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Three Cloud-Based Team Collaboration Solutions

April 30, 2017

Team collaboration solutions of the past often relied on an enterprise implementing an end-to-end solution so that all components could be smoothly integrated and work together. With the advent of cloud-based team collaboration solutions, companies can add tools to almost any existing or future infrastructure. Before an infrastructure is put into place, a company needs to have a culture that encourages communication and collaboration. Benefits of cloud-based team collaboration solutions include:

  • Securely share essential data in the cloud with users that matter, whether they are internal stakeholders, customers, partners, or vendors. When custom roles and permissions are implemented, some users can see and work with limited data; others can see everything.

  • When all data is in one place, data integrity is increased. Cloud-based database ensures that users always access the latest and correct version of data.

  • Applications are in the cloud and can be instantly accessible from any browser or mobile device, and are available 24/7, saving time and improving productivity.

Enterprise social networking (ESN), an important tool that allows users in a group or on a team to share newsfeeds, documents, annotations, calendar information, notes, conversation threads, private messages, polls and profiles. When ESN resides in the cloud, geographical and time boundaries are no longer important. A few of the types of team collaboration solutions that can be implemented in the cloud include:

  • Citrix Sharefile is a tool that allows for the exchange of large files with individuals or groups of colleagues. The basic version provides 5GB of storage and bandwidth, and two employee accounts for retrieving and transferring files. The professional package costs $59.95 per month and provides 10GB of storage and bandwidth and 10 employee accounts. ShareFile can be connected to Citrix Podio, a social collaboration tool that allows users to set up places in the cloud called Workspaces, where employees can post statuses, make comments, "like" posts and share files. It also features mobile support with apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone for collaborating and sharing files while mobile.

  • Huddle is a cloud-based collaboration platform that is used by more than 100,000 businesses globally. It offers features based on file sharing and management, content collaboration, people management and tasks. Huddle is accessed through a browser and can be customized, branded and provides support for mobile devices. Additionally, Huddle offers version control management, which lets employees roll back files to previous versions to view and make changes. A Workspaces feature can also help businesses work on projects, using a control dashboard view for each one group a menu at the top of the screen. Huddle has strong security features and costs around $20 per month per user.

  • Google Apps for Business has been around longer than many other services and is used by over 5M businesses. Now used by over 5 million businesses, it offers access to Gmail, calendars, documents and Drive – Google's cloud storage service. All of these services allow users to collaborate in real time, from editing a spreadsheet in Docs, amending dates in a calendar to uploading files to a directory. Google’s strength is simplicity, with features such as sharing documents through a single click, or setting up videoconferencing sessions through its Hangouts capability. Many of the services are very close in functionality to Google's standard consumer Gmail and Calendar products and allow businesses to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) and drive creativity. Google Apps for Business costs around $5 per month per user.

These are only a few of the available cloud-based collaboration packages out there. VARS can sell these tools to build a valued customer relationship and earn monthly, per user revenue.

What are some other cloud-based collaboration services that you use or recommend? Share in the comments.