Collaboration platform Huddle, previously known for its social networking-like corporate communication products, is launching a desktop sharing project called Connected Desktop. The tool is designed as a one-size-fits all replacement for both VPNs and cloud services like Dropbox.
Connected Desktop works on the premise that it will be easier for firms to use one piece of software for both collaboration and remote access; the product gives system access to remote and off-site employees through desktop, tablets, and mobile devices.
In a phone conversation, CEO Alastair Mitchell emphasized the ease of use of Connected Desktop for large companies. According to the company's release, "All content, regardless of the application it is edited in, is automatically saved into Huddle’s secure cloud. If you're an engineer using AutoCAD and you need to make changes to your files, we support you. You can open, lock, edit and save files as quickly and effortlessly as you can from 'My Documents' and there’s also a read-only option."
Connected Desktop also ties into another goal for the company, which originated in the UK: targeting big government contracts. Huddle received an unspecified funding round from In-Q-Tel, a CIA- and NSA-tied venture capital firm in 2012. Special securely modified versions of Huddle's collaboration platforms are being developed for agencies within the Department of Homeland Security and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Dropbox has reportedly struggled to get approved by government agencies; offering a government IT-approved cloud sharing service could be a very lucrative moneymaker for the company.