From Business App to Collaboration Platform

The need for collaboration tools grows every year as we become more and more aware of the importance of effective communication at work. We are very specialized therefore we have to exchange our expertise among team members to complete everyday tasks. At the same time the distracting noise of irrelevant information increases. The new software solutions try to address those issues by decluttering our e-mail inboxes, inventing intelligent ways of prioritization, linking and grouping messages, tasks, data. A lot of programming effort is also put into “collaborating on documents” and team-oriented document creation. Some tools are meant to improve a process workflow. Qalcwise is no different – it shares similar goals and functions with many collaboration platforms. What we find unique about it, however, is the core technology of this collaboration – a sort of language users communicate.

Business is all about numbers

Think business, think numbers. Revenues, costs, profit, KPI? How should I effectively communicate and collaborate on numbers? What would the medium be? Co-working or should we say co-commenting on a report or spreadsheet? Would it be enough? How do I convey my numbers in my messaging system? A link? An attachment? Do we truly share numbers? Well, there is a ton of questions but one thing is certain, almost like death and taxes, it’s… spreadsheets are the universal language of business.

Let’s face it, no matter how advanced systems your organization has implemented, spreadsheets are still there. And they will be. Whatever department or business you’re in, you always speak the language of spreadsheets, with your peers, bosses, investors, and even customers. Spreadsheets are there because they are relatively easy to learn and extremely flexible. They became so natural and common that despite their obvious flaws there is no point in fighting them.

Can’t beat them? Join them

It’s easy to create a business case or a simple forecast or a business plan in spreadsheets only. Some organizations do use them for much more complex business processes though – NPV evaluations or sales quotes that require more advanced calculations. At Qalcwise we took that as our starting point.

What if our business collaboration platform was built around a notion of calculation spreadsheets? Not the traditional ones. Let’s redefine them completely. Let’s add all the missing ingredients that make old spreadsheets not so business-wise. Let’s start making them into business applications.

Spreadsheet and everything else

We made these assumptions to deliver an ultimate business collaboration platform:

    • First, it’s a cloud. No more files, no disks, no installation.
    • Second, it’s still a calculation spreadsheet. Good, ol’, familiar spreadsheet. Click and create a formula.
    • Then goes the workflow. Let the spreadsheet know who is editing it at the moment. Why not a “=CurrentUser()” formula? Workflow is all visual, drag-and-drop, and of course formula-based. It also will post a message or send an e-mail based on the formula.
    • Mobile. The spreadsheets are designed with mobile screens in mind. We construct them from the smaller sections that will self-arrange to mobile viewing and editing.
    • Security. You decide who can see or edit parts of your spreadsheet. Based on simple formulas and workflow steps. Using a simple “if” you can hide portions of your “spreadsheet application”. You can define and use groups.
    • Database. A database is an embedded thing in Qalcwise. Drag-and-drop corporate data onto your “spreadsheet application”. Edit and update data bi-directionally.
    • Performance. You can have 1000 users working at the same time with your spreadsheet app with no performance loss. How cool is that? 100 000 users?
    • Analysis. Build advanced analytical dashboards by the spreadsheet formulas. Dashboards that not only display but also update data. A true self-service business analytics.
    • Enterprise features like audit, logging, retention, security policies, and of course integration APIs.
  • Collaboration and communication portal. Once you design a “spreadsheet based app” it becomes a means of communication. You want to talk about a business case, click Qalcwise app button and choose “Business Case”. You want to talk about a new product, click “New Product App”. Define comments, tasks, deadlines.

Work smart, work less

There are hundreds of possible applications for Qalcwise. Everywhere. Just take a look around, think which process is still running on spreadsheets. Get rid of spreadsheet hell, paradoxically, by replacing them with spreadsheet apps. Building Qalcwise apps take literally hours or single days. One of the Qalcwise happy customers was planning to develop a system to manage their “New Product Launch Management” process. They had this wandering spreadsheet which had to crawl a path around almost all the departments before new product decisions were made. Developing such a system would probably take some weeks if not months. They stumbled upon Qalcwise people and… had it running in 2 days. At a fraction of cost.

Due to its unique approach of using spreadsheets and spreadsheet formulas Qalcwise makes business application development available for the business people. Power to the people one would say, and frankly speaking that’s what Qalcwise is all about.

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