Document Management Is Only Half The Battle: 3 Collaboration Utilities That Make Businesses More Productive

Digital document management systems have helped businesses make great strides in de-cluttering their paperwork. But in the digital scene, this is only half of what you can do to make your environment more productive.

When multiple people create documents on-site, they send email attachments to one another, making the whole process a total mess. While waiting for entire documents to upload and download, then going through an extra process of having to click through and open programs to read those documents, you’re at the mercy of the Internet connection’s speed and the computer’s own capability to process the document. Very large documents aren’t the only cause of this problem. Having to open many small documents also makes the process just drag on. While one person’s waiting for another to finish, he or she is forced to sit down and wait.

Collaboration software completely eliminates this problem, allowing people with the proper permissions to edit any part of a document and update it in a live data stream. There are a number of applications a business can adopt to do this, but only a few of them are actually flexible enough to be a feasible solution for your business. Here are three of them:

  • KnowledgeTree – This company fuses document management with collaboration. The software lets you create new documents in-house and import hard copies through the DMS. You can import documents practically anywhere, even on your mobile device, and even reward collaborators for creating good content. If you prefer Microsoft Office, you can use it to create and edit documents via KnowledgeTree’s proprietary service. You must contact them to get a quote.
  • Google Docs (soon to be named Google Drive) - If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely give Google Docs a shot. From literally anywhere, you can create and edit documents in a collaborative manner, allowing people to edit live. As they edit, you will see the changes appear on your screen almost immediately. Importing documents is a cinch as well. All you have to do is click the “Upload” button right next to “Create,” and you’re done. Google Docs also lets you work with presentations, spreadsheets, forms, drawings, and tables. And best of all, it’s free!
  • TeamWox - This software combines many applications that companies use on-site and in the SaaS scene. It combines human resources management, email, task management, CRM, message boards, a search engine, a reporting system, online assistance via chat, a service desk system, accounting, electronic banking, and private branch exchange (PBX) telecommunications into one enormous collaborative package. This is the ultimate solution for small and medium businesses who want to operate more efficiently and really see an uptick in ROI. For smaller enterprises, they have a free solution that includes all the collaboration features without all the hubbub that you won’t use. SaaS capabilities are available only through the paid SaaS plan, which costs $375 per month.

Online collaboration has a more positive effect on business operations than you might think. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try. After all, two of the solutions mentioned here are free to use. You will finally be able to eliminate clutter and avoid dealing with several different versions and copies of one document.

 

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About Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel Leiva-Gomez is the owner of The Tech Guy, a blog that presents futuristic and current news about technology with a light touch of humor, catering to the average consumer and prospective investor. Miguel has been working with computers and gadgets for more than a decade, working together with people to help them solve their problems and breaking down complex concepts into simple bite-sized pieces that the average Joe can chew.

  • http://w3cinc.com/web W3 Consulting

    Many people don’t know that Google Drive / Docs also includes Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office – https://tools.google.com/dlpage/cloudconnect – It gives you all the functionality of sharing, backing up and collaborating between Google Drive and Microsoft Office users.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks, this is a great tip. I’ve used it before as well!

      • http://w3cinc.com/web W3 Consulting

        Sad that Google announced recently to deprecate the product! I hope someone picks it up and continues to develop it on their behalf (if they allow for it…it’s a great developer opportunity, I think)!

    • miguel_gomez

      Right! I just learned about that a few months ago, in fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667559717 Barry D Fraser

    Just a couple of comments about TeamWox
    1) The free 10 User version has all the same features of the paid versions.
    2) TeamWox SaaS costs from $75/month for 5 users – $375/month is for 25 Users

  • Jimi Mikusi

    Inevitably these tools are the next wave of business productivity- but I’m surprised Office 365 was not on this list. They’ve supported co-authoring and many of the features listed for quite some time now.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks Jimi for adding them JUST NOW :)

    • miguel_gomez

      Indeed, Office 365 is goes far and beyond what Google Docs can accomplish. I should have included this.

  • http://twitter.com/10Kft 10,000ft

    Document management is an important aspect of collaboration, but is on one end of the spectrum. Collaboration is also about project and resource planning, time management and utilization. Very few tools provide the big picture view of all aspects of the business in a collaborative, autonomy-empowering way. If you are interested in that, you can check out http://www.10000ft.com

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks so much for contributing to the collaboration discussion

      Ramon Ray – from my phone (hopefully not while I’m driving or with my family)

  • Guest

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  • Guest

    I believe all small business should have business phone service. If you are one or two employee company or in business where all your staff is on the road, then you don’t really need a business line. Just get a Toll Free number and it will work on top of your staff personal cell phones. When they receive a call, it will indicate that it is a business call on their call display so they can answer it professionally. All your staff can have their own professional voicemail system. You can monitor how many calls are answered and missed. I have been usingbusiness phone service from telcan. Check them out at: Check out Check out Business Phone Service

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks for this added insight!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tollfree.numbers.5 Tollfree Numbers

    I believe all small business should have business phone service. If you are one or two employee company or in business where all your staff is on the road, then you don’t really need a business line. Just get a Toll Free number and it will work on top of your staff personal cell phones. When they receive a call, it will indicate that it is a business call on their call display so they can answer it professionally. All your staff can have their own professional voicemail system. You can monitor how many calls are answered and missed. I have been usingbusiness phone service from telcan. Check them out at: Check out Check out Business Phone Service
    http://www.telcan.net/BusinessPhone/