Here at TechGeeze, we have reviewed software that cater to enterprise-level clients. There are business, process software, organizational software and there’s the collaboration software. And as the title suggests, we’ll be reviewing a collaboration software this time around. Basically, this kind of software allows businesses and companies to have tasks, processes and even documentation to be “collaborated” to have great team dynamics within the company to work. This means that these components should be well organized and be transparent enough that team members will have an idea of how their individual tasks fit in to the overall picture of the team and eventually, the company.
And to make things easier for business to do these, TeamWox offers their Online Team Collaboration Software. For those in the industry, think of it as a team room or for a more common term, a repository where members can store documents, see the team structure, exchange information and other functions that are essential to the performance of the team. How does it fare to the other ones we’ve reviewed before. Head on below for more.
As with most web-based business collaborative software, the interface for TeamWox uses a tab-based layout, allowing users to have easy access to which kind of task they’re going to do. The main administrator is allowed to customize which tabs are to be displayed per user or group. Each tab is assigned a module that the administrator can then tinker for further customization. And as seen in the following screenshot, the left pane contains all the options that can be modified in this software:
The collaborative software, as mentioned, is divided into key modules that will handle the various tasks that each department/user group may have. The included ones are as follows:
1. Human Resource Management (HRM)
3. Documents Management (DocFlow)
4. eMail Client
5. Organizations & Contacts (CRM functions)
6. Message Board (Forum)
7. Corporate Search Engine
9. Online Assistant (Chat)
10. Service Desk (HelpDesk)
11. Accounting and e-Bank
12. IP PBX Phone System
For this review, let’s try to see how TeamWox delivers in terms of each component.
Human Resource Management
Now it won’t be a collaboration software without people that will actually collaborate, that’s why one of the main focus TeamWox has placed is into the resource management module. Like other management tools, it allows you to place users as members of the pre-defined teams or just create your own to suit how the company structure works. Each user then has the capability to perform tasks, has his/her own calendar to for better scheduling of priorities, log the number of hours spent on a project and even keep track whether the resource is actually working or not.
Collaboration also comes with the tool’s built-in mini-social networking engine. With this, users can integrate external accounts such as Yahoo! and Skype to the tool. And if you want to limit collaboration to the tool itself, they’ve provided a chat as well as board functionality so that users can interact while still maintaining security that might be compromised when using other social networks.
One of the more core functions of this tool is how it manages tasks. Tasks can be anything, from meetings to reports to reminders and even documents. These tasks allow the collaboration concept to work by effectively managing which person does what, which team is responsible for what and so on. The key element to these tasks lies within the interaction that the team members have during the duration of the task. Let’s say you have some details that was raised in the task but wasn’t able to note it, just look at the archive of that task and it will be noted. You can also keep track the hours spent on the said task and more importantly, the people involved.
Documentation has been a key element to every team and every company, thus it is important to have a way to check in and track the documentation each team has. Whether it is for process adherence or just to upload a new tidbit of information, documentation is always important. TeamWox handles documentation just like with any other tool should be. The tool allows you to upload/download documents, annotate them and keep a consistent version management for any changes.
Each document can also be delegated to a specific team or user to view and modify. This way, there would be an overall control as to which ones can view a specific document. It integrates well with the team-based collaboration of the program. Another aspect they’ve added is the integration of a workflow functionality in the documentation module. Typical tools have a separate workflow function but TeamWox decided to include it in the documents. It is common to have documents pass through a series of approvals given a business process, and it is done well with this tool.
And with the social integration of the tool, users can place comments in each document to further promote the collaborative aspect of the tool.
Ok, we all know that companies have their own email clients and servers, why does TeamWox have to provide its own? To answer that, while the tool indeed provides a client, users can use it without having to create a dedicated TeamWox email, though that can still be possible.
Sticking to the collaboration model, existing email addresses of the users can be easily integrated through the email client of the tool. Furthermore, users can create their own mailboxes that could automatically segregate email depending on who sent it and to which department or group it is intended to. Another aspect of this collaboration model is the “assigned” mailbox. Instead of manually forwarding emails with details regarding tasks and what not, an email is automatically sent onto this mailbox once a task is assigned to a particular user. This eliminates the possibility of overlooking an assigned task because notifications weren’t done properly.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM is becoming one of the more important modules to any business software as it is very important to have a database of contacts, vendors, customers and even potential clients. This applies to both companies and individuals that are connected to the said entities.
What’s the importance of having a unified database for all these contact information? For starters, while each client may have their own set of clients and customers to work upon, some responsibilities still overlap with other departments, and it would be very tedious to have a separate module just because of that reason when an administrator can just define some rules on how a contact or customer would interact with a certain department.
Companies can have multiple contacts and with this setup, documents and other related tasks can be easily delivered and forwarded to the concerned parties through a single notification of the customer name. Finally, the tool stores relevant history of any activity that the contact may have had for easier archiving of details that can be easily overlooked without this functionality.
Message Board & Chat
Aside from emails and documents, part of the team dynamics will involve real-time interaction. Now specific to this tool, it allows this through the use of their integrated message board and chat functionality. Both of these work just like any other board/chat feature but TeamWox actually adds feature to allow private meetings in lieu of actual physical meetings without letting non-members know of the details.
No business software would be complete without a reporting tool as this is the only way for executives to have a clear view of how everything is going. Reports in TeamWox are primarily based on the creation of accounting books and it is of utmost importance that those creating these books. It may seem daunting, well because it is, that’s why TeamWox has deeply integrated automation in the creation of these reports. Coordination is also automated depending on which department should be handled the report or which team should produce another report.
Depending on the nature of the data presented, the tool automatically determines how the report should be displayed. Figurative data over a relative period of time are often displayed graphically while tabular data are displayed in interactive lists where users can click on a detail for more information. Overall, the tool is effective in presenting reports even in its vanilla configuration, much more of it has been tailored to the business needs.
And finally, for service-related products, after-sales support is very important and TeamWox has still this covered with their Service Desk module. This allows administrators to setup a dedicated help desk for generating tickets for the various products that the company is offering. The service desk not only covers external products offered by the company, it can also handle internal issues within the company. Let’s say a printer in this department doesn’t work, an internal ticket can still be raised to inform the IT department of the issue and they’ll be notified immediately. Just make sure that the configuration for the ticketing tool is setup correctly to properly differentiate internal from external issues. But overall, the module does what it should.
The primary advantage TeamWox has over similarly-offered solutions is how fast it is able to perform the needed tasks and how organized things can be. Yes the initial setup can be daunting to the number of users and groups and what not to be configured but once done, everything will flow smoothly. To the task assignments to the document flows and approvals and even to the message boards, TeamWox has hit it and if they say “collaborative software”, they mean collaborative software. Covering most, if not all, of the essential business aspects is important and TeamWox does it without having to be overly convoluted.
As such, TechGeeze recommends the TeamWox Online Team Collaboration Software to small/medium scale enterprises as well as organizations that needed some form of repository for their documents and activities. For more information about this tool and you can also try TeamWox for free, and launch in 1 minute.