If you’ve been trying to find a way to get your team to collaborate in the cloud, you’ve likely found many apps that would fit part of what you need, but wouldn’t be your full solution. You’d have to make an internal site with one app, use another for project management, manage your contacts elsewhere, and more. Before you know it, the cloud made your life harder than anything.
What you really need is an app that brings everything together. One such app is Bitrix24, a cloud based social intranet that has enough features to cater to the needs of a small business organization. Let’s take a look, and see if it might be the cloud solution your team needs.
The basic version of Bitrix24 is for free and is limited to 12 people, just enough for micro companies. The rest of the plans are a bit costly, however, with the standard version costing $99 and the professional version costing a whopping $199, but each come with their perks. Registration is simple enough. Once you specify your email address in the website you will be sent an activation link which will take you to the rest of the registration process.
Once you’ve logged in, the Activity Stream is one of the first things you’ll see. The Activity Stream looks and works like the Facebook News Feed. You can filter the discussions and updates in the activity stream to view the ones you’ve bookmarked, or review your activity. The funnel like icon lets you filter the posts down to a specific employee or a group.
When you start a discussion you can attach videos, photos, links, etc to the discussion. You can also make a discussion private by choosing to send the post only to the people whom you wish to. As in other social media, you can comment on the posts, bookmark a particular discussion if you would like to follow it and rate it. The Activity Stream covers the essentials, nothing more. It looks a tad better than the Facebook Wall, though.
Create and Manage Tasks
Bitrix24 has the tools you need to assist you in effective task management. You can create tasks and subtasks and assign them to workgroups and individuals to help you manage projects easily and efficiently.
In the tasks page, the widget at the right end gives you a bird’s eye view of all the tasks that have been created. You can see where a particular team or an individual is in terms of task completion by means of a simple gantt chart.
One of the essentials in any company intranet is the ability to upload, edit and share documents. Bitrix24 allows you to upload presentations, documents, videos and photos and share them with other users. Once you’ve uploaded the files, they will be listed under the Files section and also will appear on the Activity Stream page.
You can organize the files into folders and set access permissions. Users viewing your document can specify the likeability of the file. Documents with higher likes will be at the top of the search results. This web app does not, however, have a built-in editor to edit documents. You have to download the file, edit it and replace the existing file with the updated one.
Bitrix24 allows each of your staff members to maintain a staff profile. You can invite staff members into your account by sending them an invite. All staff members are listed with an indication as to whether they are online or not. As usual you can filter the employees by position or narrow down to a staff member via the Employee Structure page.
Bitrix24 comes loaded with five workgroups with the option to customize them and add new groups. To create a new group, go to All Workgroups -> Create Group. You can associate services necessary for the group such as photo gallery, task management, calendar, etc and can invite members to the group at the time of creation itself or from the group page. Then, from the group page you can check out all the activity with regard to the group.
Customer Relationship Management
One of the advantages of Bitrix24 is that you can maintain a well organized contact base to track interaction with existing or potential clients, agents and other contacts.
You can migrate easily from your existing system to Bitrix24 as it lets you import contacts into your account, although, it supports only csv files and you have to make sure that you specify the correct column separator when uploading the file, or it will flag an error.
You can keep track of your Leads (Potential Clients) in Bitrix24. The feature that I like the most here is the Sales Funnel that lets you get a quick peek into transactions in progress with respect to your leads.
The CRM module in Bitrix24 is fully customizable. Go to settings and you will be able to add or edit statuses, access permissions, create custom fields, etc to configure your account to suit the needs of your company.
Bitrix24 contains all the features necessary for a cloud-based intranet app. The customization options aren’t as full-fledged as other similar apps like Igloo, but it contains just what is essential for small business organizations and presents its features in a neatly organized and clutter free manner. If your team can fit in the free package, we can definitely recommend it, and it’s even likely a good value for its base pro level. Give it a try, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!