Back in time
Imagine yourself back in a world where the internet was only being conceptualised. Communicating by post, phone or fax was the fastest way and computers that took up an entire basement were considered state of the art. Less than half a century later, we carry devices in our back pockets with more power than could have been conceived of then. Technology continues to explode in a race for the fastest, best performing, most innovative (and waterproof) techno-majiggy imaginable. Half a century people!
Can you picture our world half a century from now? Forget that, imagine our world just 10 years from now! Fastest, biggest, smallest, most durable, most portable, longest battery life, most intuitive, smartest... Whatever it is, we want it and we sure aren’t prepared to wait for it!
From telegrams to Instagram, from faxes to Facebook, from emails to instant messenger - the rate of progress is astounding.
And Workshare is on that super-fast journey of technical provision. From DeltaView to Workshare Professional to Compare Everywhere and Transact. The greatness just keeps coming, because it must.
As we get caught up in the race to develop the next big thing, it’s important to stop and see how far we've come, which also means building on our past and learning from it. It's important to celebrate progress and use it to gather inspiration for the future. So, here's a short timeline of Workshare's personal development, shown in five-year bytes. Sorry, bites!
Workshare was born. As a start-up catering to the legal industry, focusing on saving lawyers' time with unique document comparison software, Workshare became known for innovation. With an important group of foundation customers, a product was built from an idea. Using key interactions with clients, the software was shaped and became a critical tool for the legal, pharmaceutical and financial industries. Other solutions sprang up and a competition began. Since then, Workshare has continually fostered a reciprocal relationship with users; always seeking to find the best solution to their potential problems.
"There were twelve of us back then, the dirty dozen, crammed into a small room, hoping to change the world!
Sweaty fingers flying across keyboards...
Oh, those were the times. Little did we know what the future would bring us..."
- Chris Stevenson, Senior Developer
Software, the world of computers and the World Wide Web took off. And, an entirely new professional field was created for software as a service. Workshare caught the wave! As the first comparison software available to the legal industry, we had a revolutionary idea in the palm of our hand. This year witnessed the release of Workshare 3 (kinda takes you back to another time when Windows was still in single digits too!). This was the first step towards the combined product offering we have today – Compare and secure document review.
"When phones were used to make calls and smart was for proud parents talking about their kids, software was all on the desktop and clouds were a visible mass of condensed water vapour floating in the atmosphere. At Workshare, the pace of development was much slower than it is now and our products were delivered on a CD! Workshare 3 was launched and saw us move from a comparison solution to a combined product offering, including document protection and review."
- Helen Sagal, Technical Writer
This was a year of portfolio expansion. We combined the benefits of DeltaView into the new Professional bundle and expanded the scope of what could be compared beyond Word documents to cover scanned PDFs, RTF format documents and PowerPoint presentations. After some high-profile data leaks, the legal industry generally got serious about dealing with security issues in critical documents. So Workshare’s metadata cleaning and matter security innovations came into their own.
This is when Workshare took customer relations to the next level. In an ‘I'll ask Google’ era, we saw the need to provide support and assistance online that customers could access quickly and easily. So, the Workshare Knowledge Base began! A single, one-stop shop for any questions that needed an answer. From downloading to more advanced setting configuration, it was all there. Our support and knowledge base team continued to look for ways to improve our users’ experience. They combined support dockets and search analytics to target content at solving important issues.
"There was a real drive at Workshare to support customers with a full self-serve experience. We formed a new team that was tasked with creating a brand-new knowledge base, filled with content to help anyone at any time. We introduced 'Getting Started guides' with big, clear pictures and simple steps. For the first time ever, we created a YouTube channel for 'How To' videos. And we turned common questions into answers that users could find with a simple Google search."
- Ainsley Whalen, Knowledge Author
(Not quite five years, but hey we’re fast workers) Recent months have seen Workshare begin a process of serious introspection and focus on customer feedback. Research into what our customers need, both within our products and on a support basis, has defined our exciting new releases. Workshare’s latest release is the result of listening strategically to users and buyers. Under the banner "Beautiful Basics", our core product features have been strengthened, so they are faster and more accurate than ever before. We are delivering improved accuracy on Word and PDF Table comparisons making redlines easier to read. The restructuring of metadata cleaning engines has reduced processing times by 66% on average. And, ‘quiet’ licensing has been introduced to reduce frustration for the user. We’ve moved on from just creating good software - this time it has to be perfect.
"Part of the design process of Workshare is to actually do research and be able to get a really good idea as to where we can make improvements. We've got to be able to empathise with users, understand how they use our software and how it fits into their workflow."
- Christine Davies, Head of Design
Cell phones, what are those? 5 years ago, Workshare developed mobile and cloud applications, which made the transition to the digital world an exciting time. Discovering how to represent changes in documents first on watches, then on thought programs that integrate with state of the art robots were two new industry firsts (but, hey! Innovation is in our DNA). What a whirlwind! Luckily, we've always recruited next generation thinkers who have fantastic ideas beyond what others could imagine.
"This is an exciting time for Workshare! Their software has become indispensable to many industries as the thirst for knowledge continues to increase. The human mind, while amazingly intricate, cannot keep up with the processing speed and capabilities needed to function competitively in today’s business world. Workshare's integration between brain, office, household and robot has established their place in history as a thought-leader. The company has always focused on the future and on innovation, but mostly it focusses on customers, their development and what they want. I’m thrilled to be working with such a forward-thinking firm."
- Sarah Banks, (currently 17, Future specialist software developer.)
Watch out 2027, we're coming!