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Collaboration Software


 
Wrike logo
 
Wrike is a cloud-based project management and collaboration platform that blends traditional project management applications with social collaboration tools. Users have an accurate, real-time view of project progress and can assign... Read More
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Wrike is a cloud-based project management and collaboration platform that blends traditional project management applications with social collaboration tools. Users have an accurate, real-time view of project progress and can assign... Read More
 
Onehub logo
 
Onehub is a cloud-based collaboration tool that helps users securely store and share their business files. It can be customized to meet users' specific requirements and custom branding needs. Onehub offers a range of features to help... Read More
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Onehub is a cloud-based collaboration tool that helps users securely store and share their business files. It can be customized to meet users' specific requirements and custom branding needs. Onehub offers a range of features to help... Read More
 
Asana logo
 
Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables companies to manage and organize tasks and projects, communicate and collaborate. This product is suited for teams and companies that handle multiple projects... Read More
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Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables companies to manage and organize tasks and projects, communicate and collaborate. This product is suited for teams and companies that handle multiple projects... Read More
 
Smartsheet logo
 
Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. This cloud-based product is offered on a subscription model and features native mobile apps... Read More
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Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. This cloud-based product is offered on a subscription model and features native mobile apps... Read More
 
Bolste logo
 
Bolste is a cloud-based, all-in-one project management platform that features chat, file sharing, collaborative document editing, video chat and other tools designed to help teams improve workflows and reach business goals. The solution... Read More
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Bolste is a cloud-based, all-in-one project management platform that features chat, file sharing, collaborative document editing, video chat and other tools designed to help teams improve workflows and reach business goals. The solution... Read More

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Workfront logo
 
Workfront is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) or "cloud" based project management system. They offer collaborative work managing tools including task, portfolio, resource management and more.
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Workfront is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) or "cloud" based project management system. They offer collaborative work managing tools including task, portfolio, resource management and more.
 
Noodle logo
 
Noodle is a hybrid social intranet solution that can either be deployed in the cloud or hosted on local servers. It is designed for communication, collaboration and sharing resources within teams. Noodle allows employees to create... Read More
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Noodle is a hybrid social intranet solution that can either be deployed in the cloud or hosted on local servers. It is designed for communication, collaboration and sharing resources within teams. Noodle allows employees to create... Read More
 
XaitPorter logo
 
XaitPorter is a cloud-based collaboration platform that allows different sets of users to simultaneously create and edit different parts of the same document. This solution offers version control, which prevents overwriting and duplication... Read More
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XaitPorter is a cloud-based collaboration platform that allows different sets of users to simultaneously create and edit different parts of the same document. This solution offers version control, which prevents overwriting and duplication... Read More
 
Mavenlink logo
 
Mavenlink offers software and services for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services and it is best suited for those who need to collaborate on teams. Mavenlink's... Read More
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Mavenlink offers software and services for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services and it is best suited for those who need to collaborate on teams. Mavenlink's... Read More
 
TurboMeeting logo
 
TurboMeeting is a collaboration solution that provides six real-time collaboration applications, including web conferencing, remote support, audio conferencing, video conferencing, remote access and webinar support. TurboMeeting helps... Read More
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TurboMeeting is a collaboration solution that provides six real-time collaboration applications, including web conferencing, remote support, audio conferencing, video conferencing, remote access and webinar support. TurboMeeting helps... Read More

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Blackboard Collaborate logo
 
Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning solution designed primarily for elementary and high schools, higher education and government facilities. Blackboard Collaborate offers a browser-based web conferencing tool... Read More
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Blackboard Collaborate is an online collaborative learning solution designed primarily for elementary and high schools, higher education and government facilities. Blackboard Collaborate offers a browser-based web conferencing tool... Read More
 
Bloomfire logo
 
Bloomfire is a cloud-based collaboration platform that delivers content management and social collaboration features in a web application. Customer organizations use Bloomfire to find and follow internal experts, create and post content,... Read More
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Bloomfire is a cloud-based collaboration platform that delivers content management and social collaboration features in a web application. Customer organizations use Bloomfire to find and follow internal experts, create and post content,... Read More
 
