Barry Jinks is Founder and CEO of Colligo, a leading provider of client software solutions for extending SharePoint collaboration and content management functionality. Colligo is based out of one of our favorite cities in the world, beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Barry was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule and speak to us about his company.
SPRM: Barry, thank you sitting down with us today.
Barry Jinks: Thanks for having me!
SPRM: So let’s hear your elevator pitch for Colligo.
Barry: First, a bit of background. As you know, SharePoint 2010 is getting deployed all over the place for content and records management. In addition to being a platform for users to store and share information, SharePoint enables organizations to manage a wide array of content – emails, documents, blog entries, whatever – as a record. Getting end users to accept and use SharePoint to manage their content means that more content gets captured, the content is better tagged, and it’s easier to find, retain and manage. Increasing end user adoption, therefore, helps organizations grow the value of their information assets, and helps users be more competitive and more productive.
While it’s a very versatile platform, SharePoint isn’t designed to support all scenarios by itself. That’s where Microsoft partners like Colligo come in. For example, knowledge workers like project managers or lawyers need to tag, share and store emails and attachments in SharePoint, but this is quite hard to do out of the box. With Colligo software installed, they can easily drag and drop, tag or search for emails and attachments in SharePoint from within Microsoft Outlook. Another pain point is for people who need access to SharePoint when working over variable network connections, like pharmaceutical reps or oil field service personnel. Colligo’s software can cache SharePoint content, making it easy to access, store and tag critical content when and where users need it.
So Colligo makes a family of software applications that give users the full power of SharePoint through the interfaces they already know and love, such as Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer. This significantly shortens the learning curve and makes SharePoint intuitive to use – quickly turning users into SharePoint fans.
SPRM: Interesting. Sounds like exciting work. We’ve been following the growth of your company for several years now. How big is Colligo today?
Barry: Being a private company, we don’t generally talk about revenues, but I can say that we’re growing each quarter and adding a lot of new people in order to meet the rapidly expanding SharePoint market. We have about 3,500 customers in over 50 countries. With everything that’s happening in the ERCM space, and the great traction that SharePoint 2010 is receiving in the market, it’s making for an extremely interesting time for Colligo.
SPRM: It probably won’t surprise you that our readers are particularly interested in managing records in SharePoint environments. How can Colligo help them do that?
Barry: Colligo’s email and document management solutions provide a seamless integration between desktop applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, and SharePoint. This integration enables users to easily move emails and documents into SharePoint using methods such as drag-and-drop, Send & File, Outlook rules, etc. One of the big advantages of using our products is how easy it is for users to tag content and manage metadata. Colligo products automatically extract properties from email as metadata and allow users to tag additional custom or enterprise managed metadata to the email or attachment. This helps to drive compliance, facilitate retention policies, enable better enterprise search, and reduce eDiscovery costs. Another great feature of Colligo is that users can access SharePoint lists from inside the Outlook interface, allowing them to view and open documents and emails, check them out and declare them as a record, all without leaving Outlook.
SPRM: We’ve notice Colligo has developed some interesting partnerships with records management solution vendors. We find the FileTrail partnership particularly intriguing. What can you tell us about that?
Barry: Yes, recently we’ve made announcements with FileTrail, GimmalSoft and AvePoint.
As you know, organizations are looking at managing both physical and electronic records in SharePoint 2010. FileTrail for SharePoint allows physical items to be represented and managed like any other content item that resides in SharePoint. When the FileTrail solution is combined with Colligo, users have access to physical records alongside electronics records through a simple desktop interface, giving administrators the confidence that it’s being controlled properly. By partnering with FileTrail, we’re able to help organizations create an integrated SharePoint-based ECRM solution that encompasses email, electronic and physical records management.
SPRM: What are you doing with GimmalSoft?
Barry: We recently announced our partnership with GimmalSoft to provide the email management component of their GimmalSoft Compliance Suite. This partnership enables GimmalSoft to offer Colligo’s email management software as part of their innovative SharePoint 2010-based records management solution, targeted at both the federal government and commercial customers requiring a DoD 5015.2 compliant platform. To meet DoD 5015.2 certification, SharePoint 2010 requires true email records management capabilities and we are very happy to be providing this important functionality as part of the GimmalSoft Compliance Suite.
SPRM: The ECRM industry is evolving so quickly, it’s often hard to keep up. You’ve been described as a serial entrepreneur and you have a reputation for recognizing industry trends early in their development. What is Colligo’s vision for ECRM five years down the road and how are you preparing for it now?
Barry: I think two trends are really going to drive changes in ECRM in the next five years: cloud computing and the consumerization of IT. Along with most IT suppliers, Microsoft is making a big push to the cloud with the introduction of Office 365 and other technologies. Organizations will need to deal with a hybrid IT infrastructure as the cloud is introduced alongside on-premise. The second change is the demand by users that IT support an increasing number of devices that they are bringing into the enterprise, such as smart phones and tablets. These trends pose an especially big challenge for the security of information and management of records.
There’s a third component as well, that’s not really a trend but more of a realization in the industry – that everyone in an organization creates records. It sounds simple but when it’s combined with the trends of cloud computing and the proliferation of devices, it’s something that’s going to require a lot of innovation by companies like Colligo in terms of providing the technology solutions that will enable everyone in an organization to access enterprise content and create records: anytime, anywhere, and from any device. The trick is to do it simply, reliably and transparently to the end user.
I think Colligo is really well positioned to tackle these issues. Colligo was the first company to demonstrate Outlook integration to Office 365 (SharePoint Online) and our mobile device strategy focuses on being able to provide organizations with the underlying technology infrastructure they’ll need to address the new devices that are coming into the enterprise, now and into the future.
SPRM: Cool. Thanks, Barry. This has been really informative. Is there someplace our readers can keep up with the work you and your team are doing?
Barry: Our website (www.colligo.com) is the best place to find up-to-date information on Colligo and what we’re doing in the ECRM space. In fact, we’re doing a webinar on June 2 with Ryan Duguid of Microsoft and Art Bellis of GimmalSoft titled: “Unleashing SharePoint 2010 for Records Management, Governance and Compliance.” This is going to be a great webinar and anyone interested in attending can register for it from our homepage.