Collaboration Tools For Small Business

The new model of today’s new business requires a set of tools that help the interaction of people from different places. These are the collaboration tools. Collaboration tools can be any technology assisting people in working towards common goals and includes a variety of technologies, ranging from conference calls, synchronous, asynchronous, audio and video conference, IRC and instant messaging, whiteboards and smartboards, wikis, collaborate spaces, documents, and applications, Virtual Meetings and Chat Rooms, etc.

Collaboration Tools or Not?

Why Collaboration Tools?

During my business life, I have used such collaboration tools either of generic nature (video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, etc) or for specific business and e-Learning oriented purposes and I find them valuable for acquiring access to resources and knowledge either very expensive or out-of-my business reach.

Using such tools I manage to set up excellent co-operations, synergies and associates from all over the world and come to networking with experts and companies usually unavailable.

What Collaboration Tools I Use

For business and e-Learning purposes, the most notable collaboration tools, I have used (and still using!) for business, training, communication, collaboration and for personal projects, are:

  • Asana – Task Management for Teams, by Asana. A collaboration platform for cooperation between teams in projects and tasks.
  • Basecamp, by 37signals, LLC. A project management and collaboration tools for companies and teams.
  • Blackboard Collaborate, by Blackboard Inc. An online collaboration platform providing web conferencing, virtual meeting, mobile collaboration, Instant messaging and voice authoring capabilities.
  • Cisco WebEx Web Meetings, by Cisco. It provides web conferencing capabilities along with file and presentation sharing with voice, HD video and Meeting Spaces
  • Google Docs, by Google. Provides access to office applications and online storage.
  • Microsoft Office WebApps, by Microsoft. A collaboration access, providing access, collaboration, and share of office documents
  • Saba meeting, by Saba Software, Inc. It provides Web conference capabilities, collaboration, and virtual meetings.
  • SocialCast, by VMWare. It is a company social platform that connects people of a company to the resources needed for their collaboration.
  • Skype, by Microsoft. It provides video, audio calls capabilities, instant messaging and file sharing
  • Trello, by Fog Creek Software, Inc. A collaboration platform providing cooperation on projects.

How You Can Use Collaboration Tools

The collaboration tools bridge the gap of business collaboration among involved parties from a distance. Their usage is especially critical for small business, because they can leverage the problems usually associate with travel costs, lengthy meetings, training requirements, impromptu and just-in-time information and available resources, expertise, problem specific consulting, readily applications requirements, etc. while offers an excellent way for building strong business networks within and outside a company.

Do you use any collaboration tool in your business? Do you think your work can be benefited by such tools? Do you find it useful to collaborate, using tools such as these? Please comment on the collaboration tools you use.

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    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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