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A New Start

A turbulent and often times not so easy year has just ended, which for us, in addition to many hurdles and exhausting months, also meant the launch of ViOffice. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who have supported and/or used ViOffice since the beginning and who trust in us and our values.

But this blog post is less about the past and more about the future. Today we are introducing some important innovations in ViOffice, which will not only improve the daily work with ViOffice, but also make the whole project much more user-friendly and more flexible in price.

New Website, new Look!

If you are reading this blog post, you can already see one of the changes – even if it has less to do with what our users see every day. Our new website is now much nicer to look at, more clearly arranged and should be noticeably easier to use, especially on smartphones. The blog played a minor role and was not easy to find on the old website. Now, our latest articles are prominently displayed on the homepage and are better integrated into the site.

Our Helpcentre remains the main point of contact for information on and about ViOffice, but will undergo some content improvements and adjustments in the coming weeks, which we will make on the basis of user feedback.

The login portal also had to give way! We have made improvements to the infrastructure which now allows us to skip the intermediate step via the old portal. More on this follows in the section Dashboard.

More flexible, even cheaper.

Our goal was to make ViOffice even more flexible and user-friendly for the coming year. We have drawn conclusions from our experiences of the past year and talked to ViOffice users about their impressions. ViOffice should not only be a product for companies, but also for private individuals and associations.

The result is a more rounded feature set that is suitable for individual users as well as small to medium sized groups and companies. Accordingly, our price list now includes more attractive and suitable offers. However, it will by no means be more expensive for existing users, but depending on requirements it will be considerably cheaper, especially if a lot of storage space is needed. In addition, as before, a wide range of other services and functions can be added at low cost.

Overall, the subscription model is now more attractive for individuals in terms of features and price, although it still offers many decisive advantages for groups, associations and companies. They can continue to use the subscription model, but we particularly recommend our on-premise offer to medium-sized associations and companies, which impresses with its customised range of functions and your own branding and can be more cost-effective than a subscription for a large number of users.

Of course, there are also discounts for pupils, students, non-profit associations and many other groups of people, just as before.

The ViOffice Dashboard

The most obvious innovation in ViOffice itself is the new portal, which is now directly integrated in the cloud. It not only serves as a landing page, but also provides a quick and easy overview of what is currently pending.

Besides an overview of the latest emails, messages in ViOffice Talk, upcoming todos or even notifications from third party sources like social media, it is now possible to set a status (Online/Busy/Absent/…). The portal can be customised by users in terms of function and appearance. Furthermore, the menu on the left side still offers access to all functions of ViOffice, just as before.

These changes have been implemented and stabilized by the open source community over the last months, will now be adopted, implemented and adapted by us & thus finally find their way into ViOffice.

Talk is Conference and Conference is Talk

The next big innovation is the combination of the previous video conferencing system “ViOffice Conference” and our chat solution “ViOffice Talk”. With ViOffice Talk, it is now possible not only to conduct small 1-on-1 video calls, but also large conferences, as was previously only possible in ViOffice Conference.

However, the range of features is not reduced – quite the opposite! Because ViOffice Talk is much more tightly integrated with the rest of the cloud, allowing for example simultaneous work on collaborative documents in ViOffice Sheets, while video telephony runs in the sidebar on the right. Furthermore, it is now also possible to schedule video conferences and send invitations well in advance. Of course, it is still possible to invite guests without a ViOffice account.

But don’t worry, ViOffice Conference will initially remain in parallel for some time to make the changeover a little easier. In addition, ViOffice Conference can then also be booked as additional option in the future.

As a special icing on the cake, ViOffice Talk is now also able to communicate with other chat platforms, such as Discord, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Matrix/Element, Mattermost, IRC, XMPP/Jabber. A separate account on each platform is required for use. Further information and exact instructions will follow shortly in our Helpcenter.

Apart from that, ViOffice Talk has also received some innovations. For example, files no longer have to be uploaded to the cloud before they can be sent. The search in ViOffice Cloud now also includes Talk, so chat rooms can be searched for certain phrases and keywords. Also, emojis are now finally supported 🎉 🥰 👏 ✨

As with the dashboard, the changes to the software on which ViOffice Talk is based on are due in particular to the opensource community and the developers and maintainers of the software.

What else?

What else is new in ViOffice Cloud? Based on feedback from our users, a notes application is now also integrated into ViOffice. This can also be synchronised with the smartphone via app, which means that new notes can also be created and existing ones read while on the move.

In addition, the collaborative budget management “Cospend” has been integrated, which can be used to manage the budgeting of private expenses, the association or the shared flat, or to clearly organise the sharing of common costs among friends.

We continue to look forward to helpful feedback from our users and to hearing about their experiences with the new ViOffice!

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Jan is co-founder of ViOffice. He is responsible for the technical implementation and maintenance of the software. His interests lie in particular in the areas of security, data protection and encryption.

In addition to his studies in economics, later in applied statistics and his subsequent doctorate, he has years of experience in software development, open source and server administration.