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How do enterprise collaboration platforms differ?

New enterprise collaboration platforms are popping up, and selecting which one may work best for your organization can be daunting. Here are some ways to choose.

Workplace collaboration is becoming increasingly more commonplace. With that idea in mind, new enterprise collaboration platforms are entering the market and giving traditional platforms, such as SharePoint, a run for their money.

Organizations are reaching for newer and leaner enterprise collaboration platforms because, on the surface, they seem to perform the same as SharePoint and Microsoft Project, with the promise of better collaboration.

They fulfill basic collaboration needs, enabling users to engage in team dialogues, create task lists, build team calendars, make notes of milestones and save documents on which the team can collaborate together. These are the basic elements of an enterprise collaboration platform. Platforms such as Basecamp, Slack, SharePoint and Microsoft Project all share these same capabilities.

When weighing enterprise collaboration platforms, what is important to note are the differences between them, as that is where you can find the deal breakers. The biggest difference is that, on smaller platforms, you aren't able to track metrics effectively. While smaller platforms enable you to collaborate easily and create task lists, it is difficult to track how much time is spent on each of those individual tasks by individual employees. Larger platforms, like SharePoint, enable users to manage resources with structure and clarity, unlike smaller platforms that are more optimal for collaboration alone.

The key factor to focus on when assessing enterprise collaboration platforms is to remember that collaboration and project management are not necessarily the same thing, so the user can't expect a platform to perform under that guise. If an organization is looking to have clear and organized team communication, then it should lean toward smaller platforms, like Slack. If, however, it is looking to effectively manage resources, then a larger and more traditional platform, like SharePoint, might be a better choice.

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