Find out more about Collaboration Software
What is Collaboration Software?
Collaboration software helps your team members work together on activities and projects. It keeps all employees informed and can ensure your schedules are on track. You can store all relevant files and records in a single secure location and provide access to team members based on their role. The software can also be used to ensure effective communication between staff members, and identify and resolve obstacles at an early stage to ensure successful completion of projects. Another big advantage is that collaboration software diminishes the obstacles imposed by diverse geographical locations, and teams can work together seamlessly and in real time. This big benefit makes it essential for companies having international teams to invest in a good quality collaboration system. To help you make the right choice for your unique needs, we have listed the leading collaboration software apps. The frontrunner is Wrike which is rated as the best in the category by our review team.
Most Popular Collaboration Software
Best Collaboration Software
How To Choose The Best Collaboration Software
Collaboration software enable companies to unite their employees and to make the most of their talent and potential. Most of the time, it consists of sharing and contribution platforms and excessive online databases where all corporate information is made available to all employees. Still, one has to be careful when choosing the best Collaboration software, and to know few basic things in advance:
Get to know each product with free trial
In most cases you will want to try out some free trial plans from the most popular services in order to check out key features of their software first. That way you can get some insight on how the software works before you commit any money. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Custmer Satisfaction Rating in the collaboration software category and choose the best Collaboration software for your company: Wrike reviews, Nutcache, eXo Platform, JIRA, Workfront, Zoho Projects, ProWorkFlow, Zoho Docs, Procore, Mavenlink, Azeus Convene, TeamDesk and LiquidPlanner.
Generally, collaboration software suits every team that works on large and complex projects, and needs to communicate for the purpose. Your team would qualify for the purchase as well, if it is for instance:
- A team that needs a digital brainstorming workplace. Sometimes, all it takes to develop phenomenal solutions is to bring employees on the same table, just that this time it is a digital one. Thanks to collaboration software, you can get the most of your talent and human capacity regardless of where your team members may be located.
- A team that tracks multiple tasks at a time. Projects usually consist of multiple parts, each of them assigned to a particular group of people. Still, most project parts are ‘movable’ and depend on each other, and teams have to stay connected in order to meet deadlines appropriately.
- A team that shares plenty of files. There is no better way to share files than using a certified and safe collaboration repository, where everybody will have access to every file, and will be able to attach their feedback.
- A team that feels disconnected. Nowadays, where companies are decentralized and employees work from all possible locations, it is difficult to keep them together and to make them share their priorities and accomplishments. Being able to communicate via professional networks makes them feel more united, namely as a team.
Collaboration Software For Enterprises
Collaboration apps are used to collect and archive all relevant corporate information on one location, from where it will be available to all team members, and where they can cooperate to complete their assignments in the best possible way. The more employees are involved and the more tasks are assigned, the more difficult it becomes to unify their work, which is why large businesses are in need of a robust collaboration system. These systems enable a smooth flow of data and give a chance to the company’s most valuable ideas, in particular opportunities that can be neglected during busy day-to-day management. A distinctive advantage is also that businesses get to extend their reach to global talent, and to do it on a fraction of the usual cost, being able at the same time to keep most decentralized teams virtually connected. Eventually, the business improves also its customer satisfaction rates, being one of the key reasons why such systems are introduced.
- Wrike: A fast and easy collaboration platform that unites co-located teams that allows companies to track progress in real time.
- Asana: A task management app that drills down to the smallest tasks and files. It is empowered with a notification mechanism for every task/project related activity.
- Trello: A well-known project management app that uses the concept of boards (boards are the projects, and cards are the tasks).
- Jira: One of the most popular project management programs, known by its capacity to help you prioritize, and by its powerful integration with leading retail platforms.
- Clarizen: A very powerful combination of social collaboration and project management which helps companies to prioritize their budgets and to manage projects much faster.
Types of Collaboration Software
Collaboration software can be divided into three distinct categories, each with its own range of functionalities. It’s possible your company will need all of these functionalities, but quite often you’ll only need a few of these. It should be expected that more sophisticated features will cost more, so you should only buy the elements you really need.
Informal discussions and presentations
- phone conference that connects multiple lines
- video conference that displays the speaker or simultaneously all members
- online conference that features phone and video conferencing with presentation tools like screen sharing, document sharing, or slideshows
- e-mail groups that let members send emails to the group or specific members
- social networking sites that let members create profiles to connect with other members or groups
- document sharing that lets members share and edit documents collaboratively in real time
- message boards that allow members to post discussions and follow threads
More robust collaboration solutions include project management tools for a complete package. However, some vendors sell project management as a separate solution. If your business is project-intensive like in the construction industry, it’s recommended to get a full project management software than a collaboration solution with project management tools. On the other hand, if your projects are small or intermittent and you just need occasional project management tools, collaboration software with these tools are perfect. Here are some basic project management features to check:
- task assignments to help you organize who’s doing what and when
- time management with shared calendars to keep tab of daily accomplishments
- milestone charting (e.g., Gantt) to keep tab of the project’s overall progress
- knowledge base to collate best practices or solutions that others can use
- reporting tools to document the project from start to end
- online community that acts as a portal for members to share documents, calendars, blogs, message boards, etc.
