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A business abroad – best tools for cross-border communication and collaboration

By January 20, 2016finglobal.com

A business abroad – best tools for cross-border communication and collaboration

January 20, 2016

Most South African emigrants we deal with have made a choice to move after months of deliberation. More often than not, the choice is driven by desperation and hope for a better future for their children. But there is another type of emigrant. This international jetsetter has been compelled to move for vocational reasons – in an effort to either build a new business abroad, expand territories or provide their insights in offshore industries. For them, emigration is a purely tactical move which fits into the bigger picture of that ‘five to ten year’ plan.

These individuals often have to negotiate communication and collaboration across numerous borders – a task which, despite ever-improving technologies, is still quite daunting. So, we’ve rounded up the best cross-border collaboration tools for everyone who needs to transmit, receive or communicate over international waters

1. Join.me

Join.me is an easy to manage online meeting solution which allows you to share ideas and collaborate from a desktop, tablet, laptop or smart phone. They offer free and paid-for services. It does not require content downloads and is perfect for sales demos, idea generation and presentations.

2. Skype

Skype is one of the most widely used VoIP collaboration tools. It allows for video, voice and text chatting and can connect to individuals or teams for free. The platform allows for up to 9 connections during group calling and offers free and paid-for services.

3. World Time Buddy

World Time Buddy (WTB) is a convenient world clock, a time zone converter, and an online meeting scheduler. It simplifies international collaboration for teams and anyone who wishes to communicate with people in different time zones. It also allows for planning and conference calls, webinars, international phone calls and web meetings by considering all contributors from different time zones and aids business travel and market hour tracking.

4. Groove

Groove is a simple and easy ticket management system for your customer support. It allows you to manage customer support tickets on one dashboard and assign tickets by agent or agent group. Private notes can be added for specific tickets and shows up-to-date ticket statuses. It also allows third-party forwarding which attaches queries to an email.

5. Mural.ly

Think of Mural.ly as a pin board. It is a creative tool which allows you to drag and drop files, links and documents into an HTML5 drawing-board. It supports collaboration and brainstorming through remote idea-storming and organisation.

6. Pivotal tracker

Pivotal Tracker is tops from a technical point of view. Teams can track bugs, add requests and action developer tasks through this platform.

7. Dropbox

Dropbox is incredibly popular for file storing and sharing. You can store and share project files, PDFs and images. Although an older platform, it’s highly reliable and easy to use.

8.  Huddle

Huddle brings teams and their priorities together in one remote platform. You can share files, manage documents and projects and collaborate. There is also a task manager which streamlines workflows. They offer a 14-day free trial with sign-up thereafter.

9. Invision

Invision is a remote tool created specifically for designers. The web-based or mobile app tools turns designs into fully active prototypes with gestures, transitions and animations. It allows for client feedback and keeps real-time track of project progress. The first project is free, after which you will need to subscribe to the paid-for service.

10. Yammer

If you like social networking, then Yammer is for you. It’s a private social network for your team which hovers somewhere between Facebook and Twitter. You can hare files, collaborate with co-workers, and connect with customers and partners. They offer free and paid-for services.

11. GitHub

GitHub is a collaboration, code review and code management platform for open source and private projects. It’s one of the top technical collaboration tools available.

12. Marqueed

Marqueed is a simple tool which allows designers, photographers and layout-artists to upload and discuss images through labels, descriptions and revisions. Web images can easily be dragged and dropped into the platform for quick discussion and collaboration.

13. Google Docs

The great thing about Google is its integration across platforms and devices. With this nifty app you can integrate and share your business emails, calendars, documents, spreadsheets and more. It offers free and paid-for services and applications.

14. Red Pen

Red Pen is a paid-for app which is great fun for freelance designers and writers. It allows you to drag and drop designs into a dashboard and invite colleagues or clients to comment real-time on your projects as you roll out updates. It keeps track of the numerous versions and allows you to revert back to previous work.

15. PiktoChart

PiktoChart is an easy-to-use online infographic, presentation and design tool which allows anyone to log in and edit content, create new versions and publish content from the platform. Its simple drag-and-drop feature streamlines designing. They offer free and paid-for services.

There are numerous other web and collaboration tools out there to assist teams in remote communication and collaboration. We’re looking forward to new developments in the future of online collaboration.

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