A lot of the best businesses these days, whether they are big enterprise companies or people who have small business firms, are using collaboration software programs to help improve their productivity and good performance.
If your business or your business team is not using collaboration software tools, then it is high time for you to learn more about the concept and the tools, which can be helpful to grow your business.
Also known as collaborative or group software, collaboration software generally helps people involved in a joint task or project to accomplish shared goals. They are created to improve how documents, files, and other forms of media are shared for a more effective and better team collaboration.
Collaborative software helps you facilitate action-oriented groups or teams that are working together, even across geographic distances, by giving tools that aid communication, collaboration, as well as the overall process of problem solving. In addition, collaboration software technologies may help in various project management functions, including managing deadlines, overseeing task assignments, and shared calendars.
One classification of collaboration technology is based on the level of collaboration among the users of a particular project or task.
You can think of these electronic (web-based or cloud-hosted) communication tools as interchange of information and discussions that is unstructured. They allow you to send information (such as messages), files, data or information, or other documents between people or groups of people and, hence, coordinate the sharing of information.
Also known as collaboration-level tools, these conferencing tools often refer to interactive work for a common goal. They too facilitate the sharing and collaboration of information, but compared with the earlier communication tools, they facilitate in a more interactive fashion.
Common examples include:
Coordination tools generally refer to the more complex interdependent work for a common or shared goal. The best collaboration management tools often facilitate as well as manage group activities.
Another classification of collaboration technology is based on the method they are used. These are:
A number of these tools offer cheap fees to use, with some even giving out demo versions for businesses to try them out first. Some tools are free.
Yet one more classification of collaboration technology is based on the area served. These are:
An About.com article, “How collaboration can work for business”, explains that collaboration software tools can give you a technological framework to enable you and your team to work together. However, it says there is a need to review the workflow process, as the mere purchase and use of collaboration software technology does not mean things will change overnight.
Still, many types of organizations or firms can find the usage of collaboration software tools very beneficial to their productivity and growth. While B2B or B2C businesses are often cited as examples of companies that will benefit from using collaborative software tools, professional or consultancy services can also benefit. Take for example, how collaborative software technologies can help individual lawyers or legal firms. AmericanBar.org argues that lawyers or legal firms can take advantage of these tools (many of which are cheap or even free) to prepare cases, share information, manage projects, among others.
PCMag also gives a simple definition of collaboration software to help you remember the basics. Now you know the different collaboration technologies, here are some tips on how to choose the best collaboration software. Also, if you’re a teacher, there are specific collaboration software tools for educators.
In case you are also interested in knowing more about other business software solutions like CRM and its future, read the guide on the future of CRM software applications.
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