TrustRadius Top Rated
Today, we awarded the 2019 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Collaboration Tools. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are the most trusted in the industry because they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user feedback and satisfaction scores. Top Rated awards are the voice of the market and are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, or status as a TrustRadius customer.
Collaboration Tools can’t always be compared apples-to-apples. That’s because they take different functional approaches. Depending on the type of collaboration a tool is designed to facilitate, it will have features around communication, project & task management, and/or file sharing & management. As you peruse this list of products, keep your team’s needs in mind. What’s right for your collaboration context won’t be right for everyone.
Think about the kinds of work and information your team should be able to collaborate on. What are the specific challenges or bottlenecks you face today? How many people need to be able to collaborate together at once? What forms of communication are most natural for the potential users of this tool? Do they need to be able to talk in real time, either face to face or via phone or chat? Or do they need to be able to take care of their piece of the puzzle on their own time, while making their contributions clear and accessible to others who might be on a different schedule? What are the different systems they might need to reference or organize, and do they need to integrate directly with your collaboration tool? You’ll want to choose the collaboration tool that will fit most naturally into your team’s workflow. After all, the keys to achieving ROI with collaboration tools are user adoption and efficiency.
Here are the winners:
Google Drive’s core competency is file sharing & management. It’s a cloud storage service, file synchronization, and collaboration platform with applications for document editing and presentation, including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google Drive is widely used by individuals and companies of all sizes–though some use paid plans with more storage space and granular sharing permissions. Some of the most common reviewer industries were tech, marketing and advertising, construction, education, and government administration. In their reviews, users said they like Google Drive’s easy file sharing capabilities, document collaboration features, storage capacity, and file sync/backup.
“In my organization, we writers use it to store and access our data anytime and anywhere. It has good syncing capabilities. As a part of the editing team, I need to access and handle files from work as well as home. Therefore, I edit and create new files using Docs, Slides, and Sheets. It has also helped all our teams to update their work in real-time with Google Sheets. This software is very useful for addressing problems like lack of syncing, storage and editing online.”
– Mayur S. | Content Writer | Media Production Company
Slack aims to help teams and groups collaborate by simplifying communications, and bringing together multiple applications in one place. It’s a messaging app with open discussions, private groups, and direct messaging, as well as deep contextual search and message archiving, and file sharing, many available integrations, and the ability for users to build bots that can execute simple commands. Users can access Slack via web browser, desktop app, or mobile app.
Slack offers a free version, but also has paid plans with more features and greater controls for businesses. It is used by companies of all sizes, with the greatest share of reviews on TrustRadius posted by mid-size companies and small businesses. Users said they like how intuitive and fun Slack is (with the ability to use emojis and gifs), the structure of channels and groups, the ability to search all message history, easy file sharing, and the Slack API.
“Slack is used across our organization, in addition to other messaging software, to connect individuals and make it easy to communicate. Most people prefer Slack over the other available tools because of its ability to save messages and files in an easy, unobtrusive way, as well as for the “fun” aspects of it that make communicating at work enjoyable.”
– Jennifer P. | Customer Experience and Insights Analyst | Telecommunications Company
Trello takes a visual, task-based approach to collaboration. It’s a flexible project management tool that allows users to organize things into cards, boards, and stages, tag other users, and assign due dates. The basic version is free, but the vendor also offers a paid version for businesses with extra features. It is used across company sizes (often by individuals or particular teams), with the majority of reviews on TrustRadius contributed by users at small businesses and mid-size companies. Some of the most common reviewer industries were tech, marketing and advertising, education, financial services, and human resources. Users said they like the simple interface, the ability the customize how things are organized and see progress at a glance, and Trello’s user management features.
“Trello allows us to establish a central online area where we can all contribute to, provide information about ourselves for stories to be assigned based on skills and background etc, and also to manage the workload and delegate tasks in real time. Easy to collaborate on different stories and sections, and easy user management. [We like] Being able to monitor progress for stories and projects without needing to disturb users. Excellent service and platform for our needs and within budget!”
