What to Look For in an Online Collaboration Platform

It is one thing to identify a need for improved collaboration and project management, and another thing to go about creating the change. There are many factors to consider when selecting an online collaboration platform. Here are a few features to look for as you evaluate your options.

Secure File Sharing

First and foremost you must ensure that the system you choose is secure. It is easy to be tempted by unauthorised, free file sharing alternatives, especially when you have team members working remotely. However, releasing files onto online file storage or downloading files onto personal storage devices could put information at risk – so take the time to research the platform’s security measures, particularly if you share sensitive information.

Version Control

This single element of file sharing and document management can save teams a lot of headache and a huge amount of time. Platforms like Glasscubes.com ensure that every file that is uploaded to the system is automatically version controlled. The user can then see which version they are opening and editing, every time.

Good Search Facilities

Not all platforms offer the ability to  deep-search their contents as well as search document titles. But having the function available to search, scan and see every relevant file or document is extremely useful.

Online Whiteboards

Virtual whiteboards are great for a number of reasons. They help groups communicate when not all members have Microsoft Office installed on their tablet or smartphone, and serve as a central communication area to share ideas, notes and lists. They can even host embedded links or photos, making online idea sharing and brainstorming much more inclusive and effective.

Effective Task Management

This feature will supercharge your project management. Knowing who needs to do what and when, and having full control over it is invaluable. You won’t have to rely on people emailing between themselves or worry about missed messages. With the right task management system you can hold team members responsible for their work and view conversations related to the tasks. Crucially, task time tracking also allows you to calculate the costs related to a project.

Discussion Threads – Social Media for Business

Many a business owner has wondered if there was a system they could use that would be like Facebook (or another social media service) for business. We have all become used to being able to post a thought or comment, have it visible to everyone, and allow others to respond. Modern collaboration platforms offer this service, allowing you to keep in touch with everyone involved, clear up doubts, share ideas and more. It keeps people connected and reduces time spent in meetings.

Real-time Collaboration

Right along the lines of social media, instant chat allows you to better collaborate with all members of the team. You can forget having to call, arrange meetings or send out lengthy updates every time a new decision is made. Get the message across, online, instantly.

Look for these features in your online collaboration platform, and be sure to try before you buy! Many companies offer a free trial before you commit, and this is the only sure way to explore the system and understand its ins and outs. Take the time to trial several different platforms before making your final decision.