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Pricing on this offering starts at $899 per month for small teams which seems pretty steep when one considers that PBWorks Agency Edition is priced at $30/user/month. Time will tell how these competitive maneuvers shake down once in-market.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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