ONLYOFFICE: A Comprehensive Productivity Suite Helping 2M+ Users Worldwide Streamline Operations and Manage Workflows in the Cloud

ONLYOFFICE: A Comprehensive Productivity Suite Helping 2M+ Users Worldwide Streamline Operations and Manage Workflows in the Cloud

TL; DR: Whether you’re part of a small startup or an established mid-market organization, orchestrating workflows so teams work seamlessly together is essential for managing bottom lines. That’s why more than 2 million users have turned to ONLYOFFICE for its cloud-based productivity suite. The company’s project management portal offers teams a secure platform from which to network and collaborate from any location. ONLYOFFICE allows businesses to integrate all of their critical applications — from CRM and document management to calendars and email — in a single program. Compatibility with the most popular business apps, such as Microsoft Office, and the highly stable hosting environment provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) enables ONLYOFFICE users to optimize efficiency and output, which produces big returns on investment.

Cloud-based computing is transforming the way organizations do business. Once dismissed as a passing tech trend, cloud computing has become increasingly popular, with giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS) raking in more than $12 billion in revenue in 2016 alone. In fact, cloud computing has become so prevalent, almost 90% of enterprises have now adopted a cloud strategy of one kind or another. This widespread use is due in large part to the cheap, scalable, and collaborative capabilities the cloud offers. Those were also the same elements the developers of ONLYOFFICE‘s cloud-based productivity suite were looking for in the late 2000s.

At the time, the eventual creators of ONLYOFFICE were an ambitious multimedia software development group. Facing rapid growth with few options for scaling, the team needed a more efficient way to share information among its developers.

“Unexpectedly, we found inspiration in one of the challenges our team faced,” said Galina Goduhina, Commercial Director at ONLYOFFICE. “The company was growing so fast that we needed to find the best way to share information within our own team.”

Galina Goduhina's headshot and the ONLYOFFICE logo

ONLYOFFICE’s Galina Goduhina told us how the company’s productivity suite helps teams seamlessly manage projects.

ONLYOFFICE’s first iteration would be known as Teamlab, a fitting name for the company’s new collaborative tool.

Teamlab’s launch saw an unexpectedly high level of success, and the company released the cloud version of Teamlab, which was eventually rebranded as ONLYOFFICE. The switch to cloud-based operation made deploying the suite much easier, as users could access the document editor via browser, regardless of OS and other settings.

The creative team behind ONLYOFFICE made the suite in response to a lack of support and features from similar providers, thus fulfilling their own needs as well as those of end-users. The implementation of a fully cloud-based productivity suite made it easier and cheaper for ONLYOFFICE’s team to scale and, today, it’s helping more than 2 million users do the same.

Born Out of the Need to Work Together, Innovate, and Scale

ONLYOFFICE started out as a multimedia software company with a handful of collaborative projects at the helm. In 2009, a team of developers led by Lev Bannov launched the Teamlab project — a socially-focused precursor to what would eventually become ONLYOFFICE.

“We created some tools for internal collaboration, which evolved into a whole new project with everything we wanted for ourselves,” Galina said. “Suddenly, it received a warm welcome from the internet community.”

The team launched its first HTML5-based document editor in 2012, and rebranded the project as ONLYOFFICE in 2014. Later, the cloud solution was implemented to give the team more control and compatibility. As before, the dev team was looking to add features to its project that no one else had.

“There were some solutions for managing remote teams at that time, but we added powerful online document editors to ours using Canvas,” Galina said. “The technology gave us control over every single pixel so that we could make a processed file keep the same formatting in any browser on any OS.”

ONLYOFFICE is open-source and entirely browser- and cloud-based — so team members can contribute to projects, regardless of the location of the device they use.

In its relatively few years of operation, ONLYOFFICE has spread to multiple platforms, both in and out of the cloud. In 2013, a free version of ONLYOFFICE (still known as Teamlab at the time) was rolled out, suitable for individual use. 2014 not only saw the suite’s rebranding, but also the release of a Linux version.

