SA’s Magnetic Software launches feature for freelance economy

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South African software as a service (SaaS) startup Magnetic Software has launched its External Collaboration feature to support the freelance economy, in line with its tactic of targeting the agency space.

Magnetic was founded in 2012, creating an all-in-one solution for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and advertising and digital agencies to manage their business processes. It provides a cloud-based SaaS platform focusing on sales, CRM, project management, accounts and human resources.

After closing two funding rounds, Magnetic is expanding beyond South Africa, making its first inroads in Australia through the agreement with Titan Digital, the largest digital agency in Western Australia.

It is also expanding its bouquet for traffic managers, who may have previously found it challenging to maintain a clear overview of a project when some contributors did not have access to the company’s workflow software. External Collaboration gives key roleplayers a complete view of all project resources, time allocations and capacities across the board, at any time.

“The freelance economy is experiencing an upsurge globally and in South Africa, and we’re seeing a trend among our clients to outsource a lot more of their work,” said Jan Pickard, CPO at Magnetic.

“Project management tools need to support the collaboration between companies and external contributors better, and they also need to support freelancers better. We developed External Collaboration to address the need that agencies have to manage their external service providers with the same tool they use internally.”

Pickard said Magnetic had wanted to build a feature that would make it seamless for everyone involved to work together, whether they are in-house, freelancers or entirely separate companies.

“External Collaboration took many months of planning, development and testing, and we’ve had immensely positive feedback from our clients since we began testing it in May,” he said.

The functionality enables Magnetic users to add individuals and teams outside of their companies to Magnetic – even if those people are not using the platform.

“Essentially,  we made it super easy for our clients to add freelancers and contributors to jobs, be it on a daily, weekly or monthly basis,” Pickard said.

Every stakeholder involved in a particular job or opportunity can be given access to a project, permitted task access or assigned tasks. They will also receive notifications as changes are made to keep them up to date.

“By building this functionality and bringing it to the South African market, we’ve aligned our software with some of the top international project management solutions – but of course, at much lower cost, and that was key for us,” said Pickard.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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