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Brief Guide to Choosing a Business Collaboration Platform

Published on 19 March 13
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Collaboration is important for businesses, enabling the swift and efficient development of ideas and projects so that products and services can be deployed and modified effectively.

In the digital age, there are a wide variety of technologies that allow for engaging collaborative tools which do not necessarily require all parties to be present in the same physical location.

With all this choice, it is important to take care when choosing a business collaboration platform, because you want to pick a package that is appropriate for your needs and affordable within your current budgetary limitations.

If you are in the process of assessing various business collaboration platforms, you might need some guidance in order to make the task as painless as possible. Here is a brief outline of the steps you should take to ensure success.
Brief Guide to Choosing a Business Collaboration Platform - Image 1

Collaborative Requirements
The most obvious point for consideration relates to just what type of service is necessitated by your particular business environment. Collaboration platforms range in functionality from the basic to the complex, so you need to base your choice on what you expect to gain from it.

You can, for example, select a platform that will simply help with the management of scheduling for a particular project, allowing team members to synchronize their activities through calendars and assign specific tasks to one another without unnecessarily complicated or arcane interfaces getting in the way.

When you have deadlines to which you need to adhere, this can prove to be invaluable, although some businesses may require a more advanced platform if their combined working environment is to deliver more depth of functionality.

You will probably need to share documentation and perhaps provide unified access to certain resources within a project so that staff can work together and make adjustments in real time, while uploading changes as and when appropriate.

Modern business collaboration platforms have also taken on a social edge so that communication is always clear and well recorded. Just how social a service is should be something to assess before you sign on the dotted line.
Platform Hosting

With all the collaborative platforms on offer, you will need to consider whether it will be best to host your choice internally or rely on a third-party provider to do all the heavy lifting.

While in the past it might have made sense to take on the entire responsibility in house, the ever increasing data speeds available to businesses in combination with the dawn of the cloud computing era have made outsourcing all the more attractive and affordable.

Collaborative software services of all kinds can be hosted in the cloud, allowing your business to experience a platform that is truly accessible from any location and can thus be of use to a relatively dispersed workforce.

In addition, hosted platforms have the advantage of being far more scalable and resilient than anything you might be able to muster on site.

When projects become particularly data intensive, you will not be limited by factors such as processing capacity, storage and bandwidth should you choose a remotely hosted collaborative platform.

This fast moving, ever-evolving marketplace is giving businesses the opportunity to enjoy top-tier services without having to spend large amounts of money on infrastructure.

Since the economic environment remains relatively unstable, it makes sense to choose services that are not going to leave you exposed after requiring large amounts of investment.

Whichever type of business collaboration platform you choose, make sure that you mould your decision on your own terms. There is no need to be pressured into one particular platform, because the competitive nature of the market means that you are in the driving seat.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner, an employee of unified communications provider Daisy Group.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Enterprise Applications Community

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