Determining The Best Collaboration Software For Messaging

The right collaboration software can help your team achieve maximum efficiency. By not getting in the way and allowing team members to share important information, project productivity will increase. But finding the best team collaboration software for your company can be time-consuming. We've narrowed down the search and provided what we believe to be one of the best online collaboration software services on the market.

What To Look For In Online Collaboration Software

Online collaboration software allows dispersed teams to keep the conversation going. Efficient messaging is a critical component of any collaboration software. The more complex a project becomes, the more important messaging becomes. Coordination between teams and members of those teams is required to keep a project on schedule. Additionally, team members should be able to easily share a variety of files while allowing other team members to look at those same files and comment or annotate them.

Real-time chat is another important messaging component. The great thing about chat is that conversations are logged. Members don't need to rely on memory about what someone may have said. They can simply refer to the related chat conversation and search through to help them to quickly find what they're looking for.

The ability to view team member calendars is another important feature for streamlined collaboration. Scheduling meetings with people dispersed in multiple time zones can be mission impossible. The right scheduling software will help you determine the best time to get such a dispersed group together.

Of course, you'll want to make sure any collaboration software you choose is completely secure. A few features to look for when it comes to security include:

  • Physical storage: Where are the servers stored and how is access controlled? What happens if the server building burns down? In other words, what type of redundancy does the company have?
  • Hardware: What type of server and firewall hardware are used to help protect data?
  • Software: What software does the company use to prevent and monitor hacks and viruses?
  • Messaging: The Critical Component For Team Collaboration Software

With the foundational features of online collaboration software already discussed, let's address the messaging component. Messaging is important because it doesn't require complete interruption. Compare a phone call to a message. Phone calls require that you stop whatever you are doing and devote your attention to the call. With messaging, you can still multitask. Additionally, messaging provides a far richer environment in which to communicate. If you want to switch over to voice or video at some point, those options are available.

Messaging allows you to communicate in real-time or send a message and check responses at a later time if you are too busy. The conversation isn't going anywhere. It's an open stream of communication. Whether your message was sent a minute ago or an hour, the entire conversation is still there to read.

Of course, messaging provides a far richer interface to communicate than phone calls. Through messaging, you can:

  • Share files
  • Annotate in real-time on a shared file
  • Communicate securely
  • Group message
  • Transition to a video conference

Another great feature of messaging is that you can pick up the conversation in a completely different location. Most communication software includes a mobile component. From the mobile app, you can jump right back into the same conversation you left on your desktop. Most participants won't even know you're on a mobile app.

Room or groups allow you to create an area for a specific conversation. You can name your room "late invoices" or anything you want. A named room provides context for others since there are likely multiple rooms.

Message history is also available. Depending on the collaboration software's settings, a history of each conversation will be stored for some period of time. Often months. This makes searching through archives for specific text easy.

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