At Coviu we strive to make video calls as productive as possible. The thing is: when people get together to work on something, it’s not just about seeing and hearing each other — it’s about having the ability to sketch ideas, it’s about sharing a draft design, a photo, a map, a plan and even some code. It’s about letting people point things out to each other and making changes collaboratively. Only until ideas are shared and noted down does collaboration become concrete and meaningful.
We have worked with customers of diverse backgrounds: speech pathologists that need to work with their clients using so-called “stimuli” (documents, videos, games or other resources) for treatment; government service agents that need to see user identification documents, check and digitise filled in forms with citizens; designers that want feedback on their latest design documents; dieticians that need to share a plan and other materials with their clients; software developers that want to debug some code together; fitness experts that need to see the heart rate of their patients live as they are doing exercises; etc.
As you can see, the things that are being collaborated on are quite varied and may include multiple input cameras, digital documents, Web pages, forms, applications, device data, controls. So a platform that enables productive remote collaboration to take place needs to be flexible with the type of data it shares and interacts on.
We built Coviu as a flexible collaboration platform with certain goals in mind. It would need to provide an excellent user experience, it would need to be simple to work with, provide for the standard use cases out of the box, yet be architected to be extensible for specialised data sharing needs. It would need to be usable directly on Coviu.com, but also able to integrate with specialised applications that some of our customers were already using, such as the applications that they spent most of their time in (CRMs, practice management systems, learning management systems, team chat systems). It would need to allow our customers and their colleagues to work as a team. Our customers’ clients should be able to join a call immediately, without signing up.
Coviu has such an intimate, immediate and ‘real’ feel.
Jenny Rayner, Principal Royal Far West School
Our customers love us for the deeper experience that Coviu provides.
The quality, clarity and consistency of Coviu as well as the ability to share documents enhances and ‘humanises’ the customer experience.
Andrew Mahoney, Ruralfit
Collaboration is a big problem. People are continuing to get more comfortable with technology and are less and less inclined to travel distances just to get a service done. We’re from Australia, where 12% of the population lives in rural and remote areas, and people are not even able to travel distances to receive or provide recurring or specialised services, or to achieve work/life balance. Remote working is an ever-increasing market and something that will be taken for granted very soon. To make the world a global village, we need to be able to work together better remotely.
The need for collaboration is being recognised by specialised Web applications already, such as the LiveShare feature of Invision for designers. Few applications go all the way to video — WebRTC is still a complicated feature to support. As payment gateways became a thing when eCommerce started to evolve, collaboration extensions are starting to become a thing for the sharing economy.
With Coviu, we’d like to offer collaboration features to every Web app. We have started our journey with a free signup to the Coviu base product, which allows individuals to own their own “room” (i.e. a fixed URL) in which to collaborate with others.
You can share and annotate together on:
- images (show your mum photos of your last holidays, or get feedback on an architecture diagram from a customer),
- pdf files (give a presentation remotely, or walk a customer through a contract),
- whiteboards (brainstorm with a colleague), and
- share an application window (watch a YouTube video together, or work through a task list with your colleagues).
All of these are regarded as “shared data” in Coviu and thus have zooming and annotations features and are listed in a document tray for ease of navigation.
This is just the beginning of how we want to make working together online more productive and effective. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
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This article was first published at: https://medium.com/@coviu