Faut-il payer pour Skype ? 3 alternatives gratuites

Cet article a été publié une première fois en mai 2018, puis mis à jour en juin 2020.

“Il faut vraiment payer pour cette application ?” Voilà une question typique des consommateurs de la génération Internet, élevés dans un univers où tout est facile d’accès, instantanément et souvent gratuitement : télévision, spectacles, musique, informations… Pourquoi payer s’il existe une version gratuite ?

Évidemment, cette approche est également de mise dans le monde professionnel, où l’on s’interroge notamment sur l’intérêt d’utiliser une version payante de Skype, l’outil de conférence web le plus populaire au monde (acquis par Microsoft en 2011).

De nos jours, toute entreprise a besoin d’un outil de visioconférence en ligne et disposer de canaux de communication puissants est essentiel à la réussite des entreprises.

En particulier lorsque l’on sait que l’échec des projets est souvent dû à un manque de communication.

En tant que gestionnaire de projets, vous devez vous assurer que votre équipe reste connectée (que ce soit pour des réunions Scrum ou pour tout échange, en général), mais vous devez également respecter votre budget. Il semble alors logique de se demander pourquoi utiliser un outil payant alors qu’un logiciel gratuit pourrait offrir des fonctionnalités identiques.

Dans cet article, nous passerons d’abord en revue les options payantes de Skype (installé par défaut sur toutes les machines Windows), puis nous présenterons quelques alternatives gratuites qui permettent notamment de discuter en face-à-face avec des collaborateurs à distance.

Faut-il vraiment payer pour utiliser Skype ?

Pour faire bref : non (enfin, vous devez payer votre connexion à Internet). Vous pouvez utiliser Skype gratuitement depuis votre smartphone ou votre ordinateur pour communiquer avec un autre utilisateur connecté sur un autre appareil.

Mais les choses se corsent si vous voulez entrer en contact avec une personne qui n’utilise pas Skype ou qui n’y a pas accès. Par exemple, un membre de votre équipe en déplacement qui ne dispose pas de l’application sur son téléphone mobile, ou encore un collaborateur qui dispose d’une connexion Internet faible, voire inexistante.

C’est peut-être improbable, mais ça arrive. Pour parer à toute éventualité, mieux vaut avoir une solution de rechange. Sans parler des interlocuteurs qui ne peuvent ou ne veulent pas utiliser Skype. 

Sans oublier qu’appeler un numéro fixe ou mobile depuis Skype (votre correspondant reçoit l’appel sur son téléphone et pas par le biais de l’application Skype), c’est payant.

Pour pouvoir effectuer ce type d’opération, vous devez acheter des crédits ou souscrire un abonnement mensuel.

  • Pour 400 minutes d’appel, vous devrez débourser 7,80 € par mois.
  • Vous pouvez passer des appels illimités dans 63 pays pour 15,60 € par mois (des restrictions peuvent s’appliquer).
  • Enfin, vous pouvez acheter des crédits Skype par tranche de 5 €, 10 € ou de 25 €. Les tarifs à la minute varient selon la zone d’appel.

Au revoir Skype Entreprise, bonjour Microsoft Teams

Tout ce que nous venons d’énoncer correspond à la version de base de Skype.

Elle suffit généralement aux auto-entrepreneurs et aux petites structures. Les organismes de plus grande envergure, en revanche, ont besoin de fonctionnalités supplémentaires : communication simultanée avec plus de deux utilisateurs, tableau blanc et partage d’écran notamment.

Microsoft a récemment fusionné Skype Entreprise et Microsoft Teams, son outil de web conférence. Les utilisateurs y retrouvent toutes les fonctionnalités de Skype Entreprise dans le nouveau logiciel de conversation.

3 alternatives gratuites à Skype

Vous ne voulez pas passer à la version payante de Skype, mais vous avez besoin de fonctionnalités supplémentaires ? Voici 3 logiciels de visioconférence gratuits qui pourraient vous intéresser.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous le détail de leurs fonctionnalités et le prix d’un upgrade, au cas où l’évolution de votre entreprise vous pousse à chercher une solution plus robuste.

Certains de ces outils comprennent d’autres fonctionnalités de gestion de projets, comme la gestion des tâches et le partage des fichiers. Ils pourraient donc se révéler avantageux à plus d’un titre.

Ils sont ici présentés par ordre alphabétique.

1. Glip

Aperçu de Glip (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,5/5 (161 avis)

Glip, créé en 2012 et racheté par RingCentral en 2015, présente quelques fonctionnalités supplémentaires dont la gestion des tâches et le partage de fichiers.

