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Collaborative Software Platforms
Collaborative Software Platforms
Collaborative software are applications designed to assist people working on a common task to collaborate. Through collaborative software, two or more users located in remote locations work on a project jointly. Such software allows the processing, sharing and management of documents, files and other types of data. Primarily, collaborative software platforms are aimed at enhancing productivity in teams (Evans et al., 2008). To enhance collaboration, these software platforms enable the coordination of tasks. Generally, collaborative software platforms require a user to create a workspace that can be seen and edited by other team members regardless of their location (Peng et al., 2014). Any changes made to the project are updated hence ensuring that every user has the most recent project. Collaborative software platforms are made possible mainly by the Internet and cloud computing.
Overview of Collaborative Software Platforms
Asana is an example of a collaborative software platform that was founded by Dustin Moskoviz and Justin Rosenstein. The founders designed Asana to address challenges faced by teams when using solutions such as email, chat and documents. Asana also has multiple workspaces allowing the management of multiple projects concurrently (Hodzic 2012). This feature is essential as it helps teams to have all the ongoing projects in sight. Another key feature or benefit is that Asana has people views, which is a user management interface that allows every member’s information and tasks to be available within a single click (Asana). Asana also has a notification system that notifies team members through memos of any required action. The notifications, which can be delivered through mobile phones and email, enable tam members to make quick and informed decisions. Finally, Asana supports real-time changes allows managers to act immediately.
Google Drive is a free collaborative software platform developed by Google. Google Drive allows sharing of files. It also allows members of a team to edit a file hence enabling real-time collaboration (Molen 2012). Whenever a user shares a file through Google Drive, he/she has the option of enabling others to edit or change the file. Google Drive also has interactive tools that enhance collaboration. Google Drive includes documents, spreadsheets, and slides. Changes on Google Drive take place instantly and members can see the change and the individual who made the changes. Perhaps the biggest strength of Google Drive is that it works on a variety of web platforms.
Trello is a collaboration tool that uses a card-system when representing the project overview. The card system is based on kanban paradigm, which is mainly used by Toyota, in managing projects. In Trello, boards that have lists represent projects. The lists correspond to the task lists involved in the project. Within the lists, there are cards, which represent tasks. As the project progresses, cards move from one list to another (Gray 2015). For each card, a team member assigns the due date, the person in charge, and he/she can add comments. What stands out in Trello is that it has the best user experience. Trello also has mobile applications that are easy to learn and use.
A discussion of what collaborative business processes each software platform can support.
Asana can support several collaborative business processes. Asana supports arrange team schedule, which allows every user to access and edit the time schedule. With Asana, team members can know the steps involved in a project. In addition, Asana specifies the persons responsible for those steps and the date of completion. Asana is flexible and can be customized for use in a variety of workflows and projects. By using Asana, organizations can collaborate and stay connected with their teams.
Google Drive supports a number of collaborative business processes. One such process is the innovation of a new project. Google drive offers a platform business teams to work together through the Internet. For example, a company with many subsidiaries can use Google Drive to share files and collaborate on a financial spreadsheet. Additionally, instead of the spreadsheet being emailed, the company can simply download it from the Cloud. Another business process is that Google Drive supports is collating documents. The manager can upload a document to Google Drive and users can collate the document.
Just like the other collaboration platforms, Trello supports many business processes. The most important process that it supports is project management (Gray 2015). Using the software, project teams can plan, design, implement and evaluate systems. The software also finds applications in the real estate industry for the management of properties. It can also be used in schools to undertake lesson planning. All these applications are made possible by the fact that Trello has integrated communication capabilities and has scheduling capabilities to help track projects. The platform also has a dynamic file-sharing system that enables real-time collaboration.
Discuss specific examples of companies using each piece of software and the benefits gained.
Many companies use Asana to manage workflows and projects. Some of the companies include Uber, Dropbox, Adobe, Pinterest, Nielsen, Spotify, CBS Interactive, Autodesk and Comcast (Asana.). For Uber, Asana helps the company to simultaneously manage teams across many markets. The main reason why Uber chose Asana is that its interface is clean and organized. CBS Interactive uses Asana to connect its three production offices in Sydney, San Francisco and London.
Apart from individual users, many companies also use Google Drive. One reason as to why many companies use Google Drive is that it is integrated with other services such as email. Because of the increased offering and the cost-effective nature of Google services, Google Drive is commonly used by small to medium enterprises. One company that uses Google Drive is NTEN (Hedstrom 2013). NTEN is a not for profit organization, which uses Google Drive to manage documents. The benefits of using Google Drive to the organization include increased sharing of files and information among staff members, enhanced file security and increased ease of accessing files.
Many companies are now using Trello to enhance collaboration. Such companies include Expedia, Condé Nast, EA and UC Davis. Expedia is a parent company to several online travel brands. Expedia uses Trello to undertake its project management initiatives within its companies. The software platform is also used to automate certain tasks, which helps to reduce expenses. Trello also helps the company to simplify and enhance communication.
In conclusion, Trello, Google Drive and Asana are examples of collaborative software platforms. Overall, all these tools help teams to manage their projects and other workflows. Each of these tools has its own advantages and drawbacks. Many companies including Uber, Dropbox, Adobe, Pinterest, Nielsen, Spotify, and CBS Interactive use Asana. Most individuals use Google Drive, because of its pervasive nature and because it is free. One major company that uses Google Drive is NTEN. Trello is a user-friendly collaboration tool using a card-system to represent the project overview. Many companies including Expedia, Condé Nast, EA and UC Davis also use it.
Asana, “Asana premium overview,” viewed 2 May 2016, <http://d1gwm4cf8hecp4.cloudfront.net/pdf/Asana-Premium.pdf>.
Evans, D.S, Hagiu, A. & Schmalensee, R., 2008, Invisible engines: how software platforms drive innovation and transform industries, MIT Press.
Gray K. 2015, “How we effectively use Trello for project management,” viewed 2 May 2016, <http://wpcurve.com/trello-for-project-management>.
Hedstrom K, 2013, ‘Google Drive as an Organizational Document Management System: an NTEN Case Study’, viewed 30 October 2015, <https://www.nten.org/article/google-drive-as-an-organizational-document-management-system-an-nten-case-study/>
Hodzic, E. 2012, “Asana Software Review: Overview – Features – Pricing,” viewed 2 May 2016, < http://project-management.com/asana-software-review/>
Molen, B, 2012, “Google Drive preview: an in-depth look at features and functionality,” viewed 2 May 2, 2016, < http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/24/google-drive-hands-on/>
Novet, J. 2015, “Trello launches an enterprise tier with single sign-on and better support. Viewed 2 May 2016, <http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/28/trello-launches-an-enterprise-tier-with-single-sign-on-and-better-support/>.
Peng, X., Babar, M. A. & Ebert, C., 2014, Collaborative software development platforms for crowdsourcing. IEEE software, (2), pp.30-36.