Tuesday, May 24, 2005

InstaColl - A Cool Way to Share

This is my first review of a product which was launched very recently in a great function. Also this article is my first one in the IT area. In this article I have explained about an Instant Collaboration tool called as InstaColl. InstaColl come from the house of Sabeer Bhatia who is very well known for his very successful venture Hotmail and also a very unsuccessful venture Aarzoo.com which he started when the ventures based on the internet where on a high in the 2000s. It is his third venture and the good thing about it is that it is a product and not a service. In the Indian IT industry, the revenues come from two sources - One is the product and the other is the service. Usually we have very few product based companies in India. The pioneers in this area are I-flex and Polaris. Iflex with its FLEXCUBE (The world's best core banking solution) and Polaris (with Intellect) are one of the foremost companies in this product based business. Even Finacle from Infosys and a few more products from TCS are also in the fray but then Infosys is more of a service based company then a product based company.
The InstaColl is a solution which is totally developed in India in the Bangalore center of the company. As the company says its going to offer a new paradigm in the real time collaboration. Well I had downloaded a copy of InstaColl and installed it on my computer. The installation size is 2.75 MB which is good for the Dial Up users also. The installation finishes within a couple of seconds and takes up a space of 10.9 MB. It launches in the similar fashion as MSN or Yahoo Messenger will launch. Once you are connected to the internet it starts to set up a session and uses Microsoft Outlook as a communication client for sending invitations to the people who are using Instacoll. It provides a session URL and also a session passkey to ensure that unknown entrants are kept away. One who initiates the session will become the session moderator and rest will be invitees only. The main menu of the program consists of the four topics : share presentations, Share Spreadsheets, Share Documents and Share Screens. In the initial edition I believe its restricted only to the Microsoft Office Suite but soon will be extended to other office tools also.
The document exists locally on the moderator's desktop but the changes can be made by any user who has joined the conference. I must say the tool is really great and it will help really the users who want to edit a document simultaneously from various locations. It uses a hybrid p2p architecture and allows very large numbers of users also to join the conference.
I have used the tool only once and I liked it immensely. It can actually solve the problems of numerous users who are not able to meet each other face to face.
Kuddos Sabeer Bhatia !!!!!!!

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