Version gratuite : publications, espace de stockage, intégrations et utilisateurs invités illimités. La version gratuite inclut 500 minutes de conversation vidéo par mois.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : pour 5 $ par utilisateur/mois (environ 4,5 €), vous obtenez 1 000 minutes de visioconférence par personne et par mois. Vous bénéficiez également de fonctionnalités de contrôle administratif avancé, de politiques de rétention des données, d’exportations conformes et d’une assistance prioritaire en permanence.

En savoir plus

2. GoToMeeting

Aperçu de GoToMeeting (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,5/5 (7 244 avis)

GoToMeeting, disponible depuis 2004, fait partie de la famille des logiciels Citrix Systems. Connu pour ses réunions “en un seul clic”, le logiciel vise avant tout à simplifier l’organisation de visioconférences. Il permet de lancer immédiatement la conversation sans avoir à  télécharger un logiciel supplémentaire ou à fouiller différents menus.

Version gratuite : avec GoToMeeting Free, collaborez avec 3 personnes au maximum depuis votre navigateur Google Chrome, jusqu’à 40 minutes par session. Inclut le partage d’écran.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : disponible à partir de 12 € par organisateur/mois (forfait annuel), la première version payante prend en charge jusqu’à 150 participants et vous donnent accès à des fonctionnalités comme les applications mobiles, les outils de dessin et le partage de clavier.

En savoir plus

3. Wimi

Aperçu de Wimi (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,7/5 (93 avis)

Wimi, logiciel conçu à Paris, est bien plus qu’une plateforme de visioconférence : c’est un véritable outil de gestion de projets incluant des fonctionnalités comme la gestion des tâches, le suivi des jalons ou encore les tableaux Kanban.

Version gratuite : inclut la gestion de 8 projets, 10 Go de stockage et un support client par e-mail pour 3 utilisateurs.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : disponibles à partir de 9 $ (environ 8 €) par utilisateur/mois, les versions payantes vous permettent d’enregistrer un nombre illimité de projets et d’invités et vous donnent accès à 250 Go de stockage, au partage de fichiers et à une assistance téléphonique.

En savoir plus

D’autres alternatives à Skype ?

Et vous, comment communiquez-vous à distance avec vos collaborateurs ? Utilisez-vous Skype, une des alternatives présentées dans cet article ou bien une autre solution ? Partagez votre expérience en commentaire !

Vous souhaitez en savoir plus ? Consultez notre catalogue de logiciels de visioconférence pour découvrir davantage de produits.

78% of Australian SMEs Say Software Will Be Critical To Their Survival

Usage of technology in Australia during a crisis

Australian businesses have faced one of their hardest years to date. As a result, companies are leaning heavily on software acquisition to survive. Based on Capterra’s latest survey results, we reveal how technology in Australia (such as collaboration software) was prioritised during the pandemic, and what lessons businesses can apply to the new challenges ahead.

Usage of technology in Australia during a crisis

The state of Australian small and mid-sized businesses in 2020

Official figures reveal that the economy decreased by 0.3% in the first three months of the year due to the bushfires and early stages of the outbreak. This shrinkage officially pushes the country into a recession. Governor Phillip Lowe said Australia is facing the toughest conditions since the Great Depression but notes that ‘it is possible that the depth of the downturn will be less than earlier expected.’

Capterra looked into the crucial business decisions that have been made by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive the economic downturn so far. We surveyed* 458 Australians currently employed by an SME. Three-quarters of the survey panel represent decision-makers so that we can take a deep dive into the rationale behind the business decisions. 

To read the full methodology of this research, skip to the bottom of the page.

62% of SMEs don’t expect to survive another six months

The survey revealed some concerning statistics: 62% said they don’t believe their business can last another six months under current conditions (government aid aside). 

More positively; most see technology as the ally that will help see them through. 78% of decision-makers said the software purchases they make will be critical to their survival during (and after) the pandemic. 

Technology in Australia
Infographic 1: How technology in Australia has been used by SMEs during the epidemic

Now, as Australia enters the first recession in 29 years, small businesses are under even greater financial pressures. To survive, SMEs must apply what they’ve learned during COVID-19. 

3 key lessons we can take from the pandemic and apply to future economic challenges

1. Plan for the worst 

The pandemic caught most SMEs in Australia off-guard. In fact, many didn’t prepare for a crisis in any form according to Capterra’s research. Less than half (49%) had a business continuity plan in place before the outbreak. As a result, business leaders had to react fast—making decisions that previously took weeks or months in a matter of days. 

