Comparing tools for cross-organizational collaboration

Since one of our customers would like to experiment with close collaboration across organizational boundaries (discussing information), I am currently comparing a series of tools. The table below represents my findings from testing the different alternatives. The information in the row “User friendliness” is subjective: it indicates how easy I could find my way around the tool. If you see information in the table that you consider to be not correct, please let me know or post a comment.

QuickrGoogle DocsNingZoho wikiOffice LiveBox
.net
HuddleCon
fluence
Base
camp
Logging in
Https?
New workspace
According to template
(1)
Access rights
My workspaces
Documents
(2)
Action points
Traceability
(3)
Notification change
Notification action points
Schedule
Online status
Chat
(4)
Knowledge base
Free
(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)
User friendly
Web application
Dutch
Ads free
(10)
StandardDFNASDFNSDNDFNASDFDFASDDA

About the demands: based on the way the customer would like to work together with people from other organizations, we have formulated the following demands on the virtual workspace. The words must, should and could in the description indicate the importance of the requirement:

  • Logging in. The workspace must be secure and people need to log in before being able to access information.
  • Https. Communication over the internet should be secure.
  • New workspace: It must be possible to create new sub-workspaces that contain information on a specific topic/case, with specific access rights.
  • According to template: It should be possible to create new workspaces according to a template to create a standard structure or to fill them with standard documents.
  • Access rights. It must be possible to indicate per sub-workspace which people or groups have access (edit, view, no access)
  • My workspaces. It should be possible to have an overview of the workspaces (topics/cases) you are working on.
  • Documents. It should be possible to upload documents (Word or PDF) as part of a workspace. In the next phase of our experiment this must be possible.
  • Action points. It must be possible to keep track of action points as part of a workspace.
  • Traceability. It must be possible to see who made what changes to the workspace.
  • Notification change. Users must be able to receive notifications of changes to the workspace.
  • Notification action points. Users must be able to receive notifications of changes to the action points.
  • Schedule. It should be possible to keep track of scheduled meetings in the workspace.
  • Online status. It could be nice to see the online status of other workspace members in the workspace.
  • Chat. It should be possible to exchange chat messages with other users in the workspace.
  • Knowledge base. It should be possible to create a knowledge base at the highest level of the workspace, with questions and answers that all registered users can access.
  • Free. The workspace should be free to use.
  • User friendly. The interface of the workspace must be intuitive, clear and appealing (subjective scale).
  • Web application. Users must be able to access the workspace via the internet using their web browser.
  • Dutch. The workspace should have a Dutch interface.
  • Ads. The workspace should not show ads.
  • Standard: While it is often possible to store information in a workspace (for instance, notes about a document can be placed on a wiki), this shows which types of information (relevant in the pilot) the workspace recognizes.
    • Documents
    • Folders
    • Notes
    • Action points / tasks
    • Scheduled meetings / events

Notes:

  1. Only via pre-defined templates
  2. Only via external applications: Ning Apps
  3. Only in the Quickr wiki
  4. Requires integration with Lotus Sametime
  5. The costs are €71 per person per year
  6. The costs are $15 per person per month
  7. Costs start at $200 per month, see http://www.huddle.net/huddle-price-plans/
  8. See the pricing options at http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/pricing.jsp
  9. See the pricing options at http://basecamphq.com/signup
  10. Paid option

(Cross-posted on the Future Workspaces blog)

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