Huddle, the British cloud-based content collaboration firm, has announced new integration with VMware's Zimbra email platform, in a move the company claims will offer an alternative to Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange.

The integration will enable users to combine their VMware Zimbra inbox and Huddle workspaces. Email attachments can be saved into relevant workspaces, recipients can be added to workspace teams and address book contacts can be invited into Huddle without leaving VMware Zimbra.

Huddle has also unveiled new email collaboration features, which enable all email discussions surrounding content to be stored securely in the cloud. Users can respond to a content notification via any email client and their comments will be directly added to the relevant whiteboard, discussion, file or task.

All relevant parties are notified of the update via email, and organisations can now track and access all conversations and metadata surrounding a piece of content, providing visibility into who has read, updated, downloaded and discussed a document.

“Over the last four decades, email has become engrained in businesses worldwide,” said Andy McLoughlin, co-founder of Huddle. “Although we recognise that the workforce isn’t about to stop using email, it is vital that organisations have access to all enterprise information, including content residing in inboxes.

“Now, everyone can have a record of all activity surrounding a file regardless of whether the conversations happened within or across the firewall, what email client or device they are using,” he added.

Huddle claims its software is used by more than 100,000 business and government organisations worldwide, including AKQA, HTC and Kia Motors. Earlier this year Huddle's cloud collaboration and content management solution become the first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system to be cleared to handle restricted government information.

It is also the first application to be launched on the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices’ Government Secure Application Environment cloud infrastructure that allows access to and distribution of Impact Level 3 (restricted) content.