Effective communication is crucial for the growth and success of projects and companies. Despite living in the information age, where we have colleagues across the globe and stay in touch instantly via the internet, it’s not as easy as it seems. Of course, there are endless communication tools available to facilitate the process. But for now, most of us still struggle with connections and misunderstandings on a daily basis.
A typical team communication process usually involves back-and-forth emails, while colleagues may have to switch to file hosting services like Dropbox when the documents they want to share are too big to email. In a case like this, the users also have to send reminders to team members to move to another platform. Moreover, these services all involve potential references when sharing and managing messages and files. The messages will become messy and information is difficult to track.
Korean-based startup Pyra is a new collaborative communication service that keeps teamwork focused and cohesive. It allows teams to work in a single centralized space by connecting fragmented communication in a single timeline. One advantage of the chronological structure is that there’s a transparency in the platform; everyone in the team can log on to see the progress of the project.
Pyra uses a “cell” concept to enable users to coordinate their files and communicate with each other. Within the cells, users can integrate all the services in one platform, like assigning tasks, uploading files, and so on.
As a product developed by a team with a strong design background, Pyra’s interface is neatly designed with a focus on brevity and clarity in file-sharing and messaging functions.
Two categories of projects can be established on the platform depending on users’ needs: open projects, where contents are open to non-team members, and the more exclusive private projects. Pyra also offers some multiple-communication tools. One such function is memo stickers which help members to visually communicate with all team members about where to change or add something.
Although the service is available for both PC and mobile terminals, some features are mobile only. Mobile users can swipe on an item to add it to a to-do list or send any “cell” to a specific crew member by dragging and drop.
Unlike similar tools such as Yammer, which is more complex to use, Pyra targets casual users including small design teams, startups and students, said Sang Mun, designer of Pyra, at a backstage interview with TechNode during DreamPlus Day 2014.
He notes that the company plans to monetize its service in three phases. The startup is currently in the first freemium package stage, providing unlimited time and space to users so as to study and test the product. In the second enterprise package phase, Pyra will goes after business owners and IT partners, as well as featuring some exclusive “cell” functionalities, such as security features. Pyra finally aims to become a market place where business owners can find their networks.
Pyra is a project affiliated with Hanwha S&C’s in-company venture TFT (Task Force Team) Solution Lab. Interestingly, two thirds of the team members have design backgrounds; their former clients include Samsung, telecom carrier KT, web portal Naver, and SK Telecom. Pyra has launched its beta version on both iOS and Android platforms in Korean and Japan. It plans to increase presence in existing markets first before heading to the U.S. in Q4 next year.
The cloud collaboration market was worth US$4.2 billion in 2012 with 14% of annual growth, according to Sang.