New Delhi: When different teams work in different locations, consolidating the work is always a challenge, especially when the teams are located in rural areas where Internet connectivity is a huge problem.
The solution can be a so-called cloud-based project management platform called ScalableC developed by Software for Education, Entertainment and Training Activities (Seeta). It is an online platform to share ideas, develop project blueprints and design, and organize information and content through videos, audio, images and blogs for individuals, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
The model is based on the three ‘C’s of “collaboration, which is about working together at one place; community, when people work together, they form communities; and cooperation, which is the essential for any particular project which has one particular direction coming,” according to Manu Sheel Gupta, founder and chief executive of Seeta.
Users can upload, watch and share videos, images, audios; create blogs; develop project blueprints and design; send and receive email, and start an online group or community—all at one platform as an individual or as an organization.
ScalableC came into being when Gupta felt a dire need of an aggregator for a community broadcast where not only text but also images, video and audio can be shared. “Open-source software development was an inspiration as it encourages groups of dedicated individuals to come together and collaborate on projects,” says Gupta.
The platform aims to build community around ideas and innovation. Although there are many other projects management services available, ScalableC has a collaboration over innovative ideas central to its development and growth.
“ScalableC will not merely look at software projects. Rather, it will concentrate on using technology in learning,” he says. The project has been short-listed for the Manthan Awards 2012.
The platform provides two accounts—organizational and individual. Individual accounts are currently based on invitations. But for organization accounts, a member needs to be registered on ScalableC with affiliation to an organization. The person who creates the account for an organization can invite other members, allow and moderate content uploaded by them.
The company likes to collaborate with smaller teams as it makes the scalability easier and leaves with the scope for implementing innovations. The site has 378 registered users from various locations that include Boston, Madrid, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Bangalore and New Delhi.
“Most of our projects are to do with learning, saving and planning and education. In India, we have some seven-eight projects,” adds Gupta. In number of hits, videos, images and audios uploaded on ScalableC have received 39,000, 27,500 and 6,410 clicks, respectively.
Traditional project management systems are text-based like tracking items, documentation, survey reports and code participation. Also, Gupta explains how all these tools are not properly synchronized to be used with other forms of inputs.
“Now, when there are projects which are not based on local boundaries, they need a focused tool which can be used for various mediums,” says Gupta.
The unique selling proposition of the project is threefold, according to him. First, ScalableC is based on an informal approach to project management with a wider reach, including the grassroots level. Secondly, having forms of media such as video and images, and going beyond the traditional text. Thirdly, audio files support, which is a great tool for accessibility projects.
“Mostly in rural areas, there is a connectivity problem and uploading heavy files like videos is a task. Hence, audio files are a great way to communicate,” Gupta points out.
ScalableC also has sharing capacity with various social network websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The company is working on providing similar sharing capacity the other way round also. Though the network is invitation-based, it is still social in nature.
It works on a concept called social signalling, which revolves around the groups, messages and projects. This concept makes the whole chain of communication a solution.
The business plan is a consulting-based model, where individual users and private institutions are charged on per project basis.
The company plans to integrate blog aggregator in ScalableC, which will give users a platform to communicate with other like-minded people on various networks.
“For monetization purposes, we are looking at tie-ups with selected organizations which are working on various learning-based projects,” says Gupta. “We would like to associate with any project that needs to go beyond text.”
Mint is a strategic partner of Digital Empowerment Foundation, which hosts the Manthan Awards.