The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of Cloud technologies for most digital work. Armed with a browser and an internet connection anyone can access their apps and data no matter where they are located. While this has empowered many to be more productive and strive for a good work-life balance, it has also complicated life in other ways.
Microsoft Windows democratized the adoption of personal computers around the world. Prior to Windows, computers were hard to use. The Windows Graphical User Interface made it possible to use the computer without any training. Most people installed programs that were sold on Disks or CDs and ran them on their PCs as the computers were then called. All the data was created and stored on their computer’s disk drive as files. These files could be located, opened, deleted, or moved to another place on the PC disk with a utility called Windows Explorer.
Files could be shared with other computers by copying them on a portable disk and sharing the disk. This was a cumbersome and slow process.
Along the way a new technology was introduced called Local Area Network, also known as LAN. In LANs machines were connected to each other in a network. All the computers were located in the same geographical location. With networked systems, file sharing became very easy as files could be copied from one machine to another without using any external disk. It also became common to use one machine with a large and fast disk as a server. All the data was stored on the server and other machines simply accessed its disk as needed. This made data backups very easy.
While LANs were great to share information with locally connected machines, with globalization it became increasingly important to share information with anyone, anywhere quickly. This led to the creation of Internet based Cloud drives. These drives are accessible with a browser and an internet connection from anywhere in the word. Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google’s G Drive, and Dropbox are all examples of cloud drives.
While information is shared using files a lot of communication also happens on chat, emails, voice and video calls. While email and voice calls were predominantly used initially, lately chat and video calls are more common. A study reveals that by 2022, internet video traffic will increase by 4X from 2017.
This growth in digital communications has increased the velocity and bandwidth of team collaboration. Teams can now be located anywhere and work with each other using technology, as if they are sitting next to each other. The amount of remote workers telecommuting has increased by 115% in the last ten years and continues to rise.
Chat especially is very convenient as it is fast, and information can flow between many team members effortlessly. Slack pioneered workplace chat followed by Microsoft with its Teams product. But these messaging apps fall woefully short in addressing the needs of users who are not technically savvy.
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What started as an aspirational goal to “work from any place, any time”, has devolved into “work all the time”. People are getting stressed out from being always on. Chats on Slack and Teams keep rolling no matter what time of the day it is. Team members are fatigued just trying to keep up with all the messages, whether they are directed towards them or not. According to Time Is Ltd, on average, employees at large companies are each sending more than 200 Slack message per week and some ‘power users’ send more than 1,000 messages per day.
Added to this, messages also come via emails, calls, shared documents, and other communication mediums. Constantly shifting from one app to another is time consuming and takes a big hit on productivity. According to Microsoft study, information workers switch windows on average 373 times per day or around every 40 seconds while completing their tasks.
Besides, many related conversations roll from emails to chats to shared documents and to dos. Keeping them all connected in memory is very taxing and prone to mistakes.
Consider this. What if besides files, one could also access and organize all other forms of communications on the cloud and automatically keep all related communications connected as if it is one long conversation. Then there would be no need to shift between many apps, there would be no need to stress trying to remember all the connected conversations in memory. It would eliminate searching across many apps looking for information and make it very easy to see the big picture without any effort.
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Messaging 1.0 apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and similar clones based on chats & ‘channels’ were embraced by the digitally savvy, searching for tools for the rapidly evolving pace and mode of communication. But these apps never addressed the problems of small businesses where most users are comfortable working with emails in browsers and saving files in desktop folders. Clariti is designed to ease the transition of the everyday worker from a largely email-only world to one where email, chat, and calls co-exist. All without affecting their productivity.
Right from its introduction Clariti supported multiple communication apps including email, chat, calls, documents and to dos, and automatically connected related communications in threads. Now, Clariti introduces folders on the web that look and feel like folders on the desktop but do so much more.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of folders on the computer desktop used to store and organize files and documents. Anyone using folders already on their desktop, whether Windows, MacOS or Unix, understand the single purpose for which they were designed – to hold files. But what if the folders did much more than just hold files?
Clariti has done just that. We reimagined folders to not just be a container of files but a repository for work that you do. We imagined folders to not contain just files & documents but also emails, chats, calendar events & to-dos, voice calls and much more.
Clariti design naturally elevates the repository (folders) by making them ‘intelligent’ – by automatically capturing and storing relationships between all your work that happens inside the folder.
The reason you keep all files or documents for a task or project (or whatever it is that you are working on) in a single folder, which is named appropriately, is to instantly understand how they are all related.
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Imagine extending this relationship to beyond files and documents to emails, chats, calls, to-dos… ALL in the same folder. This new folder looks and acts like the plain old file folder on your desktop. And just like a regular folder, imagine giving this folder a name you can recognize like a task name, a project title, or a topic name.
We call this the TopicFolder. The emails, files, calendar items, chats inside the TopicFolder are LIVE! Yes, you can reply to emails; share documents; chat with others on the topic. Even as you work, your work just organizes itself. You are never too far from the big picture of the topic at all times. No more searching, no manual hassles. Clariti is ideal for small and medium businesses to boost team collaboration and drive productivity.