Collaboration software is a type of program that attempts to improve levels of communication and coordination between coworkers with features such as email, file sharing, task management, contact management, instant messaging, wikis, social networking, VoIP, and video conferencing.
The benefits of collaboration software are that it gives coworkers other ways to communicate with each other besides email and telephones; lets managers formally assign tasks to their underlings and monitor their progress; and establishes a centralized repository for all of a company’s files and contacts.
As a whole, collaboration software reduces mistakes and confusion; makes files easier to find and access; and makes businesses more efficient and productive.
The collaboration software most commonly selected by businesses include:
- Microsoft SharePoint. Microsoft SharePoint is probably the most widely used collaboration platform. Its strengths are its flexibility, its simplicity, and cost-efficiency. It works best as a centralized document management system, though its project management and messaging features are also extensive.
- Microsoft Lync. Compared to Microsoft SharePoint, which is focused more on documents and projects, Microsoft Lync is focused more on communication. For example, the features of Lync include instant messaging, VoIP, video conferencing, and contact management. The businesses that benefit the most from Lync are ones with a large number of employees or that have a lot of employees that work remotely, who need more ways of communicating than just email or telephone.
- Microsoft Exchange. Exchange is more traditionally viewed as an enterprise-level email solution than as collaboration software, but it has plenty of project management (task management, shared calendars, etc.) and contact management features, too. Exchange doesn’t have a centralized file repository like SharePoint does, so it works best as a collaboration solution for teams that prefer to communicate via email and that don’t have that many documents.
- IBM Notes and IBM Sametime. IBM Notes and IBM Sametime are basically IBM’s versions of Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Lync, respectively. One advantage that Notes has over SharePoint is the fact that it’s also an email client. On the other hand, it’s easier to customize SharePoint and integrate it with other applications. Meanwhile, IBM argues that Sametime is less expensive, has more features (chat logs, screen captures, spell checker, and 1080p video conferencing), and has a simpler back-end infrastructure than Lync. Others prefer Lync for its more unified interface and because it does a better job of conserving bandwidth.
The best way to deploy these collaboration solutions is to host them with IronOrbit. The advantages of IronOrbit Application Hosting include:
- Anywhere-accessibility. IronOrbit Hosted Applications (SharePoint Hosting, QuickBooks Hosting, etc.) are web-based and can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. This ensures that employees are able to access their collaboration solutions regardless of whether they’re at the office or not, and gives everyone in an organization (including offsite contractors and employees that work primarily at a company’s branch office or from home) the ability to access the same centralized collaboration solution.
- Security, backups, and support are included. IronOrbit Hosted Applications are protected with Orbital Security (firewalls, IDS/IPS, antivirus, and spam and content filter), are backed up a regular basis, and come with 24x7x365 all-inclusive technical support.
- Speed and reliability. IronOrbit Application Hosting solutions are as fast and responsive as locally-installed applications and are backed with a 100% uptime guarantee—so employees always have access to their files, contacts, and project information stored in the collaboration solution.
Sign up for our Collaboration Application Hosting solutions by contacting us at (888) 753-5060 or [email protected] today!