Ten collaboration tools for companies who outsource

With more and more business process outsourcing companies choosing to set up their operations in low-cost, high-quality locations such as the Philippines, there has been a growing reliance on collaboration tools to improve processes and ultimately focus on more profitable decisions for business growth.

The demands of the connected workplace will have outsourcing companies, whatever their size, adapt virtual team technologies to meet deadlines, perform more effective and increase profits for the company.

Here is a list of ten collaboration tools outsourcing companies can use to develop a more efficient and effective workplace.

Project Management – Apollo

Apollo allows you to effectively plan and manage your project by providing an efficient interface for the scheduling and monitoring of tasks assigned to your virtual team.

Some features include to-do list creation, milestone management, file sharing, time tracking and a messaging system.

Apollo also offers software integration with services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and many other popular alternatives.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Document Storage and File Sharing – Dropbox

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage and file synchronization, among others. With Dropbox, you can store and share all important work files, photos, and documents anywhere.

Any file saved to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers and devices, making file sharing with your virtual team a snap.

While there is a cap on available space for free accounts, you can opt to upgrade to a Business account, which provides more space and functionalities.

Other highly-recommended cloud-sharing alternatives are SpiderOak and Amazon Cloud Drive.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Video & Audio Conferencing – Speek

Speek provides a simpler and smarter way to conduct online meetings. Teams using Speek enjoy unlimited conference calling with a visual interface. With this, you can share files, record calls, control participant access, and share your screen, among many others.

What is even more impressive is that Speek has been named Wall Street Journal’s “Top 20 Startups of the Year in 2013”, Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Most Brilliant Companies”, and PCMag’s “Top 100 websites”.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS

Document Collaboration – Google Docs

Part of the famed Google suiteof services, Google Docs is an online word processor that allows you to collaborate with your team to co-create and co-edit documents in real time.

This app is perfect for virtual teams since changes to the document can be viewed real-time, saving you from the time-consuming and often confusing process of exchanging drafts through email.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Scheduling – Timebridge

Timebridge is a Web-based software application for coordinating and running meetings and online collaboration. Essentially Timebridge allows you to schedule common meeting times with your team.

User experience is improved with integration options with some of the more popular platforms available, including Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal.

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Project Management – Basecamp

Basecamp is probably one of the more popular choices when it comes to project management software. The software is web-based, so it can practically run on any computer so as long that it has a browser. The company also offers several price points for companies to choose from depending on their budget.

The base package costs $20 per month and will allow users to maintain 3 active projects and comes with 3GB of storage space that really comes in handy when you need to attach a file or document into a comment, discussion or to do list.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Document Storage and File Sharing – Google Drive

For businesses that are looking for an alternative to Dropbox to store their files on the cloud, Google’s Drive might be a viable choice. The search engine’s cloud storage solution offers a bit more flexibility in terms of paid plans and file size restrictions.

If you’re using other Google apps in your business, you’d be happy to know that Drive is conveniently integrated with services like Gmail and Google Docs.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Video and Audio Conferencing – Skype for Business

A lot of people are already using Skype to make personal video calls and send instant messages using their internet-connected devices. Microsoft has brought the familiar features and interface of Skype into its enterprise-level communicator, Microsoft Lync and now calls it Skype for Business.

For $2.00 per user per month, businesses can collaborate up to 250 people in a video call. Skype for Business also gives companies with enterprise-level security and the ability to manage their employees’ accounts and features.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Linux, BlackBerry

Document Collaboration – Office 365

Microsoft’s Office suite is arguably the most widely used productivity software in the market today. According to Microsoft’s website, the software around 1.2 billion people use Office, which roughly equates to 1 of 7 people on the planet using it.

Three years ago, Microsoft transformed Office by bringing it to the cloud. For $5 per user per month, Office 365 subscribers get online versions of MS office plus email with 50GB inbox and 1TB file storage and sharing.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Coding – GitHub

Lastly, if you’re business is into software or web development, you might want to get GitHub for your team. The tool is a web-based Git repository hosting service that provides development teams distributed revision control for projects as well as source code management functionality that makes collaboration really convenient among developers.

Other features of GitHub include a collaborative code review that allows developers to interactively learn from each other as part of the development process and a built in issue tracker to keep tabs on your projects’ bugs.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux



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