Collaboration software is a platform where teams can interact and share information, knowledge, diagrams, photographs, documents, files, etc. It’s a digital space for solving problems, brainstorming ideas, or completing projects. Anyone with access to the platform can participate and communicate with others from anywhere.
How does collaboration software work?
Collaboration software supports communication, document sharing, task/project management, and discussion boards in a centralized hub.
Instead of requiring employees to attend physical, in-person meetings to plan, collaborate, and report on work status. Team members can log in to the application and contribute to the discussion or tasks any time and in any location.
Additionally, the collaboration environment enables real-time document sharing, review, and markup, thus eliminating the use of email as the sole method of moving work through the pipeline. Collaboration software is usually delivered as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform.
What are the main functions of collaboration software?
Collaboration platforms focus on three key functional areas.:
- Coordination: Shared calendaring and scheduling tools enable appointment setting and meeting facilitation for teams. Coordination of schedules is crucial for project management where tasks and responsibilities can easily be assigned and monitored.
- Communication: Text-based messaging, along with voice and video communication capabilities facilitate streamlined conversations between team members. People can interact with each other, send messages, express thoughts, or share ideas. Teams can also use online discussion boards in place of the traditional whiteboard to facilitate idea generation and increase team productivity.
- Integration: Creating a central, shared workspace, collaboration software integrates work done on other platforms. Most collabration systems incorporate a document syncing feature that allows multiple users to make and track changes to a file. Users can also transfer, distribute, and access various types of documents, files, or folders stored in the cloud.
Collaboration is a key to effective project management. Download a free guide to go into the basics of top collaboration tools.
What are the standard features?
Most collaboration platforms provide these common features:
- Internal communication and social networking — Connects the team with chatbox, discussion board, voice and video conferencing
- Content sharing — Allows more streamlined coworking as team members share or access any shared content, such as documents, videos, photographs, PDFs, links, or ZIP files.
- Document management — Removes silos; anyone on the team can create, edit, or share documents.
- Project and task management — Makes it easy to assign and track tasks and monitor projects to completion.
- Notification — Keeps team members updated on the progress of the project, reminded of the tasks, or alerted for messages and direct communication.
- Search engine — Facilitates quick access and finability to all files and communication within the within the platform.
- Security — Protects the work from internal and external data breaches.
How does a business benefit from a collaboration software
Collaboration software offers the following advantages:
- Increases productivity and improves output quality.
- Offers time-saving and cost-saving benefits as anyone can interact and contribute right away through their mobile devices.
- Promotes transparency and positive company culture, encouraging employees to be more engaged.
- Improves business operations by strengthening teamwork and developing better team chemistry.
- Boosts the efficiency of team communication.
Examples of collaboration software
Many productivity apps offer team collaboration features — from project management apps like Wrike, Trello, Asana, or Basecamp to social networking and discussion board platforms, such as Slack or Discord, to integrated software packages like Microsoft Teams and Google Suite.
Other popular collaboration platforms include Atlassian Confluence, Salesforce Chatter, and Facebook’s Workplace.