I have written about Convo before under its old name (see - Convofy Enables Comprehensive Collaboration Through Enterprise Social Networking) and am also a user at both Darwin Ecosystems and the Merced Group. Convo builds on the activity stream but adds additional features to enable more comprehensive collaboration. I recently spoke with Tad Staley about their latest moves. One of these is to simplify the brand name from Convofy to Convo and that I certainly applaud. It was simply a matter of securing the Convo domain.
Convo has also upgraded it user interface to both simplify it and add more capability. Now there are navigation bars on both sides and this allows them to segment each for specific functions. The left bar now only provides user specific information and links such as groups, filters. It changes as the user moves to different spaces. They added a right bar for system wide functions that stay persistent regardless of location. This makes sense and below is a sample screen shot of the new interface. There are also filters for search at the top and a home button to get back to your starting point.
They have added a native Web version to go along with the existing desktop Adobe version. Many other collaboration platforms began as a Web app and then created a desktop app with a subset of the functions. Convo actually did the reverse. It began as a desktop app however they found that not everyone wanted to go through the download process so they created a Web version which allows you to just sign up and go.
For Convo the desktop version is fully featured. In fact it has a few more capabilities than the Web version as it takes advantage of its desktop status to do some things not possible on a Web app. You can use drag and drop for file sharing. There is desktop notification in a small window when new updates are posted. Perhaps most significantly, the desktop app has its own built-in browser so you can bring a native Web page into Convo and comment on it and mark it up for collaborative discussion. With the Web version of Convo, like the other Web-based tools, you are sent to the actual Web page instead, when a link is attached to an update in the activity stream.
Convo is putting LDAP integration in place to make it easier for large enterprises. has also added smart phone capabilities, support Apple iOS and Andriod. The user interface is adapted to the smaller screen. You can see sample screens below.
These moves are all designed to make Convo more useful for large enterprises, as well as the small to mid-size market. I have found the previous version very useful for small organizations through my personal experience as a user. I can see how these new moves are properly designed to expand their attraction to a wider market.