Using cloud services for collaboration provides a way for businesses, both large and small, to work across borders, time zones and projects. To facilitate swift, easy and useful collaboration across the web, we’ve gathered the top five cloud storage services for collaboration.
Just about every business needs cloud storage to aid their online activities, but some companies still don’t see just how well online collaboration increases efficiency and enhances bottom line profits, too.
Since people get inundated with data, documents and files. More so than ever before in human history, managing all that information can be hard work. In the past, information wasn’t easily shareable, and teams resorted to archaic measures to share their input on projects.
However, as big data has shown us, we are becoming ever more dependent on information. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits collaboration provides to an organization, before getting into our top five countdown.
1. Autotask Workplace
|Plan:||Price:||Minimum Users:||Storage Space:||Details:|
|Business Individual||$15 per month|
$165 per year
|1 user||50GB||More storage can be purchased in 100GB increments.|
|Business Pro||$14 per month|
$154 per Year
|5 users||250GB||More storage can be purchased in 100GB increments.|
|Agency||$13 per month|
$143 per year
|10 users||500GB||More storage can be purchased in 100GB increments.|
$ 8 00monthly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 999999 00monthly
Price quote required
$ 5 00monthly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 25 00monthly
4. Citrix Sharefile
$ 15 00monthly
$ 144 00yearly
$ 25 00monthly
$ 240 00yearly
Total Storage: 1TB
Total Storage: Unlimited
5. Dropbox for Business
The Benefits of Collaboration Using Cloud Storage
Businesses can drastically improve their bottom line by taking advantage of cloud storage and collaboration services. As the data we digest on a daily basis increases, so too does our need for effective collaboration options.
The days of faxes are all but extinct, and organizations just can’t afford to dole out large sums of money to manage in-house storage servers. Fortunately, cloud services have dropped considerably in price, so nowadays it’s usually more cost effective to use an existing cloud storage and collaboration service.
By taking advantage of the cloud’s collaborative features businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes can increase their productivity and effectiveness, by sharing critical data with internal employees, external partners and key stakeholders.
Some of the services listed below allow for electronic signatures, so users don’t need to print paper and mail them to each other.
Autotask Workplace provides a complete package that allows organizations to securely transfer and backup files, sync to an unlimited number of devices, and share files.
In addition to encryption during both transportation and storage, administrators can manage separate users into functional groups, to apply for group access permissions. Furthermore, they even have an auditing system that tracks user activity.
Other Reasons Why We Like Autotask Workplace
One reason Autotask Workplace is well-suited for businesses is that it integrates with standard I.T. tools and protocols such as Active Directory, SSO, Salesforce, SAML 2.0, Outlook, Google Docs and Office 365.
In addition to their rich collaboration features, they also offer stringent security controls, and they are compliant with regulations, such as HIPAA.
- Continuous real-time backups
- Integrated document viewer
- No VPN/FTP required
- Interface isn’t customizable
- Mobile access is slow sometimes
- Per user cost is expensive
Egnyte's mobility suite of software allows users to view, access, edit, and share files from any mobile device securely, even without the need for a VPN tunnel. Of particular note are their security features, which encrypt data during transit as well as during storage.
However, they also include a permission system that’s rich in features. Administrators can not only set individual user and group access permissions, but the auditing system even allows them to see each and every file operation, complete with timestamps.
Other Reasons Why We Like Egnyte
Organizations will love how customizable Egnyte’s interface is; businesses can insert their branding, logos, message headers and customized URLs.
Egnyte provides great collaboration tools, allowing employees and teams to access and edit files, using integrated tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft Office.
- Robust security mechanisms
- Access permissions help secure data
- Ability to track file operations per user
- Smallest package is for 5 users
- 5GB file-size limitation on syncing
- Not appropriate for individual users
In addition to customer-managed encryption (zero-knowledge security), Box also sports stringent security tools for administrators, that allows them to bar access to files using a permission-based system.
They’re one of the best choices for businesses who need strong security to comply with regulations such as HIPAA, among many others. The Starter version is only $5.00 per month per user, the Business package is $15.00 per month, per user.
Other Reasons Why We Like Box
Box is one of the best cloud storage services for documents, because of its strong security mechanisms and great collaboration tools.
Box has features that integrate with Google Docs, and allow custom branding of the interface with logos, messaging system and the company’s URL.
- Custom interface branding
- Customers manage encryption keys
- Stringent regulatory compliance
- Not suitable for small businesses
- 5GB limit on Business package
- Encryption slows uploads/downloads
In addition to syncing and raw cloud storage, Citrix ShareFile sports useful collaboration tools that let users check-in/checkout files to avoid overwrite problems. Another perk of their service that makes them great for businesses, with large files, is their electronic signature feature.
RightSignature allows customers to sign documents in the cloud, therefore avoiding the tedium of sharing physical document copies. But it’s not all good news, users will be encumbered by a file size-limit, even if it’s a rather large one.
ShareFile caps uploads and downloads of individual files at 10GB.
Other Reasons Why We Like Citrix ShareFile
ShareFile is owned and operated by Citrix, who have long been providers of enterprise-class software. They also provide security via activity reports, download alerts, single sign-on, two-factor authentication and an auditing system.
ShareFile protects customer data with AES-256 encryption and SSL/TLS protocols, and have disaster recovery centers across the US and Europe.
- Great security & collaboration tools
- Large 10GB file size-limit
- Unlimited file versioning
- Mobile apps aren’t fully featured
- 20GB monthly file transfer limit
- No Linux support
Dropbox for Business
As we would expect, Dropbox for Business has great security mechanisms in place, such as password protected links and a variety of tools, designed to manage groups of employees.
Dropbox for Business claims to be implemented in over 150,000 organizations around the world, and they include a secure, well-rounded service, with good collaborative features. The business version of Dropbox is basically a pumped-up version of the basic service, and it comes with unlimited storage and unlimited file recovery (the standard limit is 30 days).
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox for Business
Administrators have the power to limit which data users can and can’t access, to prevent security breaches.
However, the services includes key collaborative benefits, such as integration with Office 365, for easy cloud-based document editing. Last but not least, they start at only $15.00 per user, per month, with a five user package.
- Office 365 integration
- Strong security controls
- Unlimited file versioning & recovery
- Not suitable for small businesses
- Lacks advanced features
- Inappropriate for individual users
Our society has become so data driven and dependent upon technology, that collaboration services are becoming a necessity in the modern workforce. Without cloud storage and collaboration services, an organization’s employees are forced to take more time than needed, to complete simple tasks.
However, these five best cloud storage for collaboration services will help organizations save time and money while increasing productivity through their collaborative features. Do you have any thoughts to share on the subject? Feel free to express them in the comments section below.