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6 top picks for small business collaboration software

Vangie Beal | Nov. 7, 2013
From basic document collaboration to video conferencing and scheduling, these collaboration tools help small businesses connect people and information.

With DeskAway, you can manage group activity as a project and track it online, view project history and milestones, set recurring tasks, track employee timesheets, share documents and files and also add comments and assign tasks within DeskAway or from email. The software automatically produces analytics and reports and integrates with a number of tools, including Google Apps, Freshbooks, Twitter and Facebook.

DeskAway Team lets small businesses quickly add users and grant access to projects the individual is involved with.

Price: Professional accounts for 20 users starts at $25 per month and go up to $179 per month for unlimited users and projects.

Google Apps: Collaboration With Ediscovery, Archiving
The Google Apps cloud-based productivity suite helps teams connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. The suite includes Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides and Google Drive to store and share documents in the cloud.

With Google Apps, you can share files and document folders with individuals, customers or your entire team. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time and others see changes live. Other Google Apps for Business features includes Google Hangouts (for group chats and video conferences) and Google Vault (an optional archiving and e-discovery tool).

Price: Google Apps for Business starts at $5 per user per month. Google Apps for Business with Vault starts at $10 per user per month.

Huddle: Team Content Collaboration
Huddle cloud-based collaboration software lets you share files with colleagues, collaborate on content and connect the people who contribute to a project. Features include a collaboration dashboard to give users immediate access to important information, secure file exchange and storage, an activity trail that automatically records a history of user activity, and document versioning. Huddle also uses intelligent recommendation technology to deliver up-to-date content to mobile devices. The software can be used to share and mange files, manage tasks and people and share and track Web-based presentations.

The Huddle task management screen lets you easily create, assign and edit team or individual tasks.

Price: The basic Workgroup plan, offering team content collaboration, starts at $20 per user per month. Enterprise and unlimited usage plans are also available.

Microsoft Office 365: Familiar Office Apps in the Cloud
If your employees are familiar with the Microsoft Office productivity suite, then Office 365 is worth considering. This Web-based version of Microsoft Office runs in the cloud in mobile and browser-only versions, giving businesses a team site to manager and share business email and documents. The latest versions of documents are always available online, and there are plenty of options for tracking changes and sharing.

Office 365 also offers management for team projects, online video conferencing, screen sharing and instant messaging using the Lync Web App. Hosted email and online storage are available as well. Upgraded versions of Office 365 also provide desktop versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Lync, Access Publisher and Lync.

Price: Office 365 for Small Business starts at $5.10 per user per month. It offers Web-based versions of Office applications. Upgrade plans include desktop versions of Office applications.

 

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