Computer Business Review

HP Storage replaces Word with Quip collaboration software

Joe Curtis

09:38, June 12 2014


Marketer claims the Quip app has shortened “days to hours” when working on a document.

HP's storage media arm has ditched Word to rely on a collaboration software tool called Quip.

A team of marketers for HP Storage Media claims to have cut their working process from "days to hours and hours to minutes" since adopting the software to replace Microsoft's default workplace tool.

Andrew Dodd, worldwide product marketing and communications manager for the HP Storage Media division, said the app has helped his team of 10 to speed up the process of creating new marketing copy by working on documents on smartphones, tablets and desktops.

He said he can now review draft documents in taxis and airports on his mobile devices, suggesting changes which are automatically added to the current version of the document via updates pushed through the cloud.

Quip is the product of ex-Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who left the social network in 2012 to start Quip, launching the first version of the app last summer.

It allows people to simultaneously view and edit the same document, with any changes automatically highlighted and tracked, while any comment on the document prompts a message bubble in the margin for people to discuss it.

Taylor appears to have taken a few of his Facebook ideas with him, too - recently adding the ability to 'like' changes, while users can see a news feed of recent actions.

More than 5,000 companies currently use Quip, including Taylor's former employer Facebook.

And HP's Dodd believes the social media-influenced approach taken by Quip makes it much more effective as a collaboration tool than Word, originally envisaged to replicate the printed page on the computer screen.

"If you look at Word the very fact you have to switch track changes to on shows it was never intended as a collaborative tool," he said. "Quip is stripped down. I always think of it more as a collaboration tool because it's built around the notion of collaborating on projects."

He originally downloaded the app when he grew frustrated by the length of time it took to get copy approved by different departments and marketing agencies in different countries.

"We started to find quite quickly that working across geographical boundaries was quite problematic and longwinded [with Word]. It was a bit frustrating," he said.

But while it's proved popular with HP Storage's marketing department, he is unsure how quickly it could spread to other parts of Hewlett-Packard.

"I could see a lot of different use cases for it, but big companies are so slow sometimes to change the way that they work."

However, last month Quip announced version 2.0, featuring several changes including the ability to export a document to Word, making it easier to share work with people in the company still reliant on Office.

"That's something that will help for sure because the reality is not everybody will be using Quip," admitted Dodd, who also welcomed an update that allows users to keep previous versions of a document - before this month, only the latest draft of a document would exist.

"There's better version control of history now," he said. "That's taken away one of the big gaps I felt the service did have. You could delete something by mistake and then you'd kind of be stuck."


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