Top SAAS Solutions

Top SAAS Solutions


Our Guide to the Top Collaboration in the Cloud SAAS Solutions

Ever since the Internet was created, one of the big goals has been to find ways to collaborate with co-workers, business partners, and customers through the web. However, dedicated services didn’t become a reality until the advent of SAAS (Software As A Service) packages. With these, real-time remote collaboration was born.

If your small business needs SAAS options, then now is the right time to invest in a SAAS solution, since improved functionality and cloud-based software have made installation and use practically the same as installing a program in your local network. You can then use these services over your Desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You could say that SAAS options make virtual office systems even more of a reality.

That’s not to say that we should just willingly embrace SAAS without conducting due diligence so let’s review the pros and cons.

The Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Savings are a big plus here, as you don’t have to install a physical IT infrastructure.
  • As your business grows, you can scale up your SAAS options as well.
  • Accessibility is a non issue, all you’ll need is a browser program (or app), and an Internet connection.
  • You won’t have to worry about upgrades and updates, as your SAAS provider will take care of that for you.
  • If ever your own physical network goes down, as long as you have access to the cloud network, you can easily transfer network points to other computers.

Cons:

  • Security will always be a concern. It’s a good idea to ensure your staff is spun-up on security issues before shifting to an SAAS option.
  • Outages will still happen, so it’s a good idea that you have a “plan B” in place when it does. Luckily, down times tend to be short.
  • Compliance will become an issue, so be sure to address this concern with your provider
  • Performance depends on the machine the SAAS is running on, and the speed and stability of the Internet connection
  • You should be careful about choosing new or startup SAAS companies. Make sure your data is transferable to another provider, just in case.
  • The big stinger here is that you’ll have to check for software integration with everything else you are using. It’s not really a big problem, as it gives you the opportunity to upgrade all your existing software

So which SAAS solution is right for your business?

Here are some of the top SAAS collaboration software options available:

 Office 365 Small Business and Small Business Premium

best saas solutions

Microsoft Office 365 offers small businesses a comprehensive collaboration platform subscription that includes:

  • Business Email and Shared Calendar
  • Online HD Video Conferencing
  • Company Web Site Tools
  • File sharing, OneDrive Cloud Storage
  • Team Collaboration Tools
  • 60 minutes of Skype Calls per Month
  • Office Web Apps (or the full office Suite if you subscribe to Office 365 Small Business Premium)

Office 365 Small Business and Small Business Premium subscriptions start as low as $5.00 a month per user, or $12.50 a month per user if desk top versions of Office are required; both plans support up to 25 users per subscription. Save $25 off your next Microsoft software purchase with any $50 MS software order.

Visit: http://www.microsoftstore.com

SharePoint Online

best saas solutions

 

Microsoft SharePoint Online offers a complete document management platform that includes:

  • Records Management
  • E-discovery
  • Business Intelligence
  • Form Based Applications
  • Workflow Management
  • Team Sites for Project and Task Management
  • Enterprise Search Capabilities
  • Content Management

SharePoint online with Yammer Enterprise starts at $4.00 per user per month and finishes at $8.00 per user for the full collaboration suite integrated with the Yammer social network.

Visit: http://www.office.microsoft.com

Huddle

best saas solutions

 

Huddle offers a comprehensive team collaboration platform that includes:

  • Cloud Storage
  • Team Collaboration
  • Content Collaboration
  • Workload Prioritization
  • Business Process Optimization
  • Mobile Collaboration
  • Social Collaboration
  • Security & Control

Over 100,000 organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, NASA, P&G and other blue-chip organizations use Huddle as their collaboration platform. The Workgroup subscription starts at $20.00 per user per month for up to 25 users. For Enterprise and Unlimited subscription pricing, contact Huddle directly.

Visit: http://www.huddle.com

HyperOffice

best saas solutions

 

 

 

HyperOffice offers core, enterprise and “a la carte” collaboration solutions that include:

  • Social (activity feeds, social messaging and more)
  • Document Management with Team Share
  • Shared Calendars
  • Project and Task Management
  • Wiki’s
  • Business Email
  • Intranet/Extranet Publishing including Team Workspaces
  • Mobile Support
  • Web Forms & Databases
  • Customer Support

The Core subscription of HyperOffice is $5.00 per user per month, Enterprise is $12.00 per user per month and A la Carte is $3.00 per user per month; all plans require a 5-user minimum.

Visit: http://www.hyperoffice.com

Wrike

best saas solutions

 

 

Wrike is great for internal project management, as well as a collaborative interface with other business clients. The philosophy behind Wrike is similar to cell-style work philosophy: each job is a project in itself, and should be treated as such, all the while building up to larger projects with more people involved. Collaboration occurs at the task level, which is a good idea if you have fewer tasks, with long-term deadlines. One concern with Wrike, though, is that people have to learn how to structure their projects with Wrike’s collaboration system in mind. Thankfully, Wrike has many instructional videos to address this matter.

