There’s a lot to be said for the power of team applications in the world of modern business. Not only do the right applications help you to expand your business by ensuring you can take advantage of remote and global talent, but they also improve efficiency, and streamline workflow in any organisation. With the right team collaboration tools, businesses work more effectively together, spending less time pouring over emails, and more time bringing projects to life.
The only problem is, that with so many different team apps available today, it’s difficult for any company to decide which option is right for them. Don’t worry – I’m here to help. Here, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten apps for business this year.
1. Amazon Chime
A relative newcomer to the UC market, Amazon Chime is Amazon’s solution to apps like Slack, Cisco, and Zoom. The service offers cloud-based voice, video, and chat for business, with crystal-clear audio, and integration with a wide range of operating systems, including iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Android. Key features include:
- Group messaging
- Video conferencing
- Chat Rooms
- Voice and Video Calls over WiFi/4G
Amazon Chime comes with a competitive pricing structure, a simple user interface, and an appealing collection of useful collaboration tools. You can even use the system for free on a 1-to-1 basis.
2. Avaya Zang Spaces
A strong competitor in the field of cloud-based collaboration services, Avaya Zang offers a unique platform where developers can create their own UC services. Zang integrates with existing business setups and comes with Zang Office, Zang Spaces, and Zang Cloud included.
One of the most unique features of Avaya Zang is its choose-your-own deployment setup. The system comes with pre-built tools for collaboration, as well as third-party integration with packages like Google Hangouts or Salesforce. Plus, you can design and launch your own solutions through the third-party integration development service. Zang offers:
- Easy integration
- Click-to-connect setup features
- Pay-as-you-go pricing
- Instant messaging
- Video conferencing
3. Cisco Spark
A competitor to some of the biggest collaboration facilities on the market, Cisco Spark is a cloud-based and app-centric service that offers a comprehensive collection of collaboration solutions. Designed to help disconnected teams work more seamlessly together, Cisco Spark allows users to set up spaces where they can:
- Find people
- Access and share files
- Place calls to people within a team
- Send instant messages
- Collaborate over a whiteboard
Cisco Spark is a simple solution with a range of comprehensive features, all wrapped up in a secure package. Plus, thanks to the presence of Open APIs, you can customise your Spark experience to meet the needs of your company.
4. Microsoft Teams
Another popular collaboration service designed to make communication simpler for business groups, Microsoft Teams is a fantastic cloud-based solution that combines UC with a range of fantastic Microsoft Office Features. Microsoft Teams comes with fantastic cloud security, as well as the option to customise your experience by including different features from third-party services. There are plenty of plug-in tools available, and a simple-to-use interface.
What’s more, Microsoft Teams is unique in that it can collaborate with your team members from within the Microsoft apps that you’re already using, like Microsoft Word, Excel, or OneNote.
5. Mitel MiTeam
As one of the biggest brand-names in the Telecoms industry, it’s easy to see why Mitel’s collaboration product has earned quick popularity in the UC space. Mitel MiTeam is an easy-to-use teamwork solution that allows people within a workspace to enjoy a range of features through a single chat window, including:
- Video presentations
- Collaborative whiteboard sessions
- Instant messaging and archiving
When it comes to improving productivity, MiTeam is fantastic, particularly thanks to its automatic archive, which makes searching through previous conversations simpler than ever.
6. RingCentral Glip
A powerful solution for team productivity, RingCentral Glip is a collaboration tool designed to give businesses a single solution for unified collaboration software. With it, users can share files, access video chats, send instant messages, manage tasks and more. In fact, RingCentral claims that it can give you 30% of your time back each day!
RingCentral Glip offers an inbuilt video and IM chat feature, along with simplistic file sharing, and exceptional task manager and scheduling solution to make productivity easier for a range of companies. No matter your industry, RingCentral Glip could help you to get more from your teams.
It’s hard to write almost any article about collaboration applications without talking about Slack. As one of the first real UC solutions on the market, Slack is one of the most popular messaging and team management applications around. This cloud-based communication service allows users to:
- Share files
- Speak through direct messaging
- Access over 100 integrations, or use the open API to build one from scratch
- Share securely encrypted data
- Search through archives
- Personalise user profiles
Simple, effective, and brimming with features for exceptional functionality, Slack comes with countless innovative ways to upgrade your team experience.
8. Workplace by Facebook
It took a little while for Facebook to join the crowd with their own collaboration offering, but Workplace by Facebook is finally here, bringing with it all the features you might expect from Facebook, including trending posts, live news feeds, and the ability to create groups. Another cloud-based collaboration service, Workplace comes with a dashboard featuring intuitive analytics so companies can see how their employees are spending their time.
What’s more, Workplace is an affordable service which offers the option to create multi-company groups and a familiar platform that feels natural to use. If your workers already spend all their time on Facebook, then this could be an easy integration.
9. Unify Circuit
Unify Circuit is a WebRTC-based platform for UCaaS, that offers an extensive range of collaboration and UC tools, including telephony as a service. All of the architecture for Circuit supports open standards, so you can basically build your own solution for collaboration. At the same time, beyond integration with Outlook email and calendar, and Exchange contacts, Unify has made the APIs for circuit freely available.
Circuit comes with a range of tools to enjoy, including video calls, Instant messaging, and a simplified interface that’s great for quick adoption.
10. Google Meet
Last, but not least, Google Meet is the latest video conferencing solution designed by Google to provide HD meetings for enterprise clients. A lot like the standard “Hangouts” collaboration experience, Meet offers a range of video call services, including high-def video connections for up to 30 people at a time.
Google Meet is still being developed, so it’s difficult to know whether it’s going to be quite as competitive as the other players on this list. However, if Google’s past experience with innovative team solutions is anything to go by, we should be looking forward to some pretty phenomenal results.
When it comes to choosing the best collaboration service or team application for your business, the decision will ultimately come down to an analysis of what your business is looking for. The apps I’ve introduced you to above all made this list because of their intuitive nature, simple interfaces, and overall popularity on the web.
While this might not be a comprehensive review of all the team collaboration apps out there, it should be enough to give you a small insight into some of the key players, who might just earn your business.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.