At CES 2009 COO Scott Durchslag spoke about “liquid communications” and “Skype Wherever, Whenever”. InnerPass has developed a business-class hosted document management system; they have been marketing it via private label to over 3000 businesses or project teams on several continents.Over the past year the InnerPass team has developed a Skype Extra application that introduces real time communications, and serves as an interface, into this system. From their website:
InnerPass helps companies control their business critical files from anywhere and anytime. Our applications are delivered thru various Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings that are entirely web-based. InnerPass primarily offers its applications to end users through a network of partners who can private label and embed the software service into their own solutions or provide as a stand alone service.
InnerPass starts out its communications enhanced service, called InnerPass Share and Collaborate, by building persistent document “meeting rooms” that store mission critical documents such as FDA filings, engineering and architectural drawings, legal agreements, real estate papers and other business documents which require:
- access across a geographically dispersed team of project stakeholders
- persistent storage for asynchronous 24/7/365 access
- version management
amongst other features. InnerPass has taken their document management service experience and gone a step further to support file sharing, collaboration and real time communications. They embed, within their own Skype Extra client, the ability to launch and hold real time voice and/or chat conversations, whether informal ad hoc sessions or scheduled conference calls, to discuss the underlying projects, sales meetings or other business team activity.
Using InnerPass Share and Collaborate, a user can set up a “meeting room”, store documents, launch conversations and share a designated screen for presentations or demonstrations. The room’s host can designate and invite team members from amongst his/her Skype contact list, grant permission to their team members to contribute or modify room content. From anywhere in the client, any team member has the ability to schedule and launch conference calls or group chats using the integrated Skype services.
InnerPass offers three levels of their collaboration service. A free service supports up to 3 meeting rooms with a maximum of 3 participants and 1GB of file storage (max 25MB per file). Offering perpetual file storage, the Professional Plan at $4.95/month supports 10 meeting rooms and up to 10 participants in each. The Business plan, at $12.95/month, allows up to 40 rooms and 40 people per room. Their last plan, launching in March, is designed for the SMB (Small to Medium Size Business) will offer additional features including access to their hosted full document management service. Update (May 2009): Inner Pass also offers a “Custom” service with the potential to host a webinar with hundreds of attendees, record calls and other features.
Over the past few weeks I have experienced a few sessions using InnerPass; the InnerPass team has been very responsive to suggestions made for improvements, especially with respect to some speed issues that are now resolved. It now works reliably with both Skype 3.8 (still Skype’s latest release for general use) and Skype 4.0 Beta 3.
Since obtaining Skype Certification and its subsequent launch last fall, InnerPass has registered over 270,000 users (as shown in the graphic) growing virally amongst Skype users with little publicity. You can download via Tools | Do More | Get Skype Extras using Skype 3.8 or Tools | Extras | Get Skype Extras under Skype 4.0 for Windows beta 3. Normally it should show up as “InnerPass Share and Collaborate” under the “Sharing” category but until a bug is resolved by the Skype Extras team, you may find it as “Share, Collaborate, Communicate”.
InnerPass CEO Steve Parsloe has written a more detailed post for Skype’s Autumn 2008 Developer Newsletter. And in early December Steve along with his colleague Bill Trail, Vice-President, Business Development discussed InnerPass as a guest on SquawkBox.
As mentioned at the beginning, InnerPass’s Share and Collaborate service is a representative example of making Skype available anywhere there is an opportunity to benefit from real time conversations. Skype has enabled InnerPass to offer real time conversations to virtual meeting rooms incorporating file and desktop (or screen) sharing. And it brings large enterprise services down to a cost level such that any individual, mobile professional or small business can afford to benefit from a collaborative document management service.
Tags: InnerPass, Skype Extras, collaboration, file sharing, Skype, Steve Parsloe
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