Samepage logo
 
Samepage is a cloud-based collaboration software solution that helps teams eliminate project bottlenecks and communicate seamlessly with team members. Samepage provides a suite of project management tools, communication features and... Read More
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Samepage is a cloud-based collaboration software solution that helps teams eliminate project bottlenecks and communicate seamlessly with team members. Samepage provides a suite of project management tools, communication features and... Read More
 
Clarizen logo
 
Clarizen is an online project management software system that offers a full set of features including: automatic notifications, gantt charts, multi-project management, templates, scheduling and more.
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Clarizen is an online project management software system that offers a full set of features including: automatic notifications, gantt charts, multi-project management, templates, scheduling and more.
 
FunctionFox logo
 
With 70,000 users, TimeFox is a trusted project management solution for small businesses. The web-based system includes timesheet solutions, task tracking and project cost tracking.
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With 70,000 users, TimeFox is a trusted project management solution for small businesses. The web-based system includes timesheet solutions, task tracking and project cost tracking.

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LiquidPlanner logo
 
LiquidPlanner is a cloud-based project management platform. It includes integrated applications for project portfolio management, document management, project collaboration, resource management, time tracking, budgeting and more. LiquidPlanner's... Read More
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LiquidPlanner is a cloud-based project management platform. It includes integrated applications for project portfolio management, document management, project collaboration, resource management, time tracking, budgeting and more. LiquidPlanner's... Read More
 
Timereaction logo
 
Timereaction is a web-based project management and collaboration platform for small and mid-sized companies. It’s suitable for industries such as manufacturing, retail, marketing, advertising, IT, software and engineering. Timereaction... Read More
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Timereaction is a web-based project management and collaboration platform for small and mid-sized companies. It’s suitable for industries such as manufacturing, retail, marketing, advertising, IT, software and engineering. Timereaction... Read More
 
Confluence logo
 
Confluence is a project management software solution that enables organizations to create, collaborate, organize and review project documents. The system offers both cloud-based and on-premise deployment. Confluence’s editor feature... Read More
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Confluence is a project management software solution that enables organizations to create, collaborate, organize and review project documents. The system offers both cloud-based and on-premise deployment. Confluence’s editor feature... Read More
 
Projectplace logo
 
Projectplace is a cloud-based project management and collaboration solution that helps organizations in a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, retail and health care, execute projects and monitor their progress efficiently. Projectplace... Read More
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Projectplace is a cloud-based project management and collaboration solution that helps organizations in a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, retail and health care, execute projects and monitor their progress efficiently. Projectplace... Read More
 
Jostle logo
 
Jostle is a cloud-based collaboration and social networking solution that helps businesses share news, align teams, invite participants and recognize contributions. The platform allows employees to discuss topics and share their ideas... Read More
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Jostle is a cloud-based collaboration and social networking solution that helps businesses share news, align teams, invite participants and recognize contributions. The platform allows employees to discuss topics and share their ideas... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: April 10, 2017


American entrepreneur and industrialist Henry Ford once famously remarked, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” This quest for collective success is what forms the basis of collaboration software.

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly reaching out to global audiences, which requires them to work with employees, partners and customers that are spread across the world. Traditional methods, such as email, make it difficult to control versions of files or documents shared by multiple people spread across various time zones.

That’s where collaboration tools can help: A collaboration solution offers features that allow multiple stakeholders to combine their knowledge and skills to achieve a common goal without having to be together in the same place.

This guide can help potential buyers find the best solution for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Collaboration Software?
Common Functionality of Collaboration Software
Benefits of Collaboration Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Collaboration Software? 

Collaboration software enables multiple users to communicate, conference and coordinate among themselves to facilitate group work.

Among other things, the software facilitates the exchange of messages between individuals using emails, instant messengers (IMs), voice/video calls and discussion threads. It also helps with the sharing and management of documents by allowing different users to work simultaneously on the same set of files and updating in real time.

