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Businesses turning to whiteboard apps for remote workers

Businesses have deployed digital whiteboard applications during the pandemic to let remote employees brainstorm ideas and share diagrams and notes online.

Nearly 45% of companies could turn to digital whiteboard applications this year, according to a recent survey from Metrigy, as businesses settle into a post-pandemic hybrid work environment.

Vendors that have benefited from the whiteboard trend include Bluescape, Klaxoon, Microsoft, Miro and Mural, analysts said. The emerging collaboration software provides a virtual place for employees to write notes, draw diagrams and sketch out ideas without meeting in person. People can save the work to share or review later.

The survey of 476 companies found that 21.6% of respondents used whiteboard apps, while 23.3% plan to deploy them this year. Another 26.3% were in the evaluation process.

During a panel discussion at the Enterprise Connect virtual conference this week, Metrigy analyst Irwin Lazar said apps have replaced the physical whiteboards used during pre-pandemic meetings. The software plugs into collaboration services like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, which have become critical tools for employees working from home.

The Metrigy survey showed that employees asking their companies for the whiteboard apps drove deployments. As a result, companies like Bluescape and Miro reported spikes in their user base.

Metrigy whiteboard survey
Business interest in whiteboard applications has grown during the pandemic, according to a Metrigy survey of 476 companies.

Bluescape reported a 300% increase since March 2020, while the number of Miro users grew from 3.7 million to 15 million.

"We expect the aforementioned trends to continue, and the use of digital whiteboard platforms to be a key solution as work environments and work habits evolve," said Miro CEO and co-founder Andrey Khusid in a statement.

Whiteboard app makers have added features to make their products more valuable. They include translating the text into foreign languages and the addition of Kanban boards. The latter is a visual system used to managed and track workflows.

Joining Lazar on the panel to discuss UC trends were representatives from Leaden Associates and UniComm Consulting.

Metrigy whiteboard survey
A Metrigy survey of 476 companies found that most employees want whiteboard applications for collaboration.

Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering unified communications. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C. Follow him on Twitter: @MaximTamarov.

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