Will HTML5 Change The Document Sharing Playing Field?

April 18, 2011 No Comments

Written by: David A. Kelly and Heather Ashton, Upside Research

HTML5 Will HTML5 Change The Document Sharing Playing Field?Recently, Crocodocs announced its new embeddable HTML5 document viewer and annotator, a self-proclaimed first of its kind. The news came with an announcement of a partnership with Yammer, one of the enterprise pure play social media platforms. The Crocodocs tools give Yammer a full-fledged document sharing and collaboration platform, enabling users to embed any type of document into the micro-blogging platform for viewing and collaboration. With HTML5, this also makes the embedded documents viewable on mobile platforms. The question is, what impact will it have on the grip that Microsoft and Adobe have on the document viewing and collaboration market?

The technology itself is pretty intriguing. According to Wikipedia, HTML5 is a language for structuring and presenting web content. Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices. The new developments of HTML5 support the growth in sharing multiple media forms easily through web sites, micro blogs, and on mobile devices, which are increasingly becoming as necessary for the enterprise apps to support as PCs.

With an embeddable document viewer that is agnostic of format, suddenly it is not necessary for everyone to have Microsoft Word on their desktop to read and collaborate on documents. Nor is it necessary to convert a document into an Adobe PDF for sharing via the web or on a mobile device. Instead, a business user could post a document in their Yammer environment for viewing, annotation, and collaboration and other workers could make comments, add notes, and share feedback through the Yammer interface without having to ever know what the original format of the document was.

Wondering what impact this may have on the enterprise? Well, considering that Yammer is currently used by over 100,000 companies and organizations, including over 80 percent of the Fortune 500, the impact could be noticeable.

As knowledge workers turn to more dynamic environments such as Yammer to collaborate and share with cross-functional teams, document sharing will become a central tool around which these groups will collaborate. Creating an environment that supports immediate collaboration and changes the traditional download, annotate, resend process will dramatically alter the way people work. Not only will it be more efficient, it is also certain to be more effective in supporting collaboration inside the corporation. Watch for the potential replacement of the “document” form as workers move to rich media content sharing. Things are just starting to get interesting in this space.

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