Virtually all types of organizations can benefit from collaboration software, including those in:

  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Goverment
  • Health care
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofits
  • Retail
  • Technology

Common Functionality of Collaboration Software

Most collaboration tools come with some or all of the following capabilities:

Content management Allows collaboration between several authors to create and edit the same document in real time. Enables users to highlight text or add comments, which can be incorporated when editing. Some solutions also allow users to organize and structure content according to document type.
Document management Enables users to upload and share files such as documents, videos and images. Also allows users to store, track and manage different versions of a document and apply role-based permissions to disable access to specific sections of a document.
Calendar management Users can view individual and team-wide calendars to schedule appointments or meetings on the calendars of team members they are working with, irrespective of their locations. This feature may also include synchronization with third-party calendar management applications (e.g., Apple's Calendar or Google Calendar).
Knowledge management Allows users to maintain a repository of all completed and ongoing projects in an organization with all the available versions of a document attached to a project. This process facilitates knowledge sharing within an organization.
Communication software Provides users with tools that allow them to engage with other individuals on a project, such as internal messengers, videoconferencing, discussion forums and team-specific group creation capabilities. Some solutions also allow for the creation of an internal social network with the capability to create individual and team bios so users can like and comment on project updates.
Project management Enables the tracking of project progress by breaking projects into several tasks and setting completion milestones for each. This allows managers to track project dependencies, set timelines for tasks or projects and reschedule tasks according to team schedules. Certain solutions provide a Gantt chart representation to visualize project completion.
Third-party integration Most of the collaboration tools on the market are “best-of-breed,” focusing on a specific group of features. However, some organizations may seek software that can manage their core tasks as well as integrate with other software used, such as email applications, IM, VoIP and web conferencing, among others.

Benefits of Collaborative Software

Business professionals can realize multiple benefits as a result of adopting collaboration tools, including:

Centralizing information. Organizations that have a workforce spread across multiple locations often have problems with communicating project tasks or job schedules to employees. For teams based in different time zones, emails become ineffective when different groups work on the same document, due to issues with version control. Collaboration software centralizes content at a single location and updates it in real time so everyone can view accurate information. Collaboration software also creates a central repository of documents, consolidating the knowledge management efforts of an organization.

Saving on operational costs. A collaboration solution also offers a combination of features, such as document management, content curation, version control, task management, knowledge management and communication tools. Paying for a number of different proprietary solutions specializing in these individual areas can be costly. Collaboration software can help save on project costs by performing multiple functions that would ordinarily require several different tools to accomplish.

Increasing employee productivity. A study by McKinsey found that only 39 percent of the average employee’s workweek is spent on role-specific tasks, while the remaining time is spent writing emails and coordinating with team members. A collaboration solution centralizes communication, allowing users to spend more time on project-related tasks and make faster, more effective decisions.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Choosing the right collaboration software depends on the size of your business. Consider the following buyer types:

Small and midsize businesses. These businesses typically operate as establishments with up to 100 employees and focus on specific operational areas. Such companies might consider a best-of-breed system that specializes solely in communication and conferencing.

For example, a small company that manages limited projects and has employees concentrated at just a few locations may want to consider a solution that will help them communicate with other members and centralize information.

A midsize organization with an active sales force might instead prioritize a solution with advanced communication and conferencing features, such as web conferencing, community boards and forums and IM capability.

Large enterprises. Big companies typically operate in multiple operational areas with employees based at different locations. For such businesses, coordination is key. These businesses may want to consider a collaboration solution that is a modular suite, allowing them to pick and choose the different modules needed.

For example, a large enterprise that has teams spread across different time zones might seek software that helps them manage complex projects or tasks that are dependent on each other. They may require software that offers document management, task scheduling and content curation in addition to communication and conferencing features.

Market Trends to Understand

Shift towards mobile and BYOD collaboration. Mobile devices are fast outpacing desktops both in terms of number of units sold and usage in terms of work behavior. Personal devices are often employees’ first choice when it comes to accessing work, due to convenience and user-friendliness. Many companies that develop collaboration tools are now developing mobile apps so employees can collaborate effectively regardless of device type.

Social collaboration tools may outpace emails. As early as 2010, Gartner predicted that over 20 percent of businesses would replace emails with social networking tools as the primary method of business communication. Today, this transition is visible as businesses continue to invest in social team collaboration solutions and use email more as a direct communication tool than a project management platform.

 

 

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