This week Palo Alto, CA-based GrexIt announced the launch of its collaboration platform built specifically for Google Apps users. The company, which was part of the Citrix Accelerator, looks to help companies increase their productivity without changing how employees use email, or requiring them to adopt additional platforms for project management and file-sharing.
Co-founder Niraj Rout felt frustrated with the lack of collaboration tools that addressed the heavy usage of email as a default means to share information and assign tasks in his prior job. “I was part of a big team spread out in 3-4 countries, and we did everything on email. It was a lot of intense highly knowledge centric email conversations we would have, and three months down the line, we would have those conversations again. And every attempt to make the team take up a collaboration tool failed, because everyone kept defaulting back to email,” Rout said in an interview.
The two core features of GrexIt are shared Gmail labels and a shared email repository. The shared labels let teams sync emails across inboxes and file them under a single label, meant to let them assign and track task progress. For example, a sales lead could be labelled “Business Development” and “Assigned to John,” and it would appear in John’s inbox, and when he’s done he can update it with a “Done” label which would then update it across the board.
The second core feature, a cloud-based shared email repository, gives everyone a shared email storage space where they can access, view, and provide input on company-wide issues. The service is built to target multiple functions within an organization, like sales, hiring, and IT, and strives to make workflow management possible from employees’ inboxes. The company’s subscription plans range from $19-199 per month depending on the number of users, with enterprise plans available.
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that email is actually the most heavily used collaboration tool. Forrester research says more than 80 percent of knowledge workers are on email and don’t have access to online collaboration tools.” Rout said. “We think that email with certain enhancement and modifications can be a great collaboration tool for project management and task management.”
Tackling the email issue has been on the agenda for multiple companies, from email overload solutions like Sanebox and Contur, which recently launched its virtual assistant for email, are tackling, to other web-based tools focus exclusively on project management, and others more so on file storage and collaboration like Dispatch, which launched earlier last month. There are also companies like HelpScout that provide shared inbox and email collaboration features to tackle customer support. However, GrexIt isn’t necessarily targeting email overload like Sanebox, rather trying to provide a way to be more efficient with a tool that is still favored by most companies, regardless of whether it’s the most efficient to get work done.
GrexIt was in public beta with more than 1,000 companies on board prior to the launch of the payment plans, and the company hopes to be cashflow positive in the next six months. With over five million companies using Google Apps as a more cost-effective enterprise email solution, GrexIt will look to take advantage of tackling productivity right in the inbox, as opposed to via a standalone cloud-based solution.