Ever since Google introduced Gmail in 2002, Email has changed a lot. Google has added many great features and competitors have also made tons of changes on their products. However, Granted that Email is not dead, it is now lagging behind the innovation. I mean, surely it is improving day by day but when we compare it to the other internet services such as Social Media or Cloud Collaboration (such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online.) it seems to be slow to adapt new ways and trends.
One of the biggest weakness of Email is the lack of collaboration support. If your Business relies on Email for communication to the outside world such as customer support or client management, it becomes really annoying over time. If you are head of the department, you need to forward tons of email to your workers. For a big team or a large number of emails, it soon becomes really tough to deal with.
Hiver tries to fix that
Hiver comes to rescue this Problem. Formerly know as GrexIt, it is a Google Chrome extension and it works with Gmail. Hiver is an email collaboration platform which is focused of making Gmail better for task assignment and enterprise email handling.
Pricing, Installation, and Configuration
Hiver comes in 4 plans. The first and most basic one is free to use for up to 3 users. In this, you can use up to 3 shared labels (more on that later) and collaborate on max 50 email in a day. Other plans are Starter, Plus and Enterprise.
You can not use any paid plan with less than 3 users, which makes some sense. Billing is done differently for users who pay on per-month basis and users who pay on per year basis. Obviously, the latter one is cheaper. You can sigh up for a free 14 Day trial for any of the four plans.
Hiver works via an extension on Google Chrome. However, I tried to install it on Yandex.Browser and it worked on it too. The reason behind this is, both use same WebKit engine.
Hiver should be able to work on other WebKit engine based browsers (Opera for example) too. Please note that I have not tried it on other browsers.
Configuration is pretty seamless, the administrator can add or remove other team member using an easy to use dashboard. Once added, users are sent an invite email containing steps to create an account. This is similar to the setup process of slack. Once installed and setup, you can start creating shared labels and notes.
Labels, Labels, and Labels
Labels are the lifeblood of this email collaboration tool. To share any email thread, you need to add a Shared label to it. Once you create a shared Label, you need to add users by entering their emails/names. Once a shared label is created, you can add as many as emails as you need. I had no difficulty in setting up Shared Labels or users. The shared Labels appeared quickly on other members of the team and they were also able to add Shared Labels to emails.
Shared Contacts, Notes, and other stuff
Hiver works well at sharing selected Gmail contacts and notes. If needed, you can add comments and notes to Shared Emails which are visible to everyone who has access to Shared Label. This is particularly good with support providers and customer care agencies. Notes are visible on the right side of mail. If needed it can be minimized.
Shared Templates are worth mentioning too, anyone in the team can create template emails and share it with the whole team. When needed, they can be easily added to mail with just a couple of clicks.
It is surprising that Google and other companies have not tried to add collaboration features in their mail services, However, Hiver does the job.
In a firm that relies on Google Apps and Google Mail for communication, it can make the work a lot easier. Hiver is almost perfect.
Hiver works well if you and your company use google Products. I hope they come with solutions like this for other Email platforms as well in future.
What do you think about Email? Do you think it is dying? Have you tried Hiver? Share your experience with us in the comments below.