No more app integration, Bolste launches all-in-one team communication tool

Slaying the dragon of endless email is just one of the many challenges of streamlining team communication. Add in daily engagement with other productive app services such as DropBox, Evernote, Slack and BaseCamp, you have one chaotic dragon farm to manage all the clutter.
A new Scottsdale-based company Bolste drew its sword and launched an all-in-one business operating solution for teams to communicate and collaborate more effectively without the need for app integration.
CEO of Bolste Leif Hartwig said he wanted to build a mainstream platform that help employees become instantly connected. With his extended experience in consulting small businesses, he found that “rarely was everyone (in the company) on the same page, and communication through email was spotty.”

Courtesy of Bolste
Courtesy of Bolste

Hartwig set out to build a human-centric focused product with business intelligence and a robust functionality that would house all the app services such as file sharing, cloud storage, tasks, activity stream and more, into one platform and “bring clarity, not chaos” to a business environment.
“Our offering is so different, we are the next generation beyond Slack,” Hartwig said.
On the Dashboard, users get a one-stop snap shot view of all the activity across all channels, referred to as Bolsters. Team members can can instantly comment, reply, add links, even add a thumbs up like Slack.
With each Bolster, employees can drill down to the specific activities and tasks needed for the team similar to Evernote. Users don’t have to go looking through their email for files, instead, documents can be housed in one location and includes real-time document editing, similar to Google Docs.
Outside parties working on a project can join an individual Bolster through email invitation.
Through the task and calendar feature, users can assign duties and deadlines to single or multiple users and it will populate on their calendar. Bolste also can sync contacts and calendars from Google and Outlook.
Courtesy of Bolste
Courtesy of Bolste

With the concern of hacking, Hartwig said that “security is a priority for our company and needs to be in the top three things that companies need to have.” Bolste places their data on AWS servers with encrypted security measures and extensive protocols in place.
For managers and IT staff who want to keep tabs on site activity, the Insights tab maintains a usage log and offers reports and data analytics.
To increase engagement and adoption Bolste included a Gamification option where employees who use the system, invite people and utilize the platform, can gain points. “The objective is to get (employees) engaged in the process and help increase productivity,” Hartwig said.
Hartwig said they have an API coming out in the next few weeks designed to increase interaction.
Bolste came out of beta with more than 18,000 users including teams from Accenture, Harley Davidson and the Arizona Small Business Association.
The service will cost $9.99 per month for unlimited project channels, unlimited guest users, 7GB of secure storage and user interface branding. The company does offer a customized Enterprise model that features unlimited channels and secure storage, third-party integrations, onboarding and training.
In December 2015, Bolste total funding equaled $5 million with investors including Jim Kellner, the former President of Applied Systems and Jim Bullock, CEO of Zyga Technology.
Learn more about other startups coming out of AZ at AZ Tech Beat.
Graphics courtesy of Bolste