Cloud software provider Evernote is gunning after Australia's CEO wallets with the launch of Evernote Business; an SMB-flavoured version of its popular "share anything" application. The new app provides a range of interesting new features, but is it worth $11 per user, per month?
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There is an abundance of note taking and note sharing tools available on the market, but few of them have the administration tools required for proper business use. This is where Evernote Business seeks to be worthwhile.
Evernote Business: What's New
Evernote is a cloud-based gathering/sharing tool that essentially works like a catch-all idea pad. The app allows you to capture and store almost any media type -- music, video, photos, web pages, hyperlinks, documents, handwritten notes, you name it. All this information can then be gathered into one easy-access notebook with built-in search functionality; a huge boon for project builders looking to streamline their workflow and cut down on clutter.
The business version of the app adds a host of additional tools and features, including Business Notebooks (which can be simultaneously shared by a group of users), a centralised admin console (which allows IT administrators to manage user access and permissions across the entire organisation), Related Notes (which automatically displays relevant content when users navigate their notes ) and a higher monthly upload allowance (2GB per month for personal notebooks, plus an additional 2GB per month for each user that is shared among all Business Notebooks.)
The app, which launched in the US in December, is currently used by 2500 businesses worldwide.
Each Evernote business account also receives a companywide Business Library which works as a central depository (handy for function announcements, new logos and the like). Employees also get their own private Evernote account that only they can access.
Depending on how permissions are set up, the app can be used to share information within a team, across a department, with the entire company, or with outside clients. Naturally, when an employee leaves a company, only their private account goes with them.
Worth Trying For Your Small Business?
Evernote's chief operating officer Ken Gullicksen, claims Australian interest has been exceptionally high. "I think this is because there are so many entrepreneurial businesses in Australia, which are a very strong fit for Evernote."
However, the current version of the app has limitations when it comes to simultaneous project collaboration.
"Evernote Business is not meant for deep versioning control; you definitely don't want to have multiple people working on a document at the same time," explained Evernote's APAC market development director Linda Kozlowski (not the Crocodile Dundee actress, in case any of you were wondering).
"This is much more about individuals opening and closing notes from the previous person and sharing among small groups of people."
This could be a deal breaker if your business works primarily in design and prefers a loosely structured working style.
Another potential pitfall for some businesses: Evernote Business is not currently available for the Windows Phone platform. "It will be coming to Windows Phone but I don't remember the timing," Gullicksen told us, somewhat unhelpfully.
The app also hasn't been optimised for Windows 8 touch devices, which can make certain drag-and-drop commands a bit of a hassle. Gullicksen admitted that the company had some "catch up" to do when it came to Microsoft's new OS. For now, it looks like new Windows users will have to stick with Microsoft OneNote for their note sharing activities.
On the plus side, Evernote Business' US-based local support team works during Australian business hours, which means you don't have to rely on email correspondence or wait on tardy replies.
"We have a dedicated support staff for business who are there not just to answer technical questions but also to help you figure out how to use Evernote Business in the context of your own business," Gullicksen explained.
Evernote Business is available today for Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Desktop for $11.00 per user, per month. This is roughly in line with the US pricing of $10 per month.
If your company is moving towards a paperless office and you're not using Windows Phone/Windows 8, Evernote Business is definitely worth checking out.