The average expenses associated with travel, shipping, printing, and mailing can add up quickly. Cut costs across your company by utilizing cloud applications when conducting business with your customers and collaborating with your employees.
Every savvy business owner understands that the cloud is the technology platform of the future. Cloud collaboration is becoming increasingly viable, affordable, and streamlined thanks to the continuously rapid development of unique applications within the technology industry. However, with so much team collaboration software to choose from, it is important to know which platforms provide exactly what your company is looking for at the best possible value. Based on our own business practices and what we offer our clientele, we have outlined our recommendations for six of the best cloud collaboration services currently on the market:
1) Google Apps
Google has made a name for themselves with their array of free cloud-based services for their consumers. However, for companies who require a more robust cloud-based suite, Google Apps for Business is a great solution. At a cost of only $5 per user per month (or a discounted $50 per year), businesses receive a more comprehensive email service with custom domains, cloud-based calendars, hard drives, document and presentation creators and editors, and audio and video conferencing.
LiveMeeting is a service offered by Microsoft that is used as a replacement for traditional audio and video conferencing technology. The service runs through a standard Windows PC and is free to invite guests to join. However, since Office 365 was released, Microsoft has worked to transition LiveMeeting customers over to the Lync product, which offers essentially the same services at $2 or $5.50 per user per month, depending on the package you select.
Zoom is a great option for companies that need to provide HD webinars or web conferencing. For one of two-tiered flat rates, businesses can host high-definition conferences with up to 25 or 100 participants simultaneously. The flat rate includes an unlimited number of meetings and an unlimited number of minutes per meeting. Zoom also offers a host of collaboration tools that can be used on a desktop or mobile device, for your convenience. Imagine saving your company thousands of dollars on travel costs every time a meeting is hosted through this type of service.
Skype is more commonly known for its text and audio chat features, which are free for consumers who are contacting devices Skype-to-Skype. However, Skype has vastly expanded their offerings, and now provides unlimited high-definition audio and video calls with up to 10 people simultaneously at rates starting at $2.99 per month. Skype’s integration into mobile devices makes it particularly easy to collaborate with individuals who are often out of the office, yet still need to be included in important business meetings.
JoinMe prides itself on simplicity. The free platform provides scheduled audio conferencing with up to 250 participants simultaneously, while the Pro and Enterprise premium packages can be billed annually at $13 and $19 per user per month for unlimited audio and advanced features. With enhanced mobile integration and screen sharing, even a workforce that is spread across the globe can collaborate on a project using the same desktop. For reference in future meetings and documentation of a project’s progress, JoinMe also allows for users to record meeting and conference sessions.
Adobe Connect is an enterprise-focused solution that is perfect for large-scale web conferencing, web meetings, and even seminars. With online purchasing for pay-per-use individuals and a variety of licensing options available for businesses, the product can be hosted by up to 9 individuals per account and billed by the minute, month, or year. Adobe Connect provides secure DVD quality video conferencing that can be used from any web browser or mobile device, which makes it perfect for training new employees or collaborating in real time.
With so many different options, it is important to understand the specific features that each service provides, and which service will provide the greatest value and return on investment for your business. For assistance choosing the right cloud collaboration software, or for help with all of your managed IT services, contact Scale’s IT and managed services team.