Collaboration · Remote teams

Any suggestions on virtual collaboration tools?

Ernest Ebio CEO at WOD toys LLC

December 3rd, 2014

Through the years our team have tried a number of solutions such as skype, YM, slack, basecamp, dropbox, microsoft (expensive) etc but have not found the perfect fit here is a list of what we are looking for if it's available in one place, or perhaps a customization solution or something more robust than slack but also fun. If it's free great but would also be willing to pay as long as the price is justified by the features. 

1. Social platform features, so staff members would be more likely to jump in
2. Document management (similar to dropbox)
3. Calendar
4. Messaging (we tried slack it was a bit slow on the phone)
5. Smart phone friendly
6. Adjustable access level
7. Project Management (similar to base camp)
8. Performance management

Any suggestion would be appreciated 

Michael Jung Product at Lincoln Loop

December 8th, 2014

Hi Ernest, 

In my experience there's not really any "all-in-one" tool that would fit all of the needs you described, and do it all well.  We've ended up using multiple SaaS services for different purposes, and then used an automation tool like Zapier to tie them together.

Realtime chat - Slack/Google Hangouts
Asynchronous discussion - we built Ginger, our own product for this, also: email, email distribution lists
Document sharing, calendar - Google Docs
Project Management - trello, waffle

It works well once you start tying the services together (e.g. whenever a new Google doc is shared, it automatically posts to our team's Slack channel or Ginger).

Hope this helps!




Tomas Gutierrez Partner at Scalable Path | Product Architect | On-Demand CTO | Entrepreneur

July 31st, 2015

Hi Ernest

I break this down into multiple areas - communication and collaboration:
  • Communication
    • Real-time/Synchronous:
      • Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, Room.io, etc
    • Asynchronous:
      • Chat: Slack, HipChat, Skype, Google Chat, etc
      • Email: Google Apps or Office365
  • Collaboration
    • Task Management (Agile), both development and business/strategy
      • Trello, Jira, Asana, Pivotal, etc
    • Product Development:
      • Git (Github, Gitlab, Bitbucket), etc
      • Continuous Delivery: Circle, Travis, Jenkins, etc
    • Documents:
      • Google Drive/Docs, Office365, etc
    • Calendar:
      • Google Calendar (+Hangouts!), Office365
Integrations:
Here's where it gets fun! You can have your different services talk to each other, giving teams visibility. For example, you can have your task/project management task post to your asynchronous communication tool (i.e. Slack).

My current favorite stack which we implement at most startups/tech companies/clients (even non-tech) is:
  • Slack
  • Trello, Jira, Asana - all posting to Trello channel
  • Google Apps: email, calendar, documents, Hangouts
  • Github/Bitbucket: posting to Trello channel
Happy to expand on any of this. I have a couple blog drafts around these subjects :).

Hernán Borré CoFounder & CEO at mobaires - nearshore staff augmentation

December 9th, 2014

Hi Ernest, 

We use Google for Business and it works pretty well for us. 

If you are looking for more 'corporate' solutions maybe you can take a look at Microsoft Platform. 

Good luck with that! 

Cheers,
Hernán

Anonymous

December 3rd, 2014

As a matter of fact, most cloud collaboration platforms now implement a per user per month subscription-based model, so you're bound to be scared quite a few times when you do your shopping.

Glad to know there are offerings in the Office365 family that might fit your needs though!

Manoj Srivastava Co-Founder and CEO at Graphus

December 6th, 2014

Checkout Confluence by Atlassian at www.atlassian.com
I have used it for over 3 years now.
simple, effective and inexpensive.

//manoj

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

December 4th, 2014

Hello Ernest,

This week I learned about Business hangouts. Never used them, but it might help you.


Hugo Messer

December 5th, 2014

Hi Ernest,

I have written a lot of books about managing remote teams. in the communication ebook we also cover tools, maybe it is interesting for you to read some of our books: bookoffshoring.bridge-outsourcing.com 

We're also building an online collaboration platform in which we plan to build an integrated toolbox for managing remote software teams, have a look and let me know if you have any feedback: http://www.bridge-teams.com

Ilya Stametau Senior Software Engineer at HubSpot

December 5th, 2014

Google apps (gmail, drive, calendar) - communication, docs management, scheduling.
Trello - project management.
Skype - instant messaging. 

  These wil take you a very long way. Google apps for business is the only one you can't use for free, but if you let people use their personal accounts - you can get around this. 


Faun deHenry Strategist and Innovator

December 5th, 2014

Take a look at Xprtly! Enterprise. We designed it as a mobile first product. However, the administration is web-based. We're offering a 90-day trial so that companies can get a solid feel for how it works in different use cases. As for your requirements, Xprtly! Enterprise addresses each of your items.

1. Social platform features, so staff members would be more likely to jump in - Yes
2. Document management (similar to dropbox) - Yes (and different)
3. Calendar - Yes
4. Messaging (we tried slack it was a bit slow on the phone) - Yes
5. Smart phone friendly - Yes
6. Adjustable access level - Yes
7. Project Management (similar to base camp) - Yes
8. Performance management - Yes

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

December 5th, 2014

Raphael,

That's exactly the same way I found out about them! Reading that article! :-)

Cheers!