In the following years, the team would release document editors for mobile platforms, and the Hosting Edition (for affiliate partnerships) and Enterprise editions were released, which included a control panel and continuous support and updates. Available in many forms, ONLYOFFICE has a version suitable for any business level.

An Open-Source, Feature-Rich Productivity Suite for Businesses

To stand out from other office and productivity suites, ONLYOFFICE incorporated a number of unique features, including some only found in desktop suites until ONLYOFFICE made them available.

“We added many features that were previously available only in desktop editors, combining the advantages of desktop office from Microsoft and online office from Google,” Galina said. “We gave our users powerful instruments for editing documents with complex formatting online together with others — all in real time.”

In addition to these real-time editing capabilities, ONLYOFFICE delivers a comprehensive set of other business-related features, including email management, community tools, a calendar, and a CRM (customer relationship management) system. With CRM, companies can analyze customer data to plan future business decisions. Using the calendar, bookmarks, polls, and forums, users can easily share information on project details and deadlines. These features contributed Teamlab’s initial success, before the document editor and project manager were added.

To protect business interests, ONLYOFFICE boasts automatic data backups and other comprehensive protection features. ONLYOFFICE uses SSL for HTTP protection and document file encryption to prevent unauthorized access. Only users are able to change their personal passwords, file permissions, and specific IP address ranges can be restricted. ONLYOFFICE also features automatic data backups, which are guaranteed for up to 10 days. Manual backups can be performed at any time and remain on the server until deleted by the user.

Expanding Accessibility and Security With Amazon Web Services

Reliability, protection features, and real-time, innovative capabilities set ONLYOFFICE apart from the competition and make it a popular choice for projects that are touched by many hands. And the cloud enables these features to be more easily incorporated and cheaper to implement with a simple and scalable approach.

“Cloud computing is significantly cheaper than purchasing and maintaining system infrastructure in-house,” Galina said.

In February 2017, the ONLYOFFICE team released the app for integration within the Nextcloud platform. The new cloud allows for enhanced accessibility and security, with backups, and intrusion detection, among other features, running in real time.

“We use its native technologies such as CloudFront, with protection from DDoS attacks and S3 which also provides 256-bit AES encryption,” Galina said. “We also ensure data safety within our application by taking such measures as using SSL, two-step verification, data backups, and access rights restriction.”

ONLYOFFICE, which is hosted on Amazon’s AWS servers, boasts incredible stability — a must to secure sensitive information like that found in health or financial records.

“Our infrastructure is hosted on AWS, which is one of the most reliable providers today with a 99.999% stability guarantee and the highest security standards,” Galina said.

An Aim to Become the Swiss Watch of Online Collaboration

ONLYOFFICE provides businesses with an array of useful collaboration features at an affordable price and aims to become a one-stop-shop for their document-sharing needs. While documentation is inherent in the fields of healthcare and finance, industries across the board see the need to optimize the organization of record keeping, incident reports, press releases, and other documents. ONLYOFFICE features, including the calendar, blog posts, and forums, provide a type of social network for creative teams to share ideas, spread news, and ask for assistance.

ONLYOFFICE continues to improve on its universally applicable, well-rounded office suite, with plans to implement even more security features in the near future.

“Of course, we will continue making ONLYOFFICE better. We want our solution to be ideal and work like a Swiss watch,” Galina said. “Security will remain our top priority, so we are adopting the latest technologies to bring about the safest means of online collaboration to our present and future users.”

ONLYOFFICE got its start as Teamlab in 2009 and has undergone a great deal of innovation in its relatively short lifespan. As the original name implies, Teamlab was created to take full advantage of the collaborative environment, combining the expertise of multiple individuals for higher quality output. Offering cloud-based, real-time editing, along with airtight security and a number of socially-oriented tools, ONLYOFFICE is more than an office suite — it’s a means of bringing people together to make excellent projects possible.

Sean Garrity

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  • Deltrease Hart-Anderson

    Sean, will Only Office ever have a ticketing system?