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MetaCommunications releases new browser-based collaborative tool

Press release from the issuing company

IOWA CITY, IA - MetaCommunications today announced the November 2nd launch and availability of Spark!, a new browser-based tool designed to facilitate collaboration between content creators and their clients. Spark! enables simple-to-use creative concept review workspaces where document content, including PDFs and graphic files, can be collaboratively discussed, revised, and routed for final approvals. Spark! is specifically designed for advertising, marketing, creative design, packaging, prepress, and web design.
Spark! is different from traditional print color proofing tools in that it specifically addresses issues surrounding collaboration between content creators, like graphic designers, who need to iteratively work through a design and then route that design through final approvals.
"Spark! is more than an online proofing tool, it's a complete shared workspace for collaboration that runs in the browser and integrates with Approval Manager's powerful workflow and routing engine," said Robert T. Long, Executive Vice President of MetaCommunications. "It's extremely simple to use and increases collaboration between creative teams and clients, improving quality and reducing the effort it takes to be innovative."
The new Spark! requires no installation, special knowledge, or training to use. Spark! renders PDF and many image-based file formats on the fly. Whether it's a Balsamiq mockup, a magazine spread, logo designs, or packaging ideas, Spark! is the fastest and easiest way on the market to circulate and discuss creative and concept files. By using flexible commenting and annotation tools, all users reviewing a Spark! document can annotate and discuss with each other in real-time, entirely within their web browsers.

The Spark! Workflow
Spark! plugs in to Approval Manager workflows to provide creative teams with fast and efficient feedback on concept and creative files. Reviewers responsible for giving feedback work from notifications delivered to their email inboxes or from easy to use review dashboards in their web browsers. Whether following links from email or using the dashboards, all reviewers open the same document in Spark! and share each other's comments, annotations, and approval statuses. This allows teams to stay in sync, coordinate feedback, and collaborate in real time without having to dedicate time to manually managing the review process. "We've all seen creative projects get delayed because a key stakeholder doesn't have the right version of Acrobat necessary to comment, or doesn't know how to use the proofing software," said Mr. Long. "Spark! removes this problem entirely by providing all the required review tools right in the browser. Nothing to install. Nothing to learn."

Additional Spark! Features
Additional features and capabilities of Spark! include:
    •    Support for image files and PDF files (including spreads)
    •    Zero-installation, zero-training required
    •    Compatible with Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer web browsers
    •    Built-in commenting and comment history encourage dialogue and discussion among reviewers
    •    Simple to use annotation tools including arrows, highlighting, boxes, and more...
    •    Tab-based browsing of previous versions, review stages, and rounds
Spark! is currently available as a separate, optional plug-in for the Approval Manager module of Workgroups 2010.