Yesterday, secure collaboration vendor Intralinks announced the launch of version 1.5 of its enterprise content collaboration platform, VIA. Nine months after the product first launched, this release sees Intralinks’s strategy and positioning for VIA begin to crystalise and gain conviction—something that is vitally important in this intensely competitive and confusing area of the market. Describing VIA as a “content services platform with a broad and powerful set of capabilities for sharing and protecting business content beyond the enterprise boundary”, the company emphasises its established presence and recognition in the secure content sharing and collaboration space, while highlighting its focus not on the internal collaboration opportunity that is so hotly contested at present, but on the cross-organisational boundary collaboration requirement which introduces so many more issues in terms of security, policy and rights management, and integration.
By enabling individuals to sync, share and manage content throughout its lifecycle in a secure—and, where necessary, centrally-controlled—manner, Intralinks VIA provides organisations with the reassurance demanded by IT and security officers, while giving employees the tools and flexibility they need to get their work done. New features and enhancements in the latest release include lifecycle management, configurable workflows and metadata management features—many of which will be familiar to customers of Intralinks’ other products—as well as a desktop client for Macs.
The company also released a handful of customer names with the announcement—Worldpay, Kingsley Napier and Essex Industries have all selected VIA, and are in varying stages of deployment/adoption.
There are still plenty of things on the roadmap for Intralinks VIA over the next twelve months or so, not least a partner program which I think we can expect to hear more detail about in the second half of the year. At the moment there is little clarity around how social collaboration features will be leveraged more effectively within the platform—the current “workstreams” capability supports comments around documents, but that’s about it; a more social experience would certainly enhance usability and interactivity of the platform—but platform-level management and security aspects are taking roadmap priority at present, and understandably so.
It is clear that VIA is central to the company’s growth strategy going forward—indeed, the organisation has invested significantly not just in product development but also in its organisational structure to maximise the opportunities it has with VIA—and, given the company has long-term overall growth targets in the region of 15–20%, they need to get this right. Early signs are good, but there’s a long way to go yet.