Want to know the top 7 business productivity software applications of this year?
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The global business environment has only one constant! While markets change, technologies change, and products change, one aspect doesn’t change. What is that?
It’s a fact that businesses need to satisfy their customers ever more while improving their profitability. Floppy disks were very popular once upon a time, however, they don’t exist today. How do businesses cope with the ever-changing environment?
As I have explained in our guide “How to make your organization Agile?”, they need to reinvent themselves to align with the changing environment. What does that entail?
Well, businesses need to change their processes, systems, tools, and organizational culture. They also bring a change in how their people work, and this is where enterprise productivity solutions gain importance.
The importance of business productivity software tools
Improving productivity is important for businesses due to the following reasons:
- Better productivity results in more profit since you reduce your operational costs.
- Improved productivity makes your employees achieve more. This improves overall employee engagement and reduces burnout. A business leader must “make work productive and workers achieving”, to paraphrase what the late management guru Peter F. Drucker had said.
- You have happier customers when you improve productivity. In the longer run, they will likely champion your products or services!
- Better productivity makes an enterprise more competitive, therefore, the organization can pursue new opportunities.
- A business must address any unintended and undesirable social and environmental impact it has, according to Drucker. The good thing about improving productivity is that organizations reduce waste, therefore, they minimize these impacts.
You can read more about the importance of productivity in “11 reasons why productivity should be on your business agenda”.
An overview of key enterprise productivity solutions
Let’s review a few prominent business productivity software, and these are as follows:
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1. Office 365
Among enterprise productivity tools, this offering from Microsoft hardly needs an introduction. Office 365 is a complete office software suite. Everybody in enterprises uses office suites, whether to write a report, present content, prepare a budget, or just email information to colleagues and customers.
Office 365 offers the following features and advantages:
- This Office suite includes all the features of office software, e.g., Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer.
- Businesses can buy Office 365 subscriptions, and they get all the latest office apps either online or on the desktop. Updates are automatic.
- A key advantage of Office 365 is the wide range of devices it supports. You can use it on all Windows devices, moreover, it supports Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
- OneDrive utilizes the cloud capabilities of Microsoft to let you access your work from anywhere, and this also helps in collaboration.
- Office 365 has comprehensive product documentation to help you, e.g., FAQ, installation instructions, etc.
- There is robust support available for Office 365.
- Students and educators can get a free version of Office 365 Education.
- Office 365 pricing plans for homes and businesses are available here.
Note: G Suite from Google is a worthy competitor of Office 365. Enterprises can get Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drive, Calendar, Meets, etc. all bundled in G Suite. Google has considerable cloud capabilities, and G Suite utilizes that well.
Admin controls, mobile device management, and reliable support are the notable advantages of G Suite. The competition between Office 365 and G Suite is growing, and you can read more about it in Office 365 vs G Suite: which is best for your business?
2. OpenText ECM (Enterprise Content Management)
You must have seen an explosion of content created by your enterprise, with a marked increase in unstructured content like video, audio, images, etc. Much of this content has a high value in your business, and the enterprise must manage it effectively.
The content management life cycle has several key phases, and these are as follows:
- Capture data;
- Publish content;
- Archive content;
- Delete content.
You need an effective solution to manage this, which makes “Enterprise Content Management” (ECM) solutions important. Read more about it in “The guide to enterprise content management (ECM)”.
- A helpful “User Interface” (UI);
- Cloud content management;
- Content archiving solutions;
- Integration with key enterprise apps like SAP ERP, Salesforce, Office 365, etc.;
- Collaboration features utilizing the cloud and mobile capabilities;
- A comprehensive solution to capture data from paper and other sources;
- Compliance solutions.
You can check out the individual products, e.g.:
- OpenText Content Suite Platform;
- OpenText Core, for file sharing and collaboration;
- OpenText ECM in the Cloud;
- OpenText Archiving;
- OpenText Intelligent Capture, for data capture.
You need to contact OpenText for its pricing plan.
Note: It’s a competitive and dynamic market out there for ECM solutions. Documentum was a key player in this segment, however, OpenText has acquired it. You can explore Alfresco Content Services from Alfresco, is a key competitor of OpenText.
Alfresco Content Services is easy to extend, and it has a cloud-native architecture. Collaboration and information governance are easy with it, moreover, it integrates well with Office 365, Salesforce, etc. Like most leading ECM software, it works on key platforms like Windows, Mac, etc.
3. eXo Platform – a business productivity software
eXo Platform is an enterprise social software (ESS). ESS solutions are social networking collaboration tools that large enterprises use, and the objective is to improve employee productivity.
