Collaboration Software Buyers Guide

Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped hundreds of businesses find collaboration software so they can streamline communication and improve project task delegation.

Showing 1-20 of 330 products

Miro

Miro is a cloud-based collaboration tool for small to midsize businesses. The solution features a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wireframing and a range ... Read more

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Ziflow

Ziflow is a cloud-based proofing solution, which helps businesses of all sizes manage content review and approval processes in a collaborative manner. Features include customizable branding, version control, automated workflows, s... Read more

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Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f... Read more

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monday.com

monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ... Read more

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ClickUp FrontRunners 2020

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolb... Read more

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Igloo

Igloo is a cloud-based based desktop and mobile collaboration platform that helps users connect stakeholders and create collaborative environments for their employees. This collection of digital workplace solutions helps empl... Read more

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Bluescape

Bluescape is a collaboration platform, which helps teams manage projects, edit files and add comments or annotations in customizable virtual workspaces. The platform enables organizations to store files, images, videos, blueprints... Read more

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Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables teams to collaborate, communicate, and manage several tasks and projects. It can help teams meet project deadlines while tracking the completion of all tasks... Read more

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Airtable FrontRunners 2020

Airtable is a cloud-based project management solution targeting small to midsize businesses as well as departments within larger companies. This system focuses primarily on data organization and collaboration. The system uses... Read more

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Bonzai Intranet

Bonzai Intranet is a cloud-based intranet-in-a-box for SharePoint and Office 365. Bonzai helps companies improve the productivity of every team member with an affordable digital workplace that enables communication, collaboration,... Read more

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Adobe Workfront

Workfront is the leader in enterprise work management. Workfront connects strategy to delivery, integrating people and data across the enterprise, and manages work from start to finish for the delivery of measurable outcomes, all ... Read more

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Backlog

Backlog is a cloud-based project management and issue tracking solution that caters to development teams working with design, marketing and IT teams. The key features of the solution include project and issue management, subtaskin... Read more

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Happeo

Happeo is an intranet software focused on improving internal communications. It integrates exclusively with G Suite and provides users with content management capabilities, employee engagement analytics, permission management and ... Read more

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Wire FrontRunners 2020

Wire is a cloud-based collaboration solution that offers conference calls, video conferences, screen sharing and file sharing functionalities within a suite. Wire features team admin, which allows users to add or remove users... Read more

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Noodle

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 c... Read more

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GreenOrbit

GreenOrbit is an intranet solution. It connects an organization’s employees – allowing them to manage documents, control workflows, share content and collaborate in real time. Using a drag-and-drop CMS, users can create pages... Read more

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FileCloud

FileCloud is a cloud-based file sharing and sync system that allows users to access and sync business data from any device. It offers file sharing, backup, remote access and sync. Users can access files via web browser, brows... Read more

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Element

Element is a secure messenger and chat app designed to streamline team collaboration. This solution is part of the Matrix ecosystem and is protected by end-to-end encryption. Element is suitable for teams working in various indust... Read more

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Claromentis

Claromentis offers cloud-based intranet software for small and midsize businesses. The solution includes corporate social networking and collaboration tools, as well as document management. It offers a drag-and-drop editor tool wi... Read more

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elium

Elium is a knowledge sharing software which connects people and empowers a digital workplace. It keeps you connected with every member of your work group for smooth operations and to avoid any confusion. Whether users are sitting ... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: March 15, 2021

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 a collaboration platform.

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly reaching out to global audiences, which requires them to focus on enterprise collaboration. They have to work with employees, partners, and customers spread across the globe. With traditional collaboration methods such as email, it’s difficult to control the various versions of files or documents shared with multiple stakeholders across time zones.

That’s where collaboration tools can help. A collaboration tool 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 team collaboration software 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 is a type of software tool that lets multiple users communicate, collaborate, and coordinate among themselves in real time.

A collaboration platform facilitates team communication through emails, instant messages, voice and video calls, and discussion threads. It also helps with online collaboration via file sharing and document management. These features allow an entire team to work simultaneously on the same file, which gets updated in real time.

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

  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofits
  • Retail
  • Technology

Video conference in GoToMeeting

Screen sharing during a video conference in GoToMeeting (Source)

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 the 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, Google Calendar).
Knowledge management Allows users to maintain a repository of all available resources (documents, files, etc.) related to completed and ongoing projects in their organization. This process facilitates knowledge sharing within an organization.
Communication software Provides communication tools that allow users to engage with other project members. These tools include internal messengers, video conferencing, discussion forums, and team-specific group creation capabilities. Some solutions also allow for the creation of an internal social network with the capability to build 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 assign tasks, track project dependencies, set timelines for tasks or projects, and reschedule tasks according to team schedules. Certain solutions provide Gantt chart representation to visualize project completion timelines.
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 the other software tools they use, such as email software, instant messaging app, VoIP software, video conferencing software, and project management software.

Benefits of collaboration software

Businesses can reap multiple benefits from a collaboration tool, including:

  • Centralized information: Organizations with distributed teams often have problems with remote project collaboration. 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. Online collaboration software also creates a central repository of documents, consolidating the knowledge sharing efforts of an organization.
  • Savings on operational costs: A collaboration solution 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. Online collaboration software can help save on project costs by performing multiple functions that would ordinarily require several different tools to accomplish.
  • Increased employee productivity: A collaboration solution can cut out unnecessary meetings, 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, offering capabilities such as instant messaging and audio and video conferencing.

      For example, a small team that manages limited projects and has team members who prefer remote work, may want to consider a collaboration app that will help members communicate with each other 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 instant messaging.
    • Large enterprises: Big companies typically operate in multiple areas with employees based at different locations. For such businesses, coordination is key. These businesses may want to consider an enterprise collaboration software tool that is a modular suite, allowing them to pick and choose the different modules they need.

      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 besides communication and conferencing features.

Market trends to understand

  • BYOD is becoming the new normal. Many small and midsized enterprises are adopting BYOD, or bring your own device, to avoid spending on devices upfront. The technology not only helps businesses save on infrastructure costs but also ensures employees feel more productive and satisfied, as they get to work on their own devices from anywhere they want. Given the dual benefits, this trend is likely to gain more popularity in the future.
  • Rise of smart meeting rooms. Organizations are transitioning toward smart meeting rooms that can integrate hardware and software elements to make meetings more productive and creative. These meeting rooms have smart control panels that let employees get together and collaborate in real time irrespective of their location. Businesses are expected to continue investing in mobile technologies to boost active collaboration via smart meeting rooms and enable work from anywhere.

Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Collaboration Software, April 2020

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Collaboration Software Buyers Guide products in North America.

Learn how products are chosen

Explore FrontRunners

“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.