I have written about Central Desktop on this blog before, most recently, Central Desktop Acts on Enterprise 2.0 Security. Last week I talked with them again to discuss their Summer Release. It includes time-tracking, support/help-desk applications and a more powerful new database API that allows customers to integrate other application data from within the Central Desktop platform. This release is aligned with Central Desktop’s vision to provide a complete virtual team platform for conducting daily business activities. Their target market is the small to midsize business sector.
A number of firms that are trying to promote better data integration within the enterprise, especially connecting new enterprise 2.0 applications with traditional enterprise apps. I think this is a great trend and that is the goal of the new Central Desktop database API. It is designed for creating custom workflow between Central Desktop and third party software applications like PeopleSoft or SaaS apps like Salesforce.com. In addition, it allows users to create custom mini-applications within Central Desktop Workspaces.
One of the reasons for this data integration is to let users take advantage of the collaborative capabilities within Central desktop without having the application serve as their primary database. They can bring data into Central Desktop, work with it, and then send it back to its home. Central Desktop is currently offering generic hooks but they are planning to offer application specific hooks later this year.
The new time tracking application is targeted at professional services, consultants, developers, designers, project resource management and other ‘time-measured’ tasks. It allows users to track the amount of time spent on a specific task, create timesheets and reports by user, by project and by date-span, capture custom data into user-defined fields, so that users can track more than just time, and export timesheets and reports into third party billing applications. Common fields are available out-of-the-box and users can add custom fields. Here is a screen shot of a time track report.
The new help-desk application is designed to support in-house help desks, client services, internal software support teams, vendor management and minor bug-tracking. It was developed in response to client requests. This application eliminates the need for Central Desktop customers to subscribe to third-party help-desk services to reduce subscription costs and increase efficiencies. The help desk application allows users to track support desk tickets, open and close help desk incidents, report on the number of open and closed help desk incidents. Here is a screen shot of a help desk ticket.