Here you can find our vendor list of collaboration tools.You can see which collaboration software offers which features from our vendor comparison below.
In addition to the most important news about collaboration, you can find here our article on this topic. In this one, we looked at what collaboration is all about or how the topic has evolved over the past few years. Finally, we take a look at how the two big CRM vendors, Salesforce and Microsoft, approach collaboration.
Which tool is the best fit? Where does the cloud lie? Is everything DSGVO-compliant? The most important tips in one article: CRM self-help guide: who currently offers free or significantly cheaper collaboration tools?.
Do you already have CRM software and want to know if it has a collaboration tool integrated? Then take a look here: Our CRM vendor comparison.
Collaboration is the joint effort of several people to accomplish a task or execute a project. To achieve this goal, the participants may be separated both spatially and organizationally.
Collaboration can be asynchronous. In such a case, collaboration and communication among team members does not necessarily occur at the same time. In contrast, in synchronous collaboration, referred to as real-time collaboration, team members work together simultaneously and communicate while collaborating.
Out of this need, the collaboration market segment was born to provide teams with the appropriate tools for effective communication.
After delineating what collaboration is and how it works, a brief digression on what exactly a collaboration tool is.
At the core of a content platform is the access to data from anywhere, whether on the desktop or via samrtphone. This access is ensured by file synchronization between the connected end devices and cloud repositories.
It also includes sharing data with people or connected applications, with the collaboration tool, inside or outside a company.
Configurable folders enable controlled project collaboration.
Previously, the classic intranet, of a company where employees could plug in, lacked programs for modern collaboration. Sharing via email and via Word documents that anyone could annotate was hardly efficient.
Out of this dilemma with increasing mobility and flexibility, numerous agile project management programs such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Projectplace and many others initially sprang up to improve workflow.
The high growth rates in the collaboration software market also called digital giants Microsoft and Salesforce to the scene. Microsoft released “Microsoft Teams” in March 2017 which has been under constant development since then. Salesforce completed its acquisition of Slack in December 2020 for the astronomical sum of $27.7 billion.
Slack was originally launched in response to an overloaded enterprise collaboration market. The clear goal was to win over enterprise users and management with the most pronounced user experience and integration capabilities possible – and it did.
The previously available platforms usually proved to be rather cumbersome. They caused so much dissatisfaction among users in terms of usability that many switched to using unapproved tools or proprietary developments, resulting in many individual “data islands” that were unknown to each other. These islands did not result in improved collaboration processes – as users of each app remained and did not share all information.
Slack is intuitive to use, you can easily and spontaneously communicate in ad hoc groups, with individuals on the corporate network, or even across social networks in a topic-oriented way – whether through the messaging feature or video conferencing and audio calls. This is the big plus point of Slack, which at the beginning saw itself purely as a tool for communication and wanted to speed it up – and also managed to do so successfully (see Salesforce’s purchase price).
The full effects of a collaboration tool like Slack can be expected after the acquisition of Salesforce.
The acquisition makes it easier to integrate into a CRM – at least Salesforce’s. Successful integration across different areas allows business processes to be more collaborative internally. The results of this collaboration can then be automatically mapped into CRM and connected systems. This enables business teams to react quickly to new processes, which increases their productivity enormously.
And the will to leverage these benefits is also evident in Salesforce’s recent efforts to align itself as a “Slack first” company.
For example, Slack helped to significantly improve the Salesforce Service Cloud. The time it takes to close a case in the system has decreased by 26%. The Service Cloud performed extremely well last quarter, and the area had extreme growth. Meanwhile, this area or product is the largest customer service product in the world.
Microsoft Teams does not need to shy away from the comparison with Slack.
Microsoft’s “chat offspring” offers a variety of useful functions that facilitate spontaneous and long-term collaboration between groups and individuals in the company. The solution is also increasingly focusing on the possibility of including files from file folders.
Similar to Slack, Teams provides all the features that employees need during conversations: Document attachments, image attachments, as well as other products. MS Teams also supports searching for archived messages, can restrict messages to subgroups within a group – depending on the communication focus – and creates configurable notifications so that every project member receives an immediate status update.
An unbeatable advantage of MS Teams is its deeper integration with the entire world of Office 365, making collaborative file access via OneDrive or Sharepoint a no-brainer and making data available effortlessly. Editing a file is no problem with this and your team can immediately incorporate any changes into their work.
What’s also particularly exciting is the link between Teams and Microsoft Dynamics. Similar to Salesforce and Slack, working can be revolutionized when collaboration software and CRM are connected.
What might such a new way of working look like? Quite simply, for example, finance teams can streamline order processing by sharing purchase orders and payment details with their colleagues in sales. A field engineer can inform the sales team about products that are about to expire, so the sales team can proactively offer replacement options. Or a sales team can close deals faster by understanding demand generation signals from the marketing department.
Simple features in a CRM system can increase efficiency in teams. Chats can be used to communicate quickly and directly. Push notifications ensure that relevant information reaches those who need it, without having to collect it yourself.
Collaboration in the CRM system enables unified enterprise-wide team collaboration, which is more in demand than ever, especially now, in the last 18 months. With a complete and up-to-date information base, there is less need for time-consuming coordination, e-mails, research and inquiries. In this way, companies create room for synergies and innovations, because smooth collaboration and communication not only motivates, but also inspires new ideas. This means that nothing stands in the way of excellent customer management.
Exactly this trend is confirmed by the example of Microsoft and Salesforce. Who are driving this topic through the strong further development of their own product, respectively through massive investments. Not only at the request of their own customers, but also to exploit the advantages of successful collaboration for themselves.
Do you have CRM software and want to know if it has a collaboration tool? Check this article.