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15 Essential Collaboration and Communication Platforms And Software to Use

by Siv Rauv

22 Jun 2017

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Last updated: August 2020

Communication is essential to both relationships and to business success. A Harvard Business Review study found that employees in the modern workplace now spend around 80 percent of their time on activities that require collaboration with other workers. In today’s business world, digital communication and the tools used are key to maximising these interactions.

The modern workplace is well on its way to a total digital transformation, especially as the need to effectively manage the growing number of remote employees becomes a priority. However, all too many businesses suffer from disparate, disjointed in-house applications. Your company relies heavily upon key systems and applications for productivity and communication. Is your current network of platforms and software as efficient, effective and reliable as it could be?

Communication platforms and software can be indispensable in facilitating better collaboration and connection in-house as well as with clients and partners. Your portal, intranet, learning management and website can also benefit from these solutions.

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Here are a list of collaboration and communication platforms and software that can be used to connect and integrate your most essential business components.

1. Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the most efficient and user-friendly cloud sharing solutions. Teams can use Dropbox to better manage shared files, reducing the need for email and improving the collaboration between employees.  Integrate with your intranet solution so team members can easily insert their content into a team workspace with just one click. Content can then be uploaded into Dropbox and visually displayed. A content search function is also included.

2. Google Drive
Google Drive is another popular web based sharing platform. With a Google Drive connector, users can readily access folders and files to boost productivity and facilitate collaboration with your intranet solution.

3. Sharepoint
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform or an on-premise software for your employees. Connect this with your intranet to map SharePoint content to folders to allow for manual or automatic synchronisation. You can also centrally publish documents and SharePoint pages as well as images to your intranet.

4. Skype for Business
Skype offers messaging, voice and video calls between people or groups of people. This is a cost effective communication platform to communicate with individuals located in a different country.

5. Box
Easily share documents, folders and files from your Box account through an intranet. This allows for collaborating on your documents from just one viewpoint.

6. Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a productivity software for organisations and individuals. Connect it with your content management platform to easily browse, edit and save stored documents directly from Microsoft Office. 

7. Slack
Slack is a group messaging communication software with real-time messaging, archiving and search for teams. You can also create private spaces with fewer team members for more confidential information.

8. Hubspot
Hubspot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors and convert them into customers. It offers email marketing and lead nurturing, as well as social media management functionality. Hubspot forms can be used on your website, to automatically pull contact details directly into your Hubspot platform.

9. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor allows you to manage email subscribers and track results using different lists. Connect with your website so that information for people who opt in is automatically pushed to this your Box platform for seamless inclusion.

10. YouTube
Video is a must to succeed with marketing and promotion in today’s marketplace. A YouTube connector will allow you to easily pull YouTube videos into your website, including metadata and information such as title, video duration and keywords. You can use and manage external content as well without having to host it yourself.

11. Salesforce
Salesforce web-to-lead forms can be easily created right from your website with this handy platform. You can push leads from the website to your sales team for fast follow up.

13. OneDrive
Get to your files and photos from anywhere, on any device. Share and work together with anyone in your work and life. The OneDrive Connector allows you to easily access files and documents stored in OneDrive within your intranet or portal solution. Open, comment on, adjust and save documents within the browser using Office 365 integration. This platform facilitates much more effective collaboration.

14. Asana
Asana is a project management platform. Organise your tasks into shared lists or boards for your initiatives, meetings and programs.

15. HipChat
Team chat that's actually built for businessPersistent, searchable, and loaded with goodies: group chat, video chat, screen sharing, and the security your IT team craves.

Which is best for your needs?

In today’s business climate, collaboration, communication and connectivity are essential to success. Digital communication is key to maximising these interactions. Your business relies heavily on certain systems, platforms and applications for effective communication and productivity. So where do you start?

It might be time to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you making the most of popular social media platforms?
  • Do you need to increase workflow and productivity?
  • Are you managing the onboarding of new hires well and keeping current staff in the loop?
  • Is your business fully optimising its communication and internal connectivity?
  • Is your website central to your online presence? Are the creation and automatic updating capabilities user-friendly?

By understanding and identifying gaps, you will be in a better position to choose the right technology for your organisation.

Need more information about bridging the communication gap within your organisation?

During this 30 minute webinar, we share insights on how you can implement an integrated digital workplace and intranet solution to overcome key communication challenges.


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Bringing these platforms and software together

No single platform or software can meet all your needs. This is why it's so important to choose ones that integrate with the existing platforms and software in your organisation.

Consider using an intranet as the foundation for your communication and collaboration needs. There are two key benefits of using an intranet:

  1. It comes with built-in integrations to several third party platforms and software including many of the ones mentioned above. It also comes with free API access, enabling either your developers or the vendor's developers to extend the intranet as needed, as well as to add new integrations specific to your needs.
  2. It comes with dozens and dozens of built-in features including social networking tools, team workspaces, content publishing, document management and email marketing. It has the ability to replace many of the functionality of standalone communication and collaboration platforms and software.

An intranet acts as a centralised digital workplace hub for your staff, integrating to your existing systems; making it easier for your admin staff to manage content and communication, and for the rest of your staff to find this information and connect with each other.

To find out if an intranet is right for you, click here to discover the Elcom Intranets. To find our how to avoid the 7 intranet mistakes communications managers make, click here to read the free eBook.

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