ESS solutions include corporate intranets, moreover, they also include software platforms that boost communication and promote collaboration. A key objective of ESS is to make information easily available to employees despite organizational boundaries. Read more about ESS in “enterprise social software”.
eXo Platform offers the following features and advantages:
- Enterprises can set up their digital workplaces.
- Exo platform serves as a great collaboration platform.
- You can easily build your company’s intranet using it.
- Organizations can manage their internal and external social communities.
- eXo Platform helps in knowledge management.
- The platform works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It also works on Android and iOS devices.
- You can easily learn the platform using the various training materials the company provides.
- There is comprehensive customer support available.
You can request a demo of the eXo Platform here. As a result of its valuable features, enterprises using the eXo Platform see better employee engagement.
Note: The market for ESS has several competent and reputed providers, therefore, eXo Platform has competition! Jive is another key player in this segment with a robust ESS offering. It’s Jive Interactive Intranet Software provides a secure environment to connect people, knowledge, and content in an enterprise.
It’s easy to set up an Intranet portal with Jive since the company provides a comprehensive solution. Jive also integrates well with Salesforce, Google, Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, and other key products. You can request a Jive demo here.
4. Skype for business – another good business productivity software option
Enterprises grow, and over time they operate from many offices, spread across different countries. Thanks to globalization, large enterprises open their offices in countries where they can find appropriate talent. In short, distributed teams are a reality, and they are here to stay!
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It’s hard to have too many face-to-face meetings. Conducting meetings in a distributed team is hard, moreover, time zone and cultural differences make it harder. Read more about it in “How to communicate better in distributed teams”.
Web conferencing tools make a big difference here, and Skype for business from Microsoft fits the bill really well. It offers the following features and advantages:
- As a powerful collaboration tool, it enables you to record meetings and share your screen. Participants can upload PowerPoint presentations and annotate them.
- With an Office 365 subscription, you can invite up to 250 people to your meeting.
- You can use whiteboards, polls, Q&A, and built-in IM for productive meetings.
- You can have an unlimited number of meetings, and send invitations as URLs to the participants.
- Skype for Business works on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
- There are advanced calling options, moreover, you can mute participants when presenting something important.
- Skype for Business enables encrypted communication, and there is excellent support available.
Note: The web conferencing solutions landscape is highly competitive, with technology giants vying with each other for market share. WebEx from Cisco is another great choice. It’s easy to set up video conferencing with WebEx, moreover, users find it easy to join and share screens.
WebEx enables the recording of meetings on the cloud, furthermore, you can have personal meeting rooms. There are various pricing plans, and the enterprise plan for WebEx allows up to 1,000 participants.
Project management in an enterprise context is increasingly complex, however, Wrike, the robust project management software can help. The complex environment in enterprises requires managing many stakeholders, moreover, a PM must manage the schedule, budget, and quality objectives of the project.
This requires robust project management software, which helps with key tasks like project planning, execution, and tracking. Read more about this in “Why is project management software useful: Benefits, importance, and features”.
Wrike is very popular, and rightly so! It offers several key features and advantages, e.g.:
- Creating projects and organizing them is easy with Wrike.
- Wrike offers key tools like the Gantt chart and helpful templates for project planning.
- There are powerful collaboration features, and these are very helpful in distributed teams.
- Wrike has powerful reporting and analytics capabilities.
- Enterprise project managers can create customized workflows, fields, and folder structures suited to their needs.
- There are excellent learning resources and support available.
You can check out the pricing plans of Wrike here.
Note: There is a vibrant market for project management apps. Not surprisingly then, Wrike has several competitors. You can explore monday.com, a well-known project management software. It’s easy to use, and you can see the progress of your projects with the help of visual representations.
Tasks like managing the schedule, collaborating with the team, work assignments, and project tracking are easy with monday.com. The software has excellent reporting and analytics capabilities, and there are helpful templates available for your use. You can check out the monday.com pricing plans here.
Innovation is important in any organization, and it’s the decisive factor behind the success of an enterprise. Successful organizations don’t leave innovation to chance.
The late Peter F. Drucker, the management guru concluded that “innovation is real work, and it can and should be managed like any other corporate function”. Read more about his viewpoint in “The discipline of innovation”.
Managing innovation involves many tasks, e.g., stimulating it, allocating resources, organizational realignment, and finally realizing its value. Read more about these in “Importance of innovation management”.
In short, innovation management is complex, and you need powerful tools for this. Well, you have good news, since Brightidea is there to help you! This powerful innovation management solution offers the following features and benefits:
- You can use Brightidea to proactively collaborate with your teams across the world.
- Crowdsourcing ideas is easy with Brightidea.
