Sure, Skype is the O.G collaboration tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. Though, thought of as a legacy tool, the Microsoft-owned communication platform has been tweaked, reinvented and improved upon over the years.
Most small business owners and freelancers appreciate, in a very unique way how important it is to have a set of software tools that if nothing else, ensures that you are able to communicate with folks far and wide. This is the reality of the new global economy.
Most of us work with internal and external teams that are often spread across the globe. And being able to affordably assemble an arsenal of collaboration tools is essential to the success of our businesses.
The one tool - I have noticed often used by folks in the East and parts of Europe is Skype. Sure, Skype is the O.G collaboration tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. Though, thought of as a legacy tool, the Microsoft-owned communication platform has been tweaked, reinvented and improved upon over the years.
One often overlooks the new crop of collaboration tools also available to help streamline our collaboration efforts. That being said, here are three that I find useful as well.
1. Microsoft Teams
For those who require a little bit more than what Skype offers, "Microsoft teams" is the ideal platform to help, again, affordably collaborate better with your remotely located compadres. Recently launched by the Seattle, Washington-based iconic software company, Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.
Teams offers various price points and clusters to help provide enterprise-level data security and tools for specific industries.
A more streamlined, all-inclusive collaboration tool, Slack integrates perfectly with most productivity tools including email and phone to help create a seamless communication experience.
The app, among other features, allows you to conduct all of your business communications in one multi-dimensional space. Work with multiple teams, groups, departments, and so on. Launched as a tool to "Organize conversations" Slack's sleek design and friendly user interface make it one of my favorite collaboration applications.
3. Workplace by Facebook
Workplace by Facebook is, I think a natural extension of any team as far as their group communications and collaboration is concerned. Workplace, needless to say, integrates well with Facebook, bringing to bear all the convenient tools and powerful, yet simple features and apps the social media giant has spent the last twenty years or so building and perfecting. According to the company, Workplace connects with tools you’re already using, like G Suite, Office 365 and Dropbox. And it’s like Facebook, but adapted for work. So anyone can start using it right away.
Unique features include:
News Feed is a personalized guide to what’s going on in your business. So you can keep up to date with the information that matters – without getting distracted by the rest.
Breaking the language barrier is key to becoming a global business. This is especially true for organizations with offices around the world. Too often, great ideas don't travel because teams simply can't talk to each other effectively.
Auto Translate makes global communication easy. When News Feed sees a post in a different language, it’ll offer to translate it there and then. No extra steps and no time wasted.
The more people you add to a business, the more complicated it becomes. And nobody likes wasting time trying to figure out who to talk to in order to get things done.
Org Chart lets you quickly look up individual profiles and team information, so you spend less time scratching your head about who to ask for help and more time doing what you love.
It couldn't be simpler. Click on someone's name to go to their profile page and Org Chart will show you their location, contact details, manager, team structure and even their daily schedule.
Too much effort? Try hovering over a name and you'll be able to see most of these details without even clicking. It's like magic (but the kind of magic that needs data rather than a wand).