PukkaTeam, this is your life (and launch!)

We’re out of beta!

We’ve launched PukkaTeam

It’s official, PukkaTeam has come out of beta and has now been launched! Pushed out into the big, wide world for everyone to marvel at its glory 🙂

If this is the first time you’re hearing about PukkaTeam, then sit back my friend, and learn more about our newly launched app for remote and distributed teams.

For those who’ve been with us for a while, get nostalgic and relive the experience with us 🙂

Why PukkaTeam exists

The birth and subsequent journey of PukkaTeam all began in May 2016, just over a year ago, but the question; why does PukkaTeam exist?

We’re a team of designers, marketers and developers, with both a physical office and people who work remotely throughout the UK, we use various tools and apps that help us communicate seamlessly with colleagues, regardless of where they are.

One of the elements that we need as a remote team, is ‘team presence”.

Team presence is something that can’t be replicated with video calling or instant messaging apps, it is one of those elements you don’t realise is there, until it’s gone.

With the team members who work in an office, it’s easy to all turn and talk to other colleagues and see who’s available, but for those that work remotely, we lack this visual presence, not knowing if they’re there, almost making them ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

So, wanting to keep our team together and better connected, we were inspired (by Sqwiggle) to create a tool for remote teams that would give us the much needed team presence, this is now known to the world, simply as PukkaTeam!

PukkaTeam’s birth and evolution

On 20 May 2016, we launched our first Beta version of PukkaTeam, this was when it was still in its infancy, and only updated photo selfie snapshots every 30 seconds.

An early beta release of PukkaTeam

This was just the start and it gave us telepresence we found essential, but we had the vision of so much more, so we began to expand the scope and capabilities of what PukkaTeam could do.

Video Calling

To help improve communication and make contacting other colleagues more of a seamless task, adding video calling was the next logical step.

We decided to go down the route of adding in other video calling such as Skype, this allowed us to integrate an app that people were already using for video calling, and would stop you having to jump from app to app to communicate with people.

As well as this, for those who don’t have video calling accounts, we also added Appear.in.

Video calling is something we’re still expanding on and we’re looking to integrate more video options and along with our own video calling to make things even easier!

Slack integration

A popular app of many remote teams is Slack, something that we use on a daily basis.

We made contacting colleagues simpler by being able to jump straight to specific contacts through the app (which has been especially great for large teams).

As well as this, we also added in some fun commands that would take snapshots of other team members for you to share on Slack. This helps keep all of the team communicating and thinking of one another.

Improved team presence and performance

We now have a native app!

We added in numerous additions and refinements to make PukkaTeam better, show how long team members have been away so you have a concept of when they may be back.

For many, who were using PukkaTeam on their laptops, we were able to make an update for those using Chrome browsers, so that the webcam would only activate when their snapshot was being taken, reducing battery use.

We added in the ability to show your availability, with the options of available, away and do not disturb and update your status using emojis.

There were further refinements such as adding more snapshot update settings, being able to see when someone was last online and more than we can currently list without going on for days, as well as creating a native Window’s and Mac app!

All these additions have allowed us build a tool that helps remote workers feel more part of the team rather than individuals working in different locations, so improving remote worker connection.

PukkaTeam’s launch and the future

PukkaTeam launched on 14 June 2017 (note this date down, it’s an historic day :P). We’re excited to see PukkaTeam pushed out and helping bring remote teams together by improving communication and collaboration.

What’s next for PukkaTeam?

With the launch, some might think that this is the end of the road, that there will only be minor tweaks in future updates, well not for us!

There is an in-depth range of ideas and improvements, some of which have been suggested by our community on their way!

A few updates that are in the pipelines are:

  • More video call options.
  • Pixel privacy picture mode.
  • Social sign-in.

If you have any suggestions on features that you would like to see, you can always contact us, or if you have an account and are logged in, use the make a suggestion feature.

Stay tuned, there will be more coming soon!

Source: Medium:Remote Working
PukkaTeam, this is your life (and launch!)

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