– Daniel M. | Postdoctoral Research Associate | Higher Education Organization
Dropbox Business is a cloud storage service with added collaboration and security features designed for larger groups and companies. It includes lost file recovery, office suite integration, Dropbox Paper collaboration tools, two-factor authentication, single sign-on, access controls and sharing permissions, remote device wipe, and an API. It’s used across company sizes, with the majority of reviews on TrustRadius posted by users at small businesses and mid-size companies. According to reviews, users said they like the fact that Dropbox Business can handle large files, and the folder structure, cross-device sync, admin controls, and activity notifications that come with Dropbox Business.
“We use Dropbox Business to share large video files with customers. We are a media company and some of the end products that we produce are explainer videos and video advertisements which are too large to send through email. Dropbox gives us the flexibility of controlling who can access specific files both internally and externally.”
– Justin R. | Product Marketing Manager | Management Consulting Company
Asana takes a project management approach to collaboration. It allows teams to know who’s doing what, and keep track of tasks, projects, conversations, and dashboards in one place. Asana is a web and mobile app, so users can access it on the go to collaborate. It’s used across company sizes, but the majority of reviewers on TrustRadius used Asana at small businesses or mid-size companies. Some of the most common reviewer industries were marketing and advertising and non-profit organization management. In their reviews, users said they like how Asana allows them to assign tasks and manage deadlines while also being able to share updates that keep everyone involved accountable.
“We use Asana across our design and development teams in a modified dual agile format. It’s an incredibly useful and effective tool for communication and information sharing. Implementing Asana helped resolve many communication issues we had between teams around needs, user stories, requirements, the intended implementation, and how the details fit together, both large and small.”
– Kirk B. | Senior Director of Product Experience | Biotechnology Company
Evernote approaches collaboration from the file sharing & management angle, with a focus on enabling notetaking and archiving. It stores formatted text, webpages and web excerpts, images, voice memos, and file attachments. Users can sort notes into folders, tag and annotate, edit, comment, search, and export them. Evernote also offers online/offline sync and backup services. Note that Evernote offers a free version for individuals, as well as paid versions with premium collaboration features. It is used across company sizes, with the largest share of reviews on TrustRadius being posted by users at small businesses and mid-size companies. Users said they like Evernote’s web clipping feature, the ability to tag notes and organize them with folders, the checklist and sharing features, and the way they can keep different types of information (such as URLs, typed and handwritten notes, and images) together in one place.
“We use Evernote to keep track of our daily action item list, also, as our idea hub. When using Evernote, we find that it is a simple way to create a note, put down and share ideas and also clip useful information from the web. When searching for past ideas or notes, the search feature is very simple to use. All in all, it’s been a great tool for us keeping track of most business action items.”
– Sam G. | President of HOCCOA San Diego | Consumer Services Company
Cisco Jabber is a communications-focused collaboration platform. It’s available via browser or mobile app. Users can collaborate in Jabber through instant messaging, voice, VoIP, and video telephony channels. Jabber’s features include voice and video calling, call recording, and broadcast messaging. Most reviews of Jabber on TrustRadius were written by users at enterprises and mid-sized companies, though we do have a few reviews from small business users as well. Reviewers said they like using Jabber to have quick conversations, and that it’s easy to use. In particular, they mentioned the status feature, the ability to share files in context, and the ability to add participants to chats and meetings were helpful.
“Jabber is great for large businesses and businesses that have a number of remote workers so that everyone can keep in touch more regularly than having to send numerous emails. The platform is easy to use and offers great features like screen sharing and video chatting all built in. Chats are logged to Outlook for record keeping. It allows meetings to be more collaborative and ties in with your VoIP phone systems and Webex.”
– Dierra F. | Network Engineer | Health, Wellness, and Fitness Company
Atlassian Confluence takes a different approach to collaboration. It provides wiki-style content management, with more of a focus on notes, files, and documents. Users can share PDFs, Office docs, images, and more, with automatic versioning, instant previews, full-text search, and comments designed to make file management easy. Confluence also integrates with other Atlassian products, and is very commonly used with JIRA to manage software development projects. Confluence is used across company sizes, but most reviews on TrustRadius have been posted by users at mid-size companies and enterprises. Throughout reviews, users said they like the document collaboration features (such as notifications), organizational structures, and extensibility Confluence provides.
“We use Confluence to document our engineering practices. From documenting releases and server updates to storing coding guidelines for developers. We’ve basically replaced MS Office documents and Sharepoint with Confluence. Confluences make for a more user-friendly way to store documentation that is searchable, flexible and far easier to maintain.”
