Social enterprise software is becoming a staple integration in companies of all sizes. From startups working out of a shared space, to large, established corporations, employers are seeing value added to their companies by incorporating a well-balanced, people-focused software that lets employees collaborate better.
Technology that helps businesses put communication and relationships between its employees first is necessary to foster a positive work environment. According to Entrepreneur, the best work environments are the ones that encourage cooperation and unity within the company by getting everyone involved. Social enterprise software allows companies to do just that, as it simulates a “no walls” approach to communication and collaborative efforts.
In addition to building relationships, using a software that gives everyone easy access to a project creates space for idea generation and helps make workflows more efficient. This is particularly good for startups or SMEs that have outsourced certain roles to freelancers working remotely. Brainstorming can take place at any time without having to call for a boardroom meeting, and discussions, debates, and contributions can flow freely without the hassle of trying to get everyone’s schedules to sync. The more efficiently a workforce can run, the better the chances are at getting results.
In a report titled ‘Making the Business Case for Enterprise Social Networking’, business author Charlene Li said companies often have high expectations for such software thanks to the benefits of social media on people’s everyday lives. On Facebook, for example, one can choose to simply touch base with another person, or build an entire relationship out of communicating in several different ways.
Li says that social enterprise software can drive success by encouraging sharing, making business personal, reducing the distance between bosses and lower level employees, and connecting remote offices that may be in different countries. As with any investment, you’ll want to get the most out of such a software – which you can do by first of all setting out clear goals and definitions, and then making sure your employees actually adopt the software and make it part of their everyday routines.
But with so many different types of software to choose from, it can get confusing – how do you know which one is right for your company’s size, location, and attitude?
We’ve put together a list of some of the best social enterprise software in the market that we think will help boost employee performance and spur your company’s growth.
Intraboom’s simplicity and straightforward interface makes it a breeze to use – there’s no need to waste any time messing about with configuration. Just set up a user profile and you’re ready to go. The software’s smart and intuitive systems let anyone – regardless of the level of savviness they’re at – adopt it easily and painlessly.
Intraboom’s dashboard aims to minimize distractions by arranging every piece of information necessary in one place. This makes finding memos, creating appointments, looking something up on Google, and starting new discussions accessible, without requiring the user to use multiple applications. Intraboom also supports communication from both inside and outside the company, a feature that is lacking in
most other workplace communication platforms.
With Intraboom, companies can choose from three types of subscription plans. Although the company may be giving up the free version some time in the near future, at the moment users can still sign up for a completely free plan allowing the creation of up to five groups, with ten members per group, and 5GB of disk space. US$59 per month gets you three times as many benefits: 15 groups, with 30 members per group, along with 250GB of disk space.
For US$199 per month, larger companies can create as many groups as they need and utilize 1,000GB of disk space. See the full profile here…
Wunderlist is a cloud-based project management tool that lets users prioritize tasks, organize them using tags, assign deadlines to projects, and collaborate with other users. In 2015, Microsoft acquired the app for somewhere between US$100 million and US$200 million, impressed by its popularity. The acquisition has translated into Wunderlist’s seamless integration into many Microsoft features such as Microsoft Garage, Office, and Calendar.
The app’s simplicity as a flexible and comprehensive to-do list makes it a favourite among busy people, but it doesn’t have its own messaging system. Instead, users have to integrate it with Slack. However, this doesn’t make collaboration complicated – all you have to do is invite another user to any list. Users can choose to receive reminders and notifications via email, desktop, or mobile device.
Wunderlist is available on a multitude of platforms: Windows and OS X, Android and IOS, Windows Phone, and on browsers. You can even use it on Apple Watch, if you’re really strapped for time. The app is free, with options for premium version with functions such as sub-tasks and unlimited file-sharing. Paid-for subscriptions are priced at US$4.99 per month or US$49.99 per year for a Pro account.
As the oldest company on this list, Basecamp has made a name for itself in various fields of business and enterprise. The company released its latest web-based version in November 2015, and does not disappoint.
Basecamp is easy to configure and customize, and integrates with a huge number of third-party apps including tools for accounting, reporting, planning, file-backup and sharing, and marketing. An open API means that there is always a new innovation to be discovered via the platform, which also offers free online training sessions on a weekly basis to help your company make optimum use of it.
Users can set up detailed to-do lists with tasks that can be assigned to multiple people and that can be commented on directly to initiate discussions. A message board divides topics into their own conversations so that all involved are on the same page, and group chats called ‘Campfires’ are also available on the platform. Other internal features include file-sharing, scheduling, reports, a search engine, and a bird’s eye view of the company’s activities.
With over 285,000 organizations using Basecamp, according to Technology Advice, the platform is well-equipped to helps businesses become more efficient and employees more socially engaged with one another.
Podio is well-liked for its flexibility and wide range of integrated apps, as well as the fact that it scales easily as a business grows. Named a PCMag Editor’s Choice for its user friendliness, Podio offers customization for every individual in a company – everyone has their own unique account that they can tailor according to their roles.
The platform was acquired by multinational software company Citrix in 2012, which Podio credits for its rigorous security standards. It offers secure data hosting on Amazon Web Services in Dublin, which is also backed up in a Citrix data center located in Amsterdam.
The Podio homepage is organized into tiles that show each employee what they need to see – including calendars, tasks, any relevant apps, contacts, and reports. In groups, the platform works similarly but with a broader overview for everyone working on a specific project, and allows for file-sharing, images, and link shortcuts to important websites.
The free version of Podio is very limited, so companies will have to invest in its subscription plans to access more useful features. Prices start at US$9 per month for a basic subscription, scaling up to US$14 and US$24 for the Plus and Premium subscriptions respectively.
*Some of the companies featured in this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia