May 23, 2022 Types of collaboration software in digital workplace Introduction In the age of disruption, closely knitted teams that work toward a common goal in an organization need excellent communication and easier collaboration. Therefore, businesses today are reliant on collaboration tools for efficient teamwork and fast results, especially when team members are geographically distant. We all know how vigorously collaboration tools have been used ever since after the global pandemic outbreak and a vital role that it plays in agile organizations today. A good base of collaboration empowers workforce and improves productivity as teams can coordinate on projects in a smarter way without wasting their time in emails or getting things done in traditional and unproductive methods. There are a variety of collaboration tools available in the market. However, one needs to be selective while choosing one of them as every business has unique set of requirements. In this blog, we will learn about different types of collaboration software and share their key characteristics to make it easy for you to choose right one that gives you a great deal. Let’s begin: Types of Collaboration Tools Broadly, collaboration software can be categorized under two main dimensions: 1. Synchronous Synchronous collaboration software is a real-time software which allows team members to interact, co-edit a file, exchange files – all at the same time on the same platform. Some of the synchronous collaboration tools that are market leaders today like Microsoft Teams have powerful features to make communication hyper-efficient and expedient. Using instant messaging, chat and conversations, voice and video calling, whiteboard applications and more, synchronous collaboration is more productive, clear, and purposeful as there are no lags and delays in responses. Example: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, etc. 2. Asynchronous Asynchronous collaboration software allows team members to work at different times. Such software does not support instantaneous activities or tasks. Some of the features of asynchronous collaboration software include email, bulletin board, document sharing, web logs, group calendars and more. Asynchronous platforms are useful when projects need enough time to improve the quality of documentation before presentation. However, due to mismatched time zones and schedules, it causes communication delays and other collaboration issues. Now, let us categorize collaboration tools based on the domain that they serve – 1. Communication software Communication software helps remote teams to connect from anywhere and anytime and helps in problem solving faster. The features and capabilities that lie at the core of such software are instant communication, live chat and messaging, comments, audio-video conferencing, screen sharing, discussion threads and more. 2. Task management software Task management software enables teams to manage their tasks by keeping track of deadlines and also by providing boards, calendars and timelines. Other key features that it includes are task assignment to appoint users, task prioritization to move tasks, planning and scheduling to create plans and meet deadlines, and file management to arrange files. 3. Document management software Document management software enables storing, accessing, synchronous editing and cooperative writing on different files in real-time. It allocates a central repository for users to access files on any device. Additionally, users can track changes in files made by their team. They can also use ready-made templates to create documents faster. 4. Information sharing software Information sharing software are notification-based software where users can send alerts or updates after signing off a project related task. It also allows users to share or access critical business information when they need it. This improves project management and better workflow in a business. 5. Time management software Time management software helps organizations to stay organized using digital calendars for scheduling, employee attendance tracking, event alerts, notifications, and other time-saving administrative features such as ability to view and approve timecards electronically. 6. File sharing software File sharing tools allow seamless and secure sharing of files when organizations have huge volume of files including those that are large sized to work on effectively. Such tools store files in the cloud and lets users to sync them across multiple devices for easy collaboration. Files or documents are encrypted before sending it to the recipient, so users need not to worry about information theft or loss. 7. Project management software Project management software allows end-to-end execution of tasks, permissions, responsibilities, and activities in a project. It also provides transparency to guest users during project execution. Such software also incorporates task management module to keep track of resources and other elements for efficient project management. 7. Knowledge management software Knowledge management software includes features and capabilities that support collection of data and information, storage of incoming and currently-owned data, communication and interpretation of data, data querying and information-based inputs, and creation and deployment of data and evidence-based knowledge. Factors to consider while comparing different collaboration tools Furthermore, we share a few considerations while comparing different collaboration tools before you pick one – Think about what problem you want to resolve with this software.Determine your company’s requirements and which features suit your particular case.Consider ease of use and how widely the software can be accepted by your teams.Check for a software that has high usability ratings.Consider your budget for collaboration software. You can also try trial or free versions before making a final decision. Microsoft Teams – a junction for all your collaboration needs From a variety of cool collaboration platforms, we understand that it can be a bit tricky to choose one. Hence, we would like to recommend Microsoft Teams using which you can revolutionize your business in a cost-effective way. Microsoft Teams is the world’s leading communication platform which serves as a unified collaboration solution to connect your remote teams and provide them with most useful apps, tools, services, and solutions to manage projects, tasks, information, users, resources, etc., and other business operations productively and securely – all in one place. So let’s grab this opportunity to unite dispersed teams, shun communication silos, and make sure you keep them alive remotely and turn them to high-performing teams using Microsoft Teams!