What is Framebench, and how did you and your team get started in this field?
Framebench is a cloud-based communication and feedback platform for creative collaboration. It’s like a central workplace for creative assets like designs, documents and videos.
The company was founded by Vineet Markan and me. We’re both graduates of BITS Pilani — a premiere technical institute in India. We had a keen interest in the field of visual graphics, and while collaborating on Google Docs for a computer graphics project, we realized that it just doesn’t work for commenting and annotating over images. To resolve the problem, we built the first prototype of Framebench.
The journey started with a winning run at The Economic Times’ “The Power of Ideas” in 2010. Framebench was later incubated at IIM-A through the iAccelerator Program, one of the best incubation platform for startups in India.
What makes Framebench different from other creative collaboration software?
Two years back, we realized Google Docs doesn’t work for multimedia. While working with a leading animation studio in India that had clients in the Europe, we felt that the workflow was highly inefficient, and the idea of Framebench further crystallized when we talked to the R&D head of the firm.
Back then, there were few competitors in the industry. But over two years, more products have come out in the market that indicate an increasing demand for similar products. Our USP is real-time communication that lets remote teams collaborate effectively. The product is fairly simple to adapt, and we also offer integrations with some leading project management tools, which makes it easier to integrate Framebench within the work flow.
How should the marketing/advertising industry utilize Framebench to collaborate better, improve design efficiency and create better end results for clients?
Today’s competitive environment demands better interaction with the client. Framebench not only bridges the communication gap between the clients and the designer but also helps cut delivery time. Our clients have reported reduction in delivery times up to 30 to 40 percent, which is quite a lot for someone working on a tight deadline.
How does Framebench make it easier to bring clients into the creative process?
Framebench is all about making creative collaboration easy — whether that’s amongst remote teammates or clients. With its real-time features, we make room for designer-client interaction at a whole new level. Not only can the clients express their needs in a better, clearer way, but the designer can also make the most of this feedback. Also, the workflow gets structured so elegantly that the client will love to be a part of the design development process.
Tell us about some of Framebench’s features that designers will love.
Real-time Discussions: Users can simultaneously zoom, pan, annotate and host meetings to reach successive iterations in less time. For instance, a client can view changes made by the designer in real time and respond right there, thus reducing ambiguity and saving time.
Tracking Discussions: There is a list of all the active discussions over files in the current workspace. Users can even search for a particular conversation or a file, making it easier to review files at a later point in time.
File Versioning: Remote teams and clients can upload multiple revisions of a design, making it really easy to review them at later date. With our efficient storage, you can never lose your files.
Integrated Text/Voice Chat: As the world grows bigger, we often find remote teams and overseas clients working on a single project. Framebench ensures that physical distance never hampers the pace of your work. Designers will understand how awesome it is when you can talk to your client without having to make phone calls or parallel Skype calls.
With the growing popularity of virtual agencies and open work flow, how do you see cloud collaboration evolving in the next three years?
It has already matured quite a bit. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve seen cloud computing become more popular in the last two years. Down the line, seamless collaboration over mobile devices will gain prominence in the cloud computing arena. Real-time communication is a booming field and will definitely come up with advancements in technology like WebSockets and WebRTC-based communication.
Rohit Agarwal is a 23-year-old graduate from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. A visual graphics enthusiast, he built Framebench while in college. He is an Android lover, and he loves to read about upcoming cloud and open source technology. You can read his thoughts on the company blog and follow him on Twitter.