DeskAway Software Review: Overview – Features – Pricing
DeskAway is a cloud-based project collaboration software that provides teams of any size a single online location for organizing, managing, and tracking their tasks and projects. This software-as-a-service (SaaS) is aptly named to describe the enabling power and assurance that work can continue even when people are away from their desks. It is a simple, powerful, and affordable subscription-based online service with task and time tracking, collaboration, and reporting functionality.
Features, Benefits, Product Strengths
- Project Collaboration and Task Management – Users can easily create and recreate tasks, and move them to another task list or project. Tasks can be delegated, tracked from a calendar view or set up to recur at a specified period. Projects are managed and tracked real-time through the Project Overview page and Milestones page. Project issues are summarized and resolvable in an online collaborative way. Users can group project-specific messages in a discussion forum, or use DeskMail to add tasks and reply to comments.
- Time Tracking, File Sharing, and Reporting – DeskAway has its own start-stop timer to automate time tracking and timesheets. A summary of hours spent on a project can be filtered by date, by resource, and whether it is billable or not. Documents are created and managed with a rich-text editor and wiki-style management. Revisions and comments are protected with version control. Timesheets and progress reports are exportable to a spreadsheet. A simple Gantt chart can show the progress of tasks in a project.
- Integration and Branding – Accounts can be configured with specific settings, permissions, themes, and logo. Users can easily add resources and projects. They can integrate the calendar with iCal or Google Calendar, and integrate time and billing with Freshbooks, a cloud-based accounting solution. The software can integrate with Google Docs and other Google Apps. Smartphone users can remain connected and be updated.
DeskAway offers several subscription-based packages such as the Professional, the Plus, the Power, and the Super Power plans. All these plans include a daily backup to a zip file, 256-bit SSL encryption security, DeskMail, reporting and analytics, custom branding, permission-based settings, and integration with Google Apps, Freshbooks, Twitter, and Facebook. They also offer a free account limited to one project, two users, and 25 MB storage. It also offers the Jump Start program where qualified startup companies can upgrade to a free Plus plan for one year.
Social Network Presence
DeskAway is a team-based and collaboration application suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, for large teams, and even for departments of bigger enterprises. As a web-based system, it will work for geographically distributed teams.
The software supports Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian language.
Some of their Clients
Clients include Design & Promote, an American SEO and web design company, Nanjing Marketing Group from China, TFX Web, a UK web & graphics design company, TWIF.org, a volunteer community management from the US, Red Fez Social Media Services in Australia, Marketing Fanatics, a marketing agency from South Africa, and Nasscom, an Indian events management company. At present, it is used by many small business and teams in more than 40 countries.
Charles Campbell of Socialvest (USA) describes the tremendous value DeskAway provides for allowing his geographically dispersed development team to stay organized in a virtual office environment.
Craig Caplan of Matan Media (Israel) states that it is now much easier for the company’s teams to see the bigger picture of a project and for management to monitor time spent on various tasks. Efficient use of resources led to improved productivity, which then led to improved profitability.
Hareesh Tibrewala of Social Wavelength (India) explained that the use of the software increased communication efficiency, which indirectly contributes to lower project costs.
There are many reasons why people should consider it as a solution in managing their teams and projects. Easy to use, with many features but very affordable compared to traditionally installed software. It is a more efficient system than email and spreadsheets. It is secured, well maintained, and updated with the latest web technology at the fraction of the cost of employing competent IT staff. It can truly simplify work, even when you are away from your desk.
DeskAway was developed by Synage Software Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based technology company that pioneered one of India’s very own software-as-a-service. Synage was founded in 2005 by Sahil Parikh and Sitanshi Parikh initially as a design and development agency. For its own requirement, Synage developed an internal tool for assigning tasks to their team, for tracking the number of hours they would take, and generally, to see what the team was working on. The founders loved it, their clients wanted it, and the market was waiting for something like it. In 2007, Synage became a publicly traded pure play web company and launched the beta version. On August 2010, the application was included on the Google Apps Marketplace. The company’s design philosophy continues to focus on simplicity with power.