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Collaboration Software Reviews: 5 Key Factors To Keep In Mind When You Read Them

Category: Collaboration Software

qnaJohn has just been appointed chief information officer of a small business and is looking at collaboration software reviews to guide him in making the move to improve office productivity. He asks:

As I take on a fresh assignment in a new company, I would like to be referred to good collaboration software reviews so that I can recommend the adoption of this system.I am seeing the benefits of a web based solution to manage projects and the volume of our data, instead of resorting to the usual networked office server which is limited in its capacity. Can you give me tips in scouting for collaboration software reviews? – John, CA

You’re right on track, John. It takes a keen eye to separate the chaff from the grain. There are a lot of collaboration software reviews in the market to facilitate project management and the sharing of information within your group.  But first,  you have to ask the essential questions: which type of software suits your needs? what do you seek to accomplish? what is your budget?

Here are some factors to consider when making the decision:

Read on the individual software and check the website of the vendor.

You might say this is a given, but there’s just so much information and features offered out there that you really have to make an honest-to-goodness comparison.Map out a table of their benefits and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, price points. An organized table can help you come up with the right decision.

Free vs. paid software

For a company that seeks to save on cost, free is always good. Most software have trial packages which you can test out before you buy. There is always Skype and Google Docs too. However, free may not work if you’re looking for additional features such as dedicated virtual workspaces, added security and round-the-clock support. If you’re looking for a paid service, we go back to the question of how many users you have and how much budget you are willing to allot for such, while assessing your company’s work needs. To aid you in choosing between free and paid, here are the key features to look for when comparing online team collaboration software.

Mobile accessibility

A growing number of companies these days are not just content with cloud hosted solutions. With the increase in smartphone users, especially among sales and marketing teams, a lot of people expect to join meetings, access data, edit documents and be well-versed with project updates, even while out in the field or on-the-go.

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Social media integration

With everyone going social in this digital age, a lot of b2c companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to leverage their business with the social media activities of their clients. As such, it is paramount for a software to be capable of tracking status updates, manage online communities and be reachable by tools for instant messaging. Likewise, the software should also have a capability to import streams from leading social networks like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

Flexibility and scalability

A worthy software should also be customizable, meaning it can adjust its functions as your company grows or as the workforce increases. Aside from being accessible to internal users, the software function should be able to adjust to the addition of suppliers, consultants and contractors to the project whose inputs may be necessary in the collaboration.

P.S. For further reading on collaboration software, I recommend the following helpful guides: how work collaboration software can help you organize group tasks; and which top collaboration software vendor is right for your company.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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