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Hoping to attract customers to its new marketing collaboration tools, Volerro today launched a free interactive tool called ReVu.Me that allows business teams to discuss and annotate print documents, videos, photos and more in real time in the cloud.

ReVu.Me is available to anyone as a stand-alone service. It is also integrated into Volerro's marketing collaboration suite, which has attracted 1,100 paying customers during the beta phase, the company claims. The collaboration suite also was formally launched today.

Together, they offer a broad set of low-cost document management capabilities for smaller companies that have outgrown Basecamp, but lack the financial cost and technical complexity of SharePoint.

Everyone Can Play

Screen sharing tools like Join.Me have been available for some time, but they work a bit like one-way mirrors. They reflect what someone else is doing but generally don't allow everyone to participate simultaneously. ReVu.Me allows anyone invited to the party to take an active role in the project at hand, without downloading any software.

For example, a creative director can send an email to product managers, graphic artists and the marketing team, inviting them to a session to review the latest version of  an ad. Instead of simply presenting slides, everyone invited can make notes on the document, zoom in or out, download and print the document. The organizer thus gets all the comments on one version through a group discussion.

Volerro CEO Kevin Lynch told CMSWire his company wanted to fill the gaps left by other collaboration tools like existing screen-sharing tools and popular services like GoogleDocs, Dropbox and Box. Through a poll of about 2,000 LinkedIn members, Lynch said the company found  80 percent of the time people used screen-sharing, they were actually trying to collaborate on documents.

"Those folks are spending a lot of time getting documents approved, modified, revised and make the best possible presentation available," he said. "We wanted something that is absolutely drop-dead simple to use an annotate and mark-up. We feel ReVu.Me is a brand new category."

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Simple Design

The one-page interface used to set-up the session is literally as easy as one-two-three: 1) Drag and drop a document into the tool; 2) Invite others by email; 3) Start the session. Only those invited by the organizer can join the session. There's also built-in versioning control, so each iteration of the document can be preserved.

ReVu.Me is free when sharing a single document. To share multiple documents, there is a $3.99 fee for the person initiating the session.

ReVu.Me dovetails nicely with the rest of the Volerro suite, which includes project calendars, drag-and-drop workflow charts, project-monitoring pages, chat tools and a management dashboard. It is priced at $7.99 monthly for each user or $9.99 with single sign-on capabilities. The Minneapolis-based company also offers a free trial version that can be used for up to three projects.

Cheap Storage

Content is stored on the Amazon cloud. Lynch credits Amazon's ever-dropping storage fees for the low cost of the marketing tools. The free service includes 100MB of storage before an extra fee kicks in for an additional 10GB. "Once you pay $7.99 a month, there is no limit," said Lynch.

Customer data is maintained on Volerro as long as subscribers pay the fees, but removed 30 days after cancellation.

Lynch, a serial entrepreneur who previously founded Nistevo and later sold it to AT&T, said Volerro is self-funded now. However, eyeing the soaring valuations for DropBox and Box, he said the company will seek to raise up to $7 million to help with marketing costs in the year ahead.