Taking Advantage of the Best Collaboration Tools

|| For Freelancers & Entrepreneurs |

For small businesses to thrive, its stakeholders should be able to connect among each other using dependable, easy to use collaboration tools. In a survey conducted under the 2011 SMB Collaboration and Communications Study, respondents from the business sector were asked to rank different collaboration tools in terms of usage and efficiency.

Based on the results, the business sector still regards Email as the most ubiquitous and useful collaboration tool among 26 possible options. There are dozens of dependable email service providers among which are Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, and Yahoo! Email. All three offers a free basic service but have paid options for organizational customizations. Another good email service provider particularly for enterprises is Webmail.

Next to Email, business people regard traditional and mobile phones as very useful collaboration tools. Notably, mobile phones have already tied the usage and relevance level of traditional cabled phones, indicating the need for collaborative applications to work within mobile phone environments. 

Applications that allow document sharing, shared calendars and contacts, project management and productivity tools, and web forms also scored high in the ranking of collaboration tools. Understandably, these tools are heavily utilized and apparently are nearly adequate in meeting the current demand.

Based on the survey item that asks respondents to reveal the other collaboration tools their companies are planning to implement in the near future, industry discussion groups, social media, web conferencing, video sharing and voice mail to email are the top collaboration tools that many businesses are planning to adopt over the next 12 months. Regardless of size, businesses need collaboration to achieve their respective goals. However, taking advantage of free or paid collaboration tools requires an objective assessment of a company's communication needs.