Huddle offers Microsoft-Office friendly alternative to Google Apps

Huddle provides private secure collaboration with IT in control.

Huddle is a startup that could give Google Apps a run for the money. Huddle makes a Microsoft Office plug-in that adds secure collaboration features as a quick and easy extension to Microsoft Office. Named as one of BusinessWeek's Fifty Best Tech Startups, Huddle lets users post profiles, initiate discussions, share files, edit documents, set up meetings and web conferences, and share calendars.

Huddle uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to protect usernames, passwords and data. The app is hosted in a secure, dedicated server environment that uses full hardware firewalling with packet-inspection, virus guard and other methods to ward off hackers.  Huddle's fileservers use RAID technology to minimize the risk of file loss. In addition, all data is backed up on a daily rotation to off-site backup servers."hundreds of thousands" of users at companies such as P&G, Panasonic, Nokia, Toshiba, Kia, Unilever, Xerox, Shell, Samsung, and many more. It offers services ranging from a free, ad-supported version to an enterprise version at $200/month.

Huddle already claims

Huddle makes it easier for users to collaborate on projects online with the following features: Each user involved in a Huddle workspace has a profile page where they can share their contact information, upload a picture of themselves and a brief bio.Discussions: Users can initiate discussions or brainstorm ideas online, keeping all their conversations and comments in one central place.Whiteboards: Users can use Huddle's whiteboards to brainstorm with clients/partners at the initial stage of a project and as an internal notice board for announcements.File Sharing: Huddle allows users to share files with clients, colleagues, partners or teams inside or outside their organization.Document Creation & Management: A simple check-out and check-in process makes it easy to edit any type of file and upload new versions to share instantly with users. Documents and spreadsheets can also be created and edited directly online. Huddle tracks the full version history of every file, ensuring team members know what version they are now on with the ability to view previous versions at any time. Within each workspace, users can set permissions so their teams can only see documents they are allowed to or have view-only rights over specific folders. Users can also request approval for document sign-off by a client/partner, sending notifications and requesting comments - this is fully audited so they know exactly when a document has been approved or needs more work.Tasks: From the Tasks area, users can track progress of each project - ensuring deadlines and milestones are met on time and work is delivered efficiently.Meetings: Users can schedule meetings and invite other users. The dates are automatically entered into desktop calendar applications without needing to subscribe to the iCal feed. Users can share screens, make presentations remotely, demonstrate products or initiate video conferences.Search: To ensure users can always quickly find information, Huddle searches titles, descriptions as well as the text itself, so users can find documents and information quickly.Dashboard: From the unified dashboard page users can quickly see all the activity and progress across all of their projects.

User Profiles:

Permissions:

Web Conferencing:

Huddle is a member of Microsoft BizSpark.

Check out Huddle's features in this video.

Huddle Dashboard from Huddle.net on Vimeo.

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