- Enterprises need to manage innovation at scale, and Brightidea Innovation Cloud helps here.
- You can easily hold discussions, explore market opportunities, and conduct hackathons with Brightidea.
- You can recognize innovators, and optimize ideas with Brightidea Innovation Cloud.
Find out more about Brightidea by requesting a demo.
Note: HYPE Innovation is another option since this is also a powerful enterprise innovation management software. This platform has an elegant and user-friendly UI, and enterprises can use it for trend scouting, idea implementation, etc. There are excellent collaboration features. You can request a demo to learn more about this platform.
Will you have an enterprise without customers? You won’t, therefore, customer support is always a high-priority function for you.
Customer support in the 21st century is quite different from what it used to be earlier. Given the globalized and highly competitive nature of the world of business, customers have many choices. They continuously demand the best experience from your enterprise.
Modern-day customer support means you need to provide the right information and solutions to your customers 24×7. You need to respond quickly and address all customer queries across various communication channels.
Needless to say, you need a robust customer support solution to meet these stringent demands. Freshdesk is a great example of such a solution. It’s from Freshworks, and Freshdesk counts HP, American Express, Panasonic, and Henkel among its customers.
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You can gain the following advantages if you use Freshdesk for your customer support:
- Streamlining your customer conversations;
- Automate your repetitive work;
- Collaborate across teams to provide faster customer support.
It’s an omnichannel solution, and you can offer both AI-driven and self-service options. You can implement ticket management with it.
Freshdesk offers a host of valuable features, e.g.:
- Unified inboxes;
- Tracking and managing incoming support tickets;
- SLA management;
- Agent collision detection;
- Custom ticket status;
- Canned responses to common questions;
- Collaboration features for ticket resolution;
- The capability to support across channels like email, phone, chat, website, and social media;
- Dispatching and assigning tickets intelligently;
- Automated email notification to customers and agents about ticket status;
- Automatically suggest solutions to customers;
- Allowing customer support representatives to convert their ticket replies into knowledgebase articles;
- Helpdesk reports, analytics;
- The ability to customize your support portal;
- Enterprise-grade security.
Think this is the exhaustive list of features? It’s not! Visit the Freshdesk “Features” page for more information.
Freshdesk offers Android and iOS apps. You can access its extensive documentation on its “Resources” page. It offers the following resources:
- “Support 101”, which helps to improve your customer support;
- How-to guides, tips, and tricks;
- Useful research reports on customer support trends;
- “Freshworks Academy”;
- Free tools;
Freshdesk has various pricing plans for different business sizes, e.g.:
- “SPROUT” for starters;
- “ESTATE” for large teams;
- “FOREST” for enterprises.
The company offers both monthly and yearly billing options, moreover, it offers a free trial.
Wondering how to improve productivity in your organization?
Collaboration tools form a key segment of the SaaS market. The global enterprise collaboration market was said to grow up to $59.86 billion in 2023, from $34.57 billion in 2018, according to a “Markets and Markets” report. That’s an impressive 11.6% CAGR!
Enterprise productivity solutions such as the ones I mentioned here are indeed helpful. However, enterprise productivity tools can’t do the job alone.
In the ultimate analysis, productivity improvement in an organization requires a cultural transformation. It boils down to people discarding their old ways of working and embracing newer and more productive ways.
If you are looking to onboard some temporary team members, DevTeam.Space can work with you for such a digital transformation. Our artificial intelligence-guided process allows companies to quickly onboard and offboard experienced developers who are trained to slide effortlessly into your business processes.
This allows companies to streamline onboarding new team members on-demand, something which gives them the human resources to achieve their goals with flexibility.
We are able to start at any stage during the development process and offer our skills to help create a development roadmap, including architecture, document management decisions, development methodology, etc.
Since we aim to offer the best possible customer experience, we provide all our developers with management and management tools such as real-time project progress and time-tracking reports.
We have successfully completed projects in industries ranging from real estate to Fintech, with projects ranging from supply chain automation to cloud computing software.
Frequently Asked Questions on a business productivity software
Productivity apps are usually software solutions that help in task management. Such productivity software enhances enterprise-level company processes in order to increase efficiency and profits.
Slack, Office 365, Zoom, Linkedin, and Brightidea are considered the best productivity software. Read this article for more.
Provided that you have software development experience and the right developers, creating an enterprise productivity app is possible. If you don’t, then contact DevTeam.Space to get the best developers or to get us to build your project for you.
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Alexey is the founder of DevTeam.Space. He is among the Top 26 mentors of FI’s ‘Global Startup Mentor Awards’ and is a Band Of Angels Technology Expert.Hire Expert Developers