Workshare is embarking on a strategy to develop new tools that can be added to the firm’s main document collaboration and sharing service to target specific industries.
Workshare, which recently moved its headquarters from the US to the UK, has started this development with a new law-focused service called Transact.
Transact is designed specifically to address the document avalanche created at law firms during deals such as mergers and acquisitions.
These are traditionally done over email, which is confusing and time-consuming, as multiple versions of documents are sent back and forth between relevant parties.
Transact was first revealed in February and is being developed by two former lawyers, Ben Ridgway and Owen Oliver, who came to Workshare after an acquisition.
The lawyers confirmed to V3 that Transact is now in the process of being field tested by several large law firms in London to gather feedback, and the plan is to have a full launch of the product by the middle of the year.
Transact is just the first example of this new type of industry-specific software that Workshare will develop, as chief technology officer Barrie Hadfield explained.
“This is the first of a series of really focused go-to-market systems for us. We want to help people achieve tasks that require the same processes being done again and again, but reduce the time it takes,” he told V3.
Project management was cited as another area of specific software, and Hadfield explained that focusing on the specific needs of firms is the next logical step for collaboration tools.
“Collaboration is all about intent – there has to be a reason other than email to exchange information with people. So if you start thinking about the reason you want to do that – on a deal, on a project and so forth – there are contexts that exist,” he said.
“Something we want to do is find those business pockets where we can solve those problems. [Transact] is a really good first example for us.”
Enhancing collaboration services with new tools and offerings is becoming a key theme of several major players in the market, as the likes of Box and Dropbox look to evolve from their storage roots by offering broader collaboration tools.