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How to evaluate team collaboration software vendors

Team collaboration software is a necessity for organizations that want to support a more mobile and agile workforce. But the team collaboration market is a pretty crowded one, with dozens of apps that overlap by offering similar features.

So it’s no surprise that cutting through the noise and figuring out which team collaboration vendors' offering meets your organization's needs can be difficult.

"When you think about what vendor to use, there are a number of different things to think about," said Zeus Kerravala, analyst at ZK Research. "This isn't like buying in a legacy market."

Organizations don't need team collaboration software that includes every possible feature, Kerravala said. Instead, they should focus on choosing software that offers the features that employees depend on to do their job.

Organizations should have a list of evaluation criteria to help them choose a team collaboration vendor, Kerravala said. Criteria should include the features vendors offer, integration with cloud storage services, security, mobile and desktop clients, and PSTN capabilities.

Organizations can also look to their incumbent unified communications (UC) provider for team collaboration software, Kerravala said.

"Migrations are generally easier than replacements," Kerravala said. "If your incumbent UC vendor offers some kind of team collaboration tool, that could be an easier way to get it to market."

But if your incumbent UC vendor doesn't offer team collaboration software or doesn't meet your evaluation criteria, look to other vendors in the market. Offerings in the market include Cisco Spark, Unify Circuit, Slack and Ring Central Glip.

Watch this video to learn about other criteria that you should include when evaluating team collaboration vendors and why these criteria are important.

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What criteria would you use to evaluate team collaboration vendors?
Good tips. And don't fall into the trap of thinking that if you spend a boatload of money, you're going to get a magical product that solves all of your problems. There is plenty of great software out there that is cheap or even free.