Capterra’s research highlights how SMEs in Australia were rapidly forced into a back-to-basics mentality. Investing in fundamental technologies (such as remote work software) to allow them to operate virtually was a key response during the pandemic—and one that will continue helping them weather the storm during the recession.

Why it’s important: Your company office may never set fire, but you’ll certainly want a fire extinguisher there anyway. The same applies to a business continuity plan. Hope to never use it; but make a plan that will enable you to survive the unexpected regardless.

2. Focus on short-term priorities

With budget allowances tightened, small businesses reprioritised resources to make them stretch further. For example, rather than hiring new help into the business, 58% of managers say they reassigned the roles of existing employees to focus on mission-critical tasks.

But small businesses are still spending where necessary, such as investing in essential technological resources. 79% of respondents say their business needs new software to stay productive in a virtual working environment. Below is a breakdown of where respondents said their businesses had to (or still need to) invest in software:

  • Collaboration: 39%
  • Internal processes: 25%
  • Product delivery: 15%

Note: 19% already had the software they needed, while 1% weren’t sure. 

Why it’s important: By making these changes now, businesses better position themselves to thrive in emerging digital landscapes. 

3. Adjust spend allocation and timelines to fit with new market conditions

An overwhelming majority of SMEs made decisions to reallocate budget to mission-critical tasks. SMEs made adjustments in three main ways:

During COVID-19, 84% of SMEs adapted their 2020 planned spend 

Three months into the year and planned spend went out the window for the majority of businesses. Almost a third (31%) of SMEs increased their spend but the majority (53%) said the pandemic caused them to make temporary reductions. Just 14% said the pandemic didn’t impact their planned spend.

Planned spend adaptions during COVID-19
Infographic 2: A breakdown of spend adaptions in Australian SMEs due to COVID-19.

68% moved budget to other areas of the business

More than two thirds (68%) of respondents said the pandemic forced them to change where they invested money within the business. Of this number, 48% didn’t have software acquisitions or upgrades in their plan before the lockdown—but say their hand was forced. A fifth of respondents (20%) already had a budget allocated to software but had to move it to a different area of the business.

The most popular software acquired during the pandemic includes:

  1. Remote desktop software
  2. Video conferencing software
  3. Collaboration software
  4. Live chat software
  5. Webinar software.

40% sped up software acquisition to pay for unexpected business needs

More than half (52%) of SMEs have had to delay their planned spend in the medium and long-term. However, 40% say the opposite: Covid-19 bought their timeline forward. 

Timeline adaptions
Infographic 3: How spending timelines were adapted by SMEs due to COVID-19.
Why it’s important: In a crisis, it’s sensical for companies to be more conservative with their budget. Making non-essential investments isn’t bad spending. However, business leaders should first feel confident that they have the fundamental resources (and finances) to withstand another crisis (such as a second wave of the epidemic.)

What drove business-decisions during the coronavirus crisis?

Three main factors influenced the products selected by SMEs during the pandemic. We’ve listed them below in order of what respondents felt were most important:

1. Pricing

Respondents referenced a software product’s price and range of plans available as the biggest influencing factor in their software purchase decision. With 53% of SMEs reducing their spend as a direct response to challenging market conditions, it’s natural for buyers to be mindful of price. 

The second most attractive feature for buyers was the availability of a free trial. This not only suggests that software buyers are getting savvier with their budget, but also that they’re putting more thought into investing in the right software.

Tip: We have put together a list of software vendors that are offering users a free version of their platforms to help them navigate challenges brought about by COVID-19.

2. Ease of use

Usability refers to “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals, with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” according to ISO 9241 Ergonomics of Human System Interaction.

According to our respondents, ease of use was the third most important aspect of product selection. With 57% of SMEs now working from home, this preference is an unlikely coincidence.

Businesses need to select software that their team will respond well to. Platforms that confuse or frustrate users will only deter them from using them.

3. What other people said about the product

31% of respondents referenced the perceptions of other buyers (and existing customers) as important. For example, reviews on software comparison websites and opinions posted on social media platforms. 

It’s common for us to turn to online reviews for consumer purchases, so it makes sense that this is being mimicked in the B2B software buying decision. According to our online reviews survey, 98% of Australians read online reviews before they make a business purchase, and 94% believe them to be trustworthy.

Critical business investments put SMEs in good stead 

At the beginning of the year, Gartner predicted that spending on technology in Australia (both for products and services) would increase to AUD$99.6 billion in 2020. Information technology (IT) services were expected to take precedence, with a predicted AUD$36 million spent during 2020.  Communication services would follow closely behind at $28.8 million. 

