What is Collaboration Software?
Collaboration software is any digital solution that helps team members work together in an efficient manner. This is done with the help of tools that facilitate storing and sharing of documents in the cloud, seamless management of tasks and projects, instant communication, and scheduling.
Successful collaboration is essential to good project management, and collaboration software helps companies achieve that. It enables teams to manage their digital assets and ideas securely. It also helps them communicate effectively, even across different time zones, with instant messaging tools, webinars, and scheduling tools. With the increase in popularity of distributed teams and remote work, collaboration software is more important than ever.
Most Popular Collaboration Categories
How to Choose Collaboration Software
Collaboration software makes it easier for teams to work on different types of projects. This is achieved through tools and applications that enable document sharing, team management, project collaboration and real time communication. These tools also make it easy for teams across different time zones to collaborate with each other.
Collaboration software solutions are often available with stand-alone features such as calendar and scheduling, file transfer and sharing, and cloud storage. However, some others also include a whole suite of project collaboration features such as communication, task collaboration, online sharing, calendar, email, and document storage. Such collaboration software solutions are often useful for end-to-end project management, while tools with one major feature such as instant messaging can be used for day-to-day communication. Apart from communication and storage, other important features offered by collaboration software include idea and knowledge management, and mind-mapping. These can be great resources for teams to collaborate on creative projects.
Depending on the size of your team, the location of its members, and scale of operations, you will need different types of collaboration software. Small businesses require minimalistic tools that enable communication, storage, and file sharing. Larger enterprises, on the other hand, tend to need more complex collaboration tools that facilitate project collaboration, knowledge management, and digital asset management.
Subcategories of Collaboration Software
- Business Modeling: As the name suggests, this type of software offers the ability to create a collaborative, cloud-based business model canvas. A business model canvas helps businesses identify the viability of the business, its purpose, goals, as well as the plans to achieve them. With the help of this software, businesses can chalk out professional business plans, along with financial projections on charts and spreadsheets.
- Calendar & Scheduling: These applications help businesses schedule meetings, phone calls, appointments, and webinars quickly with the help of integration's with online calendars. With the help of this software type, you can easily check the availability of your coworkers, pick a suitable time for everyone in the team and schedule meetings and events. Scheduling software saves you the hassle of sending emails back-and-forth. It is also handy if you wish to set up meetings with team members in different time zones. Calendar and scheduling software is a must for distributed businesses to manage their schedule efficiently and to save time.
- Cloud Storage: This type of software helps users save data in the cloud, where it is accessible from various networks and at any point of time. Apart from file storage, such software also offers additional services such as synchronization, content management and file sharing. Cloud storage software helps businesses organize their data efficiently, and store it in a safe and secure fashion, where it can be accessed anytime. The ability to easily store and access data can be crucial for successful collaboration.
- Digital Asset Management: Digital asset management software is used to store, organize and manage digital permissions and rights. It gives everyone in a team access to all digital assets of the company, in a quick and easy way. Some of these software products also include content management, scheduling and organization of teams. They can save companies the hassle of having to work with various documents, by organizing all their digital assets in one central place.
- Document Management: This type of software helps organizations manage, store, and archive electronic documents and images. In many cases, they can also be used to save various versions of a document. Document management software is essential when several team members are working on a single document and need to incorporate edits at different stages. Teams can easily save and find different documents, share them with clients and partners, and collaborate on projects. A number of these products also offer electronic signature features, the ability to comment, manage meetings, and mind mapping solutions.
- eMeetings & Webinars: This software helps hold meetings, through video and voice calling, with team members as well other stakeholders such as clients and suppliers. They can also be used to host online conferences or webinars. Some of the more advanced webinar software applications help manage webinar branding, allow for customized invitations, registrations, and agenda planning. Most of these products also come equipped with screen sharing and instant messaging features.
- File Transfer & Sharing: This type of software offers a platform for online file management. Teams can manage different projects in private workspaces and also invite clients and suppliers to share files. These solutions make it easy for teams to collaborate on different projects. Users can share files and folders of various sizes, such as HD videos, images, music and contacts.
- Idea Management: This software helps teams share ideas, innovate and collect feedback, from team members, customers, and suppliers. A number of these tools offer a visual representation of ideas in the form of mind maps, flow charts, wireframes, and diagrams. Some of them are also equipped with whiteboard video animation and design prototyping abilities. It is a great way for organizations to share and validate ideas across different departments and teams. This software is a must for efficient enterprise innovation management.
- Instant Messaging & Chat: This software offers tools for teams to chat in real time, in private or open channels, and communicate more effectively. Instant messaging apps are designed for teams to work together, by allowing them to switch between different chat rooms. These tools also offer easy file sharing, ability to share links, documents, and save and archive chats for later reference. These tools are especially important for remote teams, since they allow them to constantly interact with each other, so as not to feel isolated. It lets team members easily see what others are working on at any given point of time. This category also includes live chat software that allows customers or site visitors to interact with customer support executives in real time. This type of software helps businesses convert website visitors into customers by instantly addressing their questions.
- Knowledge Management: This software type helps organizations create internal knowledge bases for company use as well as guides for customer interactions. It helps them better organize, manage and store information that is key to their business. Teams can create online documentation for their team members as well as help guides for their clients. These include troubleshooter guides, frequently asked questions and so on. These documents can then be stored securely in company “Wikis” for example and shared easily with anyone who needs them.
- Mindmapping: Mindmapping software is used to enable users to manage complex data, bring clarity to their thoughts and brainstorm new ideas. It allows teams to brainstorm and act on the best ideas, no matter where they are in the world. These tools are equipped with the ability to synchronize files across different platforms, create slide-based presentations of ideas, and assign tasks and milestones. Users can also store ideas and download them in various formats such as PDF for example.
- Project Collaboration: This type of software allows for project management and team collaboration for small teams as well as large enterprises. Teams can manage projects, share documents, and assign tasks in an efficient manner. They can easily organize documents, work with clients and communicate with each other, all in one central application. You can get real-time status updates from all of your team members and quickly track activity across different projects. It also offers the ability to share files seamlessly. This type of software is often essential for small and large teams working on various projects to manage and organize their efforts efficiently.
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