20 contemporary enterprise collaboration tools

20 contemporary enterprise collaboration tools

Summary: Innovation in enterprise collaboration software continues unabated, to the point that there are nearly too many to keep track of. Here are 20 interesting new or established players you may not have heard of.

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  • New applications and services bring numerous innovations to enterprise collaboration

    Following up on my exploration of recent collaboration trends, I thought it would be useful to highlight some of the more representative newer entries in terms of the latest in collaborative tools and technologies. It's often hard to keep track of the latest offerings unless they are of the highest profile, so this list is intended to capture the spirit of where we are today in general with collaborative applications.

    While most people initially think of the big names when it comes to enterprise collaboration tools, the focus on only the leaders obscures the wealth of additional options that business have these days. In fact, collaboration remains one of the most interesting and innovative spaces in the Internet startup industry. Why is this important? Bringing effective new collaborative technologies into your business can realize significant benefits. Recent studies have shown that adding the right social or mobile features, for example, can double the level of employee engagement, the low level of which is a major ongoing issue in many organizations today.

    In the end, considering new collaboration tools that not everyone is yet using can bring differentation from competitors, drive business performance, create a better workplace more likely to retain employees, and help design the future of work in your organization, especially as the workforce is the single biggest investment that most companies make.

    The shift to consumer-style collaboration

    We've also seen a distinct consumerization of enterprise applications in general, so while a few of the solutions highlighted here are designed for large enterprises, there is a distinct inclination for vendors today to provide lighter weight, very easy to use tools that may not have the full set of enterprise capabilities. This also means they're increasingly sold directly to end-users, meaning you might to run into these tools at work, even if they're not an official selection of the IT department.

    So while each of the collaboration applications listed here can be used for business, some of them are less aimed at the traditional enterprise-wide collaboration space, which is already filled with many large mature offerings. Instead, many new entrants are aimed more at workers who crave simple, enjoyable, yet innovative tools to get their daily team work done.

    Finally, we can see some commonalities in the latest offerings: They tend to be cloud-based, have better support for mobile and social, are integrated into the digital world (often much) better, and are typically based on subscription models. While files and documents remain the center of so much enterprise collaboration, many tools enable team conversation and discussion -- often around the aforementioned artifacts -- much more so than the legacy collaboration tools tend to. We're also seeing collaborative project management, crowdsourcing/virtual workforce, business function-focus, and collaboration suites come into the fore as well.

    There are 20 tools listed here in total, mostly picked to underscore a particular approach to digital collaboration, but they are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's available these days. I also provide a brief descrption calling out the unique aspects of each offering.

    Start viewing the gallery of 20 contemporary enterprise collaboration tools

    Additional Reading:

    The major enterprise collaboration platforms and their mobile clients

    How emerging tech is transforming the workplace

    The best productivity apps for Windows Phone 8

  • Contemporary Enterprise Collaboration Tools: Feedbag.io

    Easily the lightest weight collaboration tool in this list, Feedbag.io doesn't even require you to log in to get started. This spartan browser-based app allows you to create 'bags' of shared artifacts, add visual comments to them, and enables you to invite others in to view and comment on your collaborative space as well.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Collaboration, Mobility, Software, Enterprise 2.0, Social Enterprise

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5 comments
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  • Number 21?

    A very useful list - but whether I'll ever get around to trying them all I'm not sure!

    At present I tend to fall back on Google Drive for collaborative working, particularly given the on-going feature enhancement from Google (e.g. conversation activity stream). However, I just wanted to mention Quip (https://quip.com/) as a potential number 21 for your list. It meets the "contemporary" criterion, having only launched last year, and scores on simplicity and ease of use. Well worth a look.
    stephendale-1eb27
  • Too many choices

    After using more than 5 enterprise collaboration tools in the last five years I have to say that nothing beats the old good Microsoft Outlook. Yes it is not well suited for document sharing and email discussions are not great but I can still search through my few year old emails when data from older collaboration tools is just gone. Some vendors just go belly up, others change licensing or sometimes management just finds the newer sexier software.
    paul2011
  • Huddle is awesome - might also check out iMeet by PGi

    Huddle is a killer tool, although I primarily use it to manage vendor projects vs. enterprise-wide collaboration. iMeet by PGi - a once-conference call company that expanded into enterprise collaboration software a few years back - is a new spin on web conferencing, in that it also offers a file cabinet w/tons of storage for file collaboration during face-to-face webcam sessions and presentations. Check it out here: http://www.pgi.com/imeet/
    Blakely Thomas-Aguilar
  • Number 22?

    Teamgum is the collab tool we are using at Deltecs Infotech. Dion, as you mentioned in one of your articles - about companies moving towards Lightweight Collab tools. That's exactly what Teamgum is. Just an extension. The tool can be used no matter which tab the user is on... It's browser based. A free sign up available here. Teamgum.com/install
    Teamsonmymind
  • Introducing Intellinote

    Dion

    Great list of apps.

    We would like to take this opportunity to introduce Intellinote to your readers. Intellinote is a Team Productivity Platform that we like to think is "reimagining Enterprise Collaboration". We launched last year and are now used by 5000+ organizations across the world, including many growing mid-sized companies.

    We are free for teams with up to 5 professionals, and are available over the Web, iOS (iPads + iPhones) and Android devices (Public Beta). We offer seamless sync-ing across all devices and offline access on mobile devices.

    Anyone looking for a easy to use, flexible Collaboration/Productivity platform with multi-device support is welcome to try us. You can sign up at http://www.intellinote.net/sign-up/

    Sincerely
    Mohan Kompella @IntellinoteInc
    mk.inote