- wikis and blogs that let members collaborate and build an online presence filled with informative content relevant to the project
Key Features of Collaboration Software
- Organized Dashboards – The dashboard is the main entrance to all your projects and tasks, where you can see what has been assigned to very employee, and follow progress, statistics, upcoming events, or to join a discussion.
- File Sharing – Don’t settle for less than an advanced file sharing platform. We could all agree that a collaboration tool would be useless without a central repository that saves all files, or without the possibility for employees to attach a report while discussing it.
- Mobile Optimization – It is no longer enough for employees to access information on their mobile devices. The revolutionary approach is to let them work on the go, namely attach and download files, or join a discussion of interest. Ideally, your collaboration product should offer apps for all operating systems.
- Easy Setup – Get the software that doesn’t require too much time or effort to set up so you can start your collaboration effort fast.
- Easy Data Retrieval – Whether it’s an opinion, comment, recommendation, report, or message, information should be easy to locate with a powerful search engine.
- Gamification – Gamification is critical for executives to follow the work of their teams, but also for individuals to be motivated with awards and recognitions. At the same time, gamification plays a significant role for guided missions, because employees are able to define how far they’ve gotten, and to estimate which are their bad and good sides.
- Vendor support – It should be easy to ask help from the vendor in case of a glitch. Response time should not exceed 24 hours lest your project risks a delay.
Benefits of Collaboration Software
Purchasing collaboration software is often a decision on the line, knowing both how suspicious entrepreneurs are when letting data go viral and how many communication alternatives can be used instead. Still, there are many benefits from using private collaboration networks, and easy access is only one of them:
- Lower Costs. Large and crowded offices are far behind us, because collaboration software makes it possible for employees to stay connected and join online conferences wherever they may be. This way, the company doesn’t have to pay for travel expenses and telecommunications, and it can keep employees behind their desks instead of moving them around for brainstorming meetings.
- Employee Satisfaction. Not even the most introvert or less included employees will stay in the shadows, because everybody will have the chance to join conversations and to make a contribution. This will provide employees with access to valuable information, and most of all – a feeling that they are valuable for your company and your mission.
- Less Information Disorder. If any. We all know how messy emails can be, and that they can lock valuable information in few inboxes around the company where it is of no use to the teams. Once shared on a collaboration platform, information and conversation history are saved in a comprehensive database and secured with administered access.
- Access to Knowledge. There is no easier way to on-board a new employee than including him in a collaboration platform where he can access documents and follow discussions. Experienced workers will also benefit from it, as they will be able to learn from each other.
- Managing Projects. That’s true, projects already have software of their own, but that doesn’t mean that tasks can be tracked individually or that teams will be able to share critical information instantly. Besides, assigning tasks to particular employees is a very important, if not the most important detail of every project.
Most of the trends we were predicting at the beginning of this year are already a fact, which makes us believe that the current ones are already on their way:
- Enterprise Work Management. Business is becoming more and more digital, and more processes are shifting towards social intranet support. Collaboration software, as being the one able to generate most interactions, will very likely appear under a more agile teamwork model, probably less formal than the one available now.
- Specialization. One thing that standard collaboration software can fail to respond to are specific collaboration needs of different industries. There are branches where teams need to collaborate in a more specific manner, which is why experts expect collaboration software to become more industry-specific in the upcoming years.
The way we put it so far, collaboration software is amazing and there is no reason for a company not to purchase it. Still, there are few drawbacks each executive should consider before making a decision.
- Cost. To be completely frank, collaboration software is not among the cheapest out there, and the more powerful it is, the more expensive it will become. The licensing costs are sometimes outraging, not even to mention setup and maintenance. Still, this doesn’t have to mean that there is no affordable tool – you just have to consider your needs, and to look for one.
- Security. Once data goes viral, there is no way to protect it 100%. What you can do in any case is to look for a reputable vendor who can offer administered access.
All Collaboration Software Reviews
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Our review platform employs our proprietary SmartScore™ algorithm to examine all the software in the Collaboration Software category so that we can help you decide on the best possible app. It analyzes the following aspects: individual features, collaboration possibilities, custom elements, integrations with other services, intuitiveness, customer support, security, mobile support, scores in other media. As of now, Wrike is the leader in this category and is recommended by our experts. Following thorough examination it got the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the choices for your business.
A summary of total user satisfaction with the service in the Collaboration Software category based on our unique algorythm that finds user reviews, comments and opinions across a broad range of social media sites to help you make an informed investment choice.
Every vendor in the Collaboration Software category will offer a different group of pricing packages for its app and each plan will include a different group of features. Below we list the overal pricing for the cheapest package provided for each service. Keep in mind that advanced features may have an extra cost.
An analysis of what kind of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B tools in the Collaboration Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Learn what languages and countries are served by the popular B2B solutions in the Collaboration Software category, including solutions aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.
Find out what pricing packages are supported by the vendors in the Collaboration Software category to check which one suits your business preferences and budget best. Be aware that some apps can support free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.
A brief look at what types of customers a specific B2B platform in the Collaboration Software category is designed for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.