Monthly subscription prices for Wrike start free for up to 5 users and 2 Gb, the professional plan starts at $49.00 per month for up to 5 users and 5 Gb, contact Wrike directly for Enterprise monthly subscription rates.

Visit: http://www.wrike.com

Project Bubble

best saas solutions

 

 

This SAAS option is simple, but not necessarily basic. Project Bubble offers time tracking, easy-to-use file sharing, and cross platform support. It also has a set of collaboration tools that can make mass collaboration easier. There have been bugs reported for iPhones and iPads, but there is no doubt that updates will take care of these issues.

Monthly subscription prices for Project Bubble start free for up to 5 users with limited user roles and PB branding; the professional plan starts at $25.00 per month for up to 5 users with unlimited guests and users roles, and each additional user is an extra $5.00 per month; contact Project Bubble directly for Enterprise monthly subscription rates.

Visit: http://www.projectbubble.com

 

Project Insight

best saas solutions

 

 

Project Insight, like Project Bubble, aims to be as simple as possible in terms of user interface and basic tools. For example, it has intelligent scheduling, resource management, and outlook integration. For larger networks, permission security settings are also available. It has a great user interface and dashboard that gives all the options right there, without being too cluttered. Finally, it’s an intrinsically scalable system.
Contact Project Insight directly for pricing.

Visit: http://www.projectinsight.net

Copper Project

best saas solutions

 

 

Copper Project is very much a combination of modern online collaboration features coupled with some old-school business tools. It has project planning, Gantt chart creation, task management features, and time tracking. It even has invoicing and budgeting for work hours and other related concerns. True, this system is built more for medium- and large-scale businesses, but if you think your small business has developed enough and has the budget for Copper Project, then it’s a good idea to switch to it as soon as you can, for more efficient workload and collaboration management.

Monthly subscription prices for Copper Project start at $49.00 per month for up to 10 users, 10 Gb of storage, and up to 100 projects; the corporate plan starts at $75.00 per month for up to 50 users, 50 Gb of storage, and 500 projects;  the premium plan allows for unlimited users and storage as well as unlimited projects for $149.00 per month.

Visit: http://www.copperproject.com

 

Budget SAAS options:

If you’re really just starting out, then here are some specific-use SAAS options that you can deploy until you come up with a budget for truer SAAS options.

Google Docs:

best saas solutions

 

 

Google docs is a free document-sharing platform that includes a document editor, spreadsheets and presentations. Also included with Google Docs is Google Drive – which gives you 7GB of free storage. Microsoft Office users can install the free Google Cloud Connect for windows to automatically save their documents to Google Drive.

Visit: http://docs.google.com

Alfresco:

best saas solutions

 

The Alfresco Free Network collaboration platform includes:

  • Document Sharing
  • Team Collaboration
  • Business Process automation
  • Information Governance
  • Mobile Collaboration (through their miniature social environment)

Visit: http://www.alfresco.com

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and similar products:

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and similar products offer free online storage services that usually include around 7GB of free storage. While these services do not provide document management capabilities they do make it easy to share documents beyond sending documents as email attachments. As long as you can make sure that everyone’s devices have no problem with using Dropbox, then you can use this service as cloud-based storage for your company files. You can even update everyone on all files needed for projects on a daily basis.

Yammer

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Yammer seems to lend weight to the idea that this social networking option might become one of the collaborative tools that Microsoft users can use for integrated services with other Microsoft products. Think of it as a virtual meeting room.

Skype

Skype has been the informal go-to communication network for many work-at-home and virtual office freelancers and teams. It makes sense that you should consider this service for your own workforce, at least until you can afford a more secure internal messaging system that can also accept communications from external sources, like clients and teams on the field.

Google Hangout

Now, it’s true that Google Plus has issues concerning usage and spread, but their hangouts feature is a perfect way to have virtual meetings for up to ten people. This makes it more useful as a meeting SAAS, which puts it ahead of Skype in terms of true collaboration. You can also share documents through it, and even screens.

Conclusion:

Small businesses and home users who do not own a copy of Microsoft Office will find tremendous value in the Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscription. Microsoft offers numerous templates and tools that make it fairly easy for users to design their business websites and moreover, web hosting is included in the subscription.

Those that need more sophisticated collaboration tools will find the solutions that they are looking for in Microsoft SharePoint Online, Huddle, HyperOffice and similar collaboration in the cloud SAAS providers. And, while Huddle appears to be favored among notable fortune 500 companies, SharePoint Online and HyperOffice provide comprehensive collaboration solutions at a more affordable price.

Businesses and home users who want to “keep it simple” will find what they are looking for in Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and similar cloud storage applications.

As you can see, there are many options for SAAS across the board. In addition, given how important work efficiency and communication is these days, it’s a good idea to keep on upgrading to better collaborative SAAS options as soon as you can, or once you have the a sustainable budget for them.

 

#office365


Comments

comments