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These are tools that help people in different locations work together on the same file in real time. They are also know as productivity tools.
Online collaboration tools can make it easier for employees to access documents and emails while away from the office, and work with the same files in real time (rather than emailing attachments and versions back and forth).
What are the benefits?
Using cloud based collaboration tools can provide a range of benefits for a business including:
- Easy to add new users - scale up or down depending on requirements
- Does not require IT staff
- Allows access from a location of choice (as long as there is an Internet connection/coverage)
- Often more cost effective than in-house solutions
What do I need to consider?
There is a wide range of Cloud-based services and apps that can help you prepare business documentation - from complete suites of tools to single-function apps.
Consider the key requirements for your business, and research the available tools to suit. Collaboration tools range in scale, so choose a solution that reflects your expected usage, but also allows flexibility should your needs change.
Currently there are two market leaders in the the online collaboration tools area - Microsoft Office 365 and Google's G Suite.
Microsoft Office 365
This allows your employees to access the Microsoft Office software like Powerpoint, Word and Excel from any device and any location that has Internet access. Included within the bundle is Outlook email and One Drive storage for documents. You can pay per user, per month or, for a reduced rate pay per user, per year.
Google G Suite
Google's G Suite provides businesses with products like Gmail, Google Drive for storage and a range of applications similar to Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint etc. You can fully collaborate and share information through the services, and as with Microsoft, you can pay per user per month or annually.
Other options to consider include;