Circuit: An informed user perspective
Hi, I am Subha. I currently work at Unify leading our Voice of the Customer/Partner programs. I am a user of Circuit, every hour of every day.
Now, here is a puzzle. Two companies decide to enter the team collaboration market space. They take very different approaches. Company A builds the application from the ground up. From initial ideation, conceptualization, user feedback and needs analysis to designing and building core functionalities, testing and continuous improvements, they do not skip a step. Company B takes the acquisition route; buys a popular and a predominantly consumer communications application at a hefty price and follows it up by acquiring a social collaboration platform; integrates bits and pieces of both the platforms and launches a service. The application is aggressively bundled with its cloud offering. Which do you think you’d rather use?
It is all about the user
The first approach takes several years of effort. It is not without its jumps and starts. It requires vision, persistence and beyond all a commitment to continuously enhance the user experience.
Over the last several years, I have used several team collaboration tools while working as an analyst evaluating competitive products. I have had mixed experiences. Some products are great for communications and some work well for collaboration. Some fail on both counts. Promising rising stars have been snapped up by bigger vendors and eventually disappeared from the market.
I have been filled with frustration and, to a certain degree, anger when a big brand team collaboration tool fails.
It just goes to show that if team collaboration tools are built without much thought to the user experience, your market claims are irrelevant. Users will simply discard it.
The Circuit way
When Unify entered the team collaboration space, it had four pillars to its design – social, communications, analytics and the user. Today, we offer a simple yet intuitive user interface that combines voice, video, screen share, chat and file sharing. The application launches instantly with no downloads. It takes seconds to get into a meeting or escalate a chat session into a voice or video call with screen sharing. From the perspective of a (very frequent!) end-user, I can say that Circuit beats many of the competitive products out there on usability. It has now become an indispensable part of all my meetings, both internal and external. I cannot work effectively without it.
It supports consistent user experience across multiple devices and platforms. I can pull a call to any device with ease and not worry about losing connection or compromising the meeting quality. I can search conversation threads with ease to find the topics and content I need.
Unlike some competitive products, Circuit does not fragment the user experience. It provides one rich environment that embraces all the collaboration functionality and includes enterprise grade voice and video. Through Platform as a Service and APIs, it provides the integration into other business tools. As a Circuit user, you have one seamless path, not a lot of awkward steps with gaps to jump over, and you don’t lose functionality or content along the way.
We are completely aware of how critical a good collaboration tool is for promoting individual, team and organizational effectiveness. Which is why regular review of support tickets and multi-channel user feedback are critical in designing our product enhancements. This is time consuming, laborious and expensive. But it requires a commitment to quality and places the user at the front and center of our development efforts. Circuit was built on the belief that it is for the user.
P.S.: Did you guess who Company B is? If you came up with more than one name, I wouldn’t blame you. There are several vendors who right now are challenging their users with newly announced acquisitions or migrations to new tools which may only partially provide the functions they are enjoying currently. If you are getting tired of an imperfect forced-migration journey and crave one seamless, enduring collaboration experience, try Circuit for yourself at https://www.circuit.com/.