The crisis appears to have fast-tracked these digital advancements, putting businesses in a less vulnerable position while the country navigates through the recession. It’s likely that business-critical software will continue to take precedence over non-essential software until market conditions improve.

The digitalisation of basic business functions will be key to the survival of smaller businesses in Australia. In particularly challenging conditions, businesses can take comfort in the fact that the moves made now have the potential to make them more robust in the future. 

Looking for remote work software? Check out our catalogue.

*Survey methodology: The current usage of technology in Australia

Capterra wanted to understand the current usage of technology in Australia as well as the strategies that functioning small and mid-sized companies took to navigate the pandemic. 

We surveyed people living in Australia and employed by an Australian SME. The panel included part-time employees (22%) and full-time employees (78%). Due to the COVID-19 crisis, 88% of survey participants were working remotely full-time or part-time. However, 12% were not working remotely due to various restrictions; such as not being able to perform their job remotely or not having authorisation from their employer.

Of the total respondents, 75% of them held management positions with decision-making power. A quarter (25%) were junior or intermediate level workers (with little to no influence over business decisions.) The participants come from various business sectors and levels of seniority.

We conducted an online survey around how SMEs are utilising technology in Australia between 19th and 21st of May. Capterra defines SMEs as companies with fewer than 200 employees, and more than one.

The importance of MSP and ITSM for your SME

msp-itsm-for-your-sme

Today is difficult to find a company that does not depend on anything IT at all. From the family business through small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs), technology is present in all of them, even if it is only a point of sale (POS) system to allow customer payments. In this context managed service provider (MSP) software and an Information Technology Service Management  (ITSM) tools are required for successful business operations.

msp-itsm-for-your-sme

This article aims to clarify what is ITSM and its benefits for SMEs. We will also explain how to set up a successful IT service management plan and how to put it into practice, involving the different areas of the company.

What is ITSM?

ITSM comprises all the actions that must be performed by an organisation to plan, operate, control and deliver information technology services to its customers, whether internal or external.

An ITSM tool must be part of the strategic IT plan, which in turn follows the corporate strategic planning.

IT services vary from company to company, so the strategic IT plan also changes depending on the branch and size of the organisation.

However, the goal of IT service management is unique: to provide a quality information technology service in line with business strategy, anticipating company and customer needs wherever possible.

The anticipation of the company’s needs is a key point of an ITSM tool, because it allows relieving the department’s workload with unnecessary calls, thus allowing more focus and quality to the services provided.

The overload of calls is detrimental to the smooth running of IT services and should be avoided. IT management plays a key role in this task.

In other words, ITSM is a workflow of processes and actions that aim to meet the technological and information needs of a company proactively, resulting in more quality and value in the services delivered to customers.

MSP and CMDB: what they are and how they contribute to ITSM

There are some categories of programs that are essential when putting IT service management into practice, such as IT asset management software and MSP systems.

The former can, and should, be combined with the use of configuration management databases (CMDB) to make your company’s ITSM even more effective.

But what are IT asset management programs for? They take care of the inventory and lifecycle management of your company’s hardware and software assets, allowing you to control costs and track the business value of IT across the organisation.

In this way, the IT manager is able to adapt to the compliance program and manage software licenses and IT tools more easily.

To store information about these assets, it is essential to use a CMDB. This is an information repository that contains the details of all the configuration items in the IT infrastructure.

The CMDB lists all critical assets in the organisation, establishing the relationships between these components and tracking their configurations.
MSPs are usually associated with billing and customer charges, but they go far beyond that.

They remotely monitor and manage the IT infrastructure, making remote troubleshooting possible and reducing travel costs and unnecessary time expense. In addition to cost reduction, an MSP also provides more security for the company’s technology structure and improves the customer experience.

Benefits of ITSM for your company

The implementation of an ITSM tool in your company will result not only in improved quality of service delivery and customer and user experience, as previously mentioned, but also in reduced risks and operating costs. Below, we explain these advantages in more detail:

  • Improved quality of IT service delivery
    Since IT service management is based on a prior understanding of the company’s and customers’ needs, proposed solutions can directly address the most critical IT service bottlenecks. The result? More quality in the delivery of these services, which also contributes to the next item.
  • Improved customer and user satisfaction
    In addition to understanding the needs of customers, ITSM jointly establishes the criteria under which IT services must be provided between IT and users.By participating in the process of defining these criteria, customers are more satisfied with the management of the services and the results obtained.
  • Risk reduction
    ITSM provides more accurate and constant control of the most critical IT services, reducing the possibility of falls or unavailability of these services for users. By identifying priority services, IT service management avoids operational damages and work breaks that can even generate financial losses to the company.
  • Cost Reduction
    The most solid path to cost reduction is the organisation, which is the main basis for IT service management.

