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- iHaveNet.com: Small Business & Entrepreneur
By Jaimy Ford
Technology has completely redefined work teams. Companies are allowing -- even encouraging -- employees to telecommute, and businesses are increasingly turning to freelancers to complete specialized assignments. It's now possible for a small business owner in the professional services industry, for example, to have employees working from several different locations all around the world.
Those kinds of arrangements can make collaboration among far-flung team members difficult. Even when teams work face-to-face, collaboration can be hard. That's why investing in collaborative software is an excellent idea, whether your team members are dispersed or all under one roof.
Collaboration software enables multiple users on different systems to share, process and manage documents, enabling your employees to collaborate productively. Here is a roundup of some of the most popular options out there:
Offering high-level project planning and collaboration between your professional services teams and their clients, Clarizen allows you to check the status of a project in real-time so that you can resolve any issues that might affect a deadline or profitability. It provides fully configurable dashboards and workflows, allowing you to customize it to meet your team's collaboration needs.
Prices start at around $30 per user per month for the professional version.
Named 2014 SIIA Software CODiE Award Finalist for Best Project Management Solution, Genius Project offers an on-demand option that allows users to access project information in the cloud through any browser on a PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet. One cool feature is the Simulator, which allows you to conduct "what if …" planning so that you can recover from and compensate for unexpected events like the loss of resources or deadline changes.
Prices start at $20 per user per month for the standard version.
This software helps you track seemingly small issues that can derail your project and ensure that they are handled efficiently and effectively. You can communicate, assign work, proof materials and provide status reports all in one place. Easily create templates for various documents and then store them for future projects.
Licenses start at $30 per month per user.
In business for more than 12 years, Celoxis offers many features such as an interactive resource load chart; timesheet reminders; issue trackers; smart scheduling around holidays, vacations and time zones; and more.
Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing starts at about $15 per user per month. On-premise pricing is a one-time $180 per user fee.
This software offers all of the tracking, planning and reporting functions you need for your project. In addition, the website is packed with informative videos, templates and books. If you join the PM community of more than 1 million followers, you receive free tools, tips and tricks so that you can learn how to make the most of your software.
Pricing starts at $25 per user per month.
In addition to file-, content- and task-management and reporting functions, this software easily integrates with Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. It also offers HD Video conferencing, screen sharing and group chat.
The service offers a free 30-day trial, after which the cost is $49/month for up to 10 users.
Track time, expenses, workflow and milestones with this comprehensive collaboration software. In addition, Intervals offers visual reporting. Gain access to a variety of graphic and tabular reports. For example, create a visual interpretation of your weekly trends or a chart of your clients or projects that eat up most of your time.
Basic packages start at $25 and cover up to 15 projects, 10 GB of storage and unlimited users. For $249 a month, you can have unlimited projects, storage and users.
Offering a simple interface for managing tasks, expenses and timesheets, AceProject sends updates via email so you can stay in the loop on a project's progress. The built-in timer allows users to easily clock their time spent on a project, and a drag-and-drop function allows you to input your bills right into the system and calculate your expenses.
The basic package for up to five users is free. Pricing for up to 10 users is $19 per month and packages go up to $99 per month for unlimited users.
Jaimy Ford is a professional business writer with nearly a decade's worth of experience developing newsletters, blogs, e-letters, training tools and webinars for business professionals. She contributes to both The Intuit Small Business Blog and Docstoc.com. She also serves as editor-in-chief of Sales Mastery, a digital magazine written specifically for sales professionals
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Project Collaboration Tools that Will Help Your Small Business Run Efficiently