– Clay H. | Software Developer III | Events Services Company
Basecamp is another tool that takes a project management approach to collaboration. It supports unlimited users, and offers features like to-do lists, wiki-style web-based text documents, milestones, file sharing, time tracking, a calendar, mobile access, and messaging capabilities. Many folks have developed free apps you can use to add functionality to Basecamp. (Fun fact for developers: the Ruby on Rails framework was extracted from Basecamp!) Basecamp is used by companies of all sizes, with the bulk of reviews on TrustRadius posted by users at small businesses and mid-size companies. Users said they like how Basecamp is easy to use, enables communication, has both personal and team to-do lists, and sends alerts.
“We are using Basecamp across the whole organization to facilitate communication internally and within clients while keeping track of everything in one place. This includes conversations, files, to-do lists and more. Overall, it helps us be more organized and efficient. It always us to stay on top of our to do list, reminds us when something is due and makes it easy for everyone to stay on top of client initiatives.”
– Laure H. | Client Service Lead | Marketing and Advertising Company
Skype for Business enables collaboration through communication by providing an IP PBX for online messaging and web conferencing. It’s part of Microsoft’s 365 suite offering (and formerly went by the name Microsoft Lync). Skype for Business includes features like IM and file sharing, live streaming meetings, dialing into conference calls, and the ability to make, receive and transfer calls via a computer or mobile device. It’s widely used across company sizes, with the biggest share of reviews on TrustRadius coming from enterprise users and users at mid-size companies.
Some of the most common reviewer industries were tech, education, and hospital & health care. Many users said they like the stable audio and video calling features offered by Skype for Business, with high resolution for images and presentation sharing, the integration with Outlook, instant messaging capabilities, and ability to host large meetings with hundreds of participants. They said it was convenient for internal communication within the organization’s directory, but liked that they could also contact external collaborators.
“When it comes to conduct meetings with your clients, Skype is best option. It lets you conduct conference with 250 people at a time. HD video calling feature allows the user to connect with 6 people on a video call and you can enjoy the view of 1080p resolution. You can present your Powerpoint presentation via Skype with high resolution display. It has reduced the cost of international calls. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Skype For Business is a complete package.”
– Oscar Q. | Finance Specialist | Financial Services Company
Workplace by Facebook is an employee intranet that takes a social approach to collaboration. It allows users to communicate with co-workers through the Facebook interface. (You might also know the tool by its previous name, Facebook at Work.) It’s used across company sizes, with equal review contributions by users at small businesses, mid-size companies, and enterprises on TrustRadius. According to users said they like that Workplace is easy to learn because it’s similar to Facebook’s social network, which most people are already familiar with.
“Workplace is an excellent and intuitive way to have efficient conversations with groups or individuals. It excels when you need to post an item for review and have a real-time conversation with a team. It also takes advantage of the Facebook-style interface to give remote employees a way to interact and engage with the team that offsets the need for face-to-face conversations.”
– Verified User | Team Lead in Marketing | Non-profit Organization Management Company
Microsoft SharePoint takes a content-focused approach to collaboration. In this vein it is most often used for internal content management, but also offers features to support external content management (i.e. publishing a website, rather than an intranet for employee collaboration). It also competes with enterprise content management (ECM) solutions. SharePoint is a very well established and widely used platform across company sizes, but the largest share of reviews on TrustRadius is from users at enterprises. Users said they like SharePoint’s strong integration with Microsoft Office products, platform security, document management and collaboration features.
“SharePoint is used as the core repository for both business and project documentation. This includes high volumes of documentation as well as electronic forms and workflows. We automate the creation of projects and the taxonomy associated with those projects to provide a common platform that is largely consistent across the company. [SharePoint provides] a strong user interface that is easy to use and learn.”
– Gordon R. | IT Director | Civil Engineering Company
Congratulations to the winners of the Top Rated Collaboration Tools Award!
Top Rated Criteria
Products included in the 2019 Top Rated Collaboration Tools list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap as of February 13th, 2019. To qualify for the Collaboration Tools Top Rated Award, products must have at least 10 reviews written within the past year, a trScore of at least 7.5 out of 10, and must receive at least 1.5% of the traffic in their category. Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the TrustMap based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.