With ITSM, the best organisation of the IT department results in the optimisation of processes and a broader knowledge of the needs of the company and customers, enabling better decision making and, consequently, cost reduction.

Moreover, the implementation of ITSM aligns IT with corporate strategy. The IT department becomes part of the company’s planning, contributing satisfactorily to the achievement of goals and objectives defined for the entire organisation.

Steps to implement IT service management in your company

As stated at the outset, IT services vary by industry and size of organisation. Each company has different needs according to its business and strategic plan.

However, when it comes to implementing ITSM, the steps to be followed are the same in all cases, regardless of the type of organisation and the industry in which it operates:

1. Develop strategic planning

The first step before starting ITSM is to determine a strategic IT plan from the lines drawn in corporate strategic planning.

Only then can you begin to define the processes and make the decisions, together with the management, about the company’s IT services.

2. Create an IT Service List and SLAs

With the strategic IT plan in hand and, if possible, formally documented, it follows to create a catalogue of IT services.

The list should be as complete and detailed as possible, including information such as responsible persons, service levels, quality criteria and costs for each of the services described.

This catalogue serves to show services in an organised and efficient way, providing an overview of everything that is offered.

A key point in defining each of the services is the service level agreement (SLA), which must be agreed between the IT department and the corresponding client. SLAs determine the criteria a service needs to meet to be considered acceptable.

3. Incident and problem management

In technical jargon, problems are repetitions of incidents of the same nature, suggesting that the occurrence is not punctual and needs to be treated urgently.

In any case, the satisfactory solution and within the quality standards and timeframe previously defined must be contemplated in the ITSM.

A common example is the unavailability of the Internet, which, if not solved in a timely manner, can generate negative impacts on the company’s productivity and generate losses.

4. IT Project Management

IT projects are also part of the scope of IT service management. They can be requested by specific areas from specific or strategic company needs, or they can be based on a proactive action of the IT department, anticipating the occurrence of a problem or based on the objectives defined in the strategic IT plan.

Projects require effort, time and cost. Therefore, they need to be well managed in order to result in relevant improvements to the organisation and not bring more problems and unnecessary expenses.

The role of the project manager, aligned with the company and the IT area, is crucial at this stage.

5. Capacity and Availability Management

Capacity and availability management is a fundamental prerequisite for good IT service management.

Without knowing the capacity of the team, it is not possible to make a correct forecast of the fulfilment of demands or the maintenance of ongoing services, and the impact on the business can be disastrous.

The IT department must always be aware of these factors in order to provide proper ITSM.

6. Improving IT Services

The improvement of IT services is both a cause and a consequence of ITSM. The search for constant improvement of the services offered must be one of the objectives in the IT strategic plan and the good implementation of management will certainly result in improvements throughout the company.

Build your strategy

Now that you know the process of IT service management and know the benefits that its implementation can bring to your company, do not waste time.

Make sure you take the time to develop a strategic IT plan and follow up on service management.

Analyse and compare ITSM software, IT asset management and MSP systems to find those that best fit your company’s needs.

A Global Perspective Of Current & Future Remote Working Trends

Study future remote working trends

COVID-19 has disrupted the world of work in Australia and beyond. In a study of 4,600 global respondents, Capterra explores the current and future remote working trends emerging from this experience.

Study future remote working trends

What measures have businesses taken across the world?

Many countries implemented measures to slow down the virus by asking people to work from home where possible. Companies had to react fast as a result, investing in remote working technologies and adapting their product offerings so that they could be delivered virtually.

Now, several countries (including Australia) are beginning to look at ways to lift lockdown measures. To move cautiously, most governments are urging people to continue working from home until they have greater control over the virus. 

Capterra wanted to learn more about remote work challenges, the usage of software and cybersecurity practices around the world during the pandemic. We conducted a survey* with 4,600 full-time remote working employees from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) from Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and the UK.

In this article, we reveal how the world has coped with working under their country’s quarantine guidelines, as well as the varying levels of teleworking success.

How many SMEs worldwide are working remotely because of the outbreak?

59% of SMEs around the world are working remotely full-time as a direct response to the coronavirus outbreak. In Australia, this number sits at 57%. However, not every country was moving into remote-work at the same pace.

Remote working transition rates worldwide

The survey highlights Brazil as the remote working leader, with 77% