There are dozens of online collaboration and commmunication services for businesses to choose from.
Google Apps, Microsoft’s Office 365, Zoho, Hyper Office, Cisco’s WebOffice and dozens more.
At times I think there are just too many, way too many. However, with each new service there is the promise that a) the “leaders” in the space will sit up straight and keep improving and b) the new service might have that added feature that some segment of the small business world needs.
It’s better for businesses to have more collaboration services, as the more there are the more choice there is and the more incentive competing companies have to improve their own services.
A relatively new entrant in the market, Your Office Anywhere, claims their value add is that unlike other solutions from such companies as Google and Microsoft, YourOfficeAnywhere was built from the ground up for small business.
Although I think most collaboration services are very similar that being built from the ground up is not a competitive advantage (per se) there are often nuances from one service to the next that would be useful for you to try out. Read my short comparison of some services on OPEN Forum.
Your Office Anywhere’s spokesperson said that they provide lots of value to a small business – with 100GB of document sharing and storage, unlimited online workspaces and web conferencing with up to 200 people in one meeting, small businesses can save both time and money. Their cost is competititve at $10 per month.
Since costs are so low and many of these services have free trials it is definitely worth it to try a few other services, beyond the one you are now using to see which service is best fofr your business.
You’ll find that whle most services offer you 80% of what you want, there might be ONE service that offers you something that you REALLY need for your business. If you can findOK the core of what you want plus one more thing services/features that really make your business sing then it’ll be well worth the time you took to explore other collaboration and communication solutions.
One of the best ways for your business to operate more productively and efficiently and communicate more clearly is to harness the power of online collaboration suites. Which one is best for you – no one can really answer – except for you – through trial and error.
But if you are only working in Microsoft Office and paper calendars and voice mail – your competition who is using collaboration services is beating you or is on the way to beating you and slowly gaining market share.