You have Bob and Jeff spending several weeks a month in Brazil working with new clients, while Sam tries to find reliable suppliers in Asia. At the same time, Janice is searching for warehouse space in cities throughout the U.S. It may seem almost impossible at times to coordinate your team’s efforts on your various important projects. Thankfully, the same mobile devices that have unchained your workers from their office chairs can also help make team collaboration a breeze. With the right mobile apps, your employees will be able to work seamlessly together on company projects, no matter how many miles apart they may actually be.
Need a virtual conference room? The Hall app is your answer. With Hall, you can create a secure group instant messaging chat room, or even a video chat room for up to 12 people. Owning a phone with an excellent display will make the video chat room feature extremely useful for those situations where a new client wants to meet your entire team but can’t do so in person. If your current phone’s display is lacking, it may be time to pick up a new one. For example, T-Mobile offers the Galaxy S4, which boasts a 5-inch HD screen that is ideal for video chats. This app also allows you to share and securely archive files to the cloud. Hall, which is available for both iPhone and Android platforms, is free for small teams.
You and your co-workers are always on the go, so it’s often hard to know where any one person is going to be on any given day. Having a shared digital calendar is so important to stay coordinated, and Kalendi provides a stellar one. Team members can add or delete events and update each other on their whereabouts and plans. Kalendi is also easy to use. This app also allows you to sync with your Google calendars. The basic fee for Kalendi Business is $29 per month.
Professionals checking out a Yammer booth. Image by E2 Conference via Flickr.
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Keeping team members up-to-date on what’s happening with various company projects is easy with Yammer, a social network for businesses. With Yammer, you and your co-workers can post information, comment and collaborate on company-related issues, even while on the road.
Access to your Yammer page is limited to individuals who have an email address belonging to your company’s domain, making it a secure social network for your business to operate in. The Yammer app is available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Microsoft, which recently purchased Yammer, currently offers a free basic version, as well as its more advanced Yammer Enterprise version, priced at $3 per person per month.
If you’re looking for a secure app with which to share and store your files safely to the cloud, consider using Box. This app, which has been designed with businesses in mind, utilizes a number of precautions that its rival Dropbox doesn’t, such as extra secure servers, to protect your files. The Box app is available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones. A 10 GB secure storage plan is free, while a 1,000 GB business plan is priced at $15 per month.
James Romano – James is a mobile app developer and work-from-home dad from Sacramento.