Workplace Slideshow: Effective Collaboration: Choosing The Right Tools

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-19-2010

Effective Collaboration: Choosing The Right Tools

WebEx Price: $49 per month per host WebEx might seem obvious, but it deserves to be included here. Employees can share their desktop while in a conference with others. It's ideal if you have geographically dispersed employees who need to develop projects and communicate ideas.

Effective Collaboration: Choosing The Right Tools

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Sharepoint Price: Varies on version and licenses needed Microsoft Sharepoint is one of the favored tools of CIOs around the country. The software helps employees stay in touch, and monitor how a project is coming along. Users can manage documents and create Web sites that all can access and collaborate on.

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Google Docs Price: Free If your company doesn't need advanced functionality for spreadsheets, Google Docs is a great idea. Employees can share and edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations and collaborate in real-time over the Web.

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Yammer Price: Free for Basic, up to $5 per user per month for enhanced features This is the enterprise answer to Twitter. With a Yammer account, your employees can communicate in a Twitter-like setting. If you prefer to keep managers within their own groups to discuss things, you can do that too. Plus, Yammer can be monitored to ensure the discussions are work-related.

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Zoho Projects Price: Free for basic functionality, up to $699 per year for every feature The Web-based tool lets you manage tasks, track employee time, and give your workers a place to communicate ideas and discuss best practices. It's an affordable option but lacks the wallop of Sharepoint's functionality.

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Facebook Price: Free Many of your workers are already on Facebook. You can easily create an invitation-only group where ideas can be shared. Beware: Facebook can cause security concerns if it isn't managed properly. It's also a good idea to keep mission-critical ideas off the site.

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Basecamp Price: $24 per month to $149 per month, depending on the plan. This highly respected project-management tool allows you to build projects, track time, and secure all that information with the help of the company's security tools. Plus, it provides online storage, which means employees can be productive no matter where they are.

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Skype Price: Free With employees working off-site or scattered in multiple offices worldwide, the need for video communication is greater than ever. Skype works quite well. The VoIP service's video-conferencing functionality and quality is generally good enough for most companies. There is also a version for some smartphones.

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OfficeMedium Price: $6 per user per month, as well as $1 per GB of storage per month The Web-based service helps you create projects, manage tasks, and allow your employees to communicate. It includes file-sharing and a contacts-management system to keep your teams organized.

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Socialcast Price: Free for Basic edition. Pricing on premium version depends on company needs The tool attempts to bring some social flavor to Web-based collaboration market. It offers microblogging functionality, the option to use mobile apps, and an Outlook plug-in for integration with existing solutions. It also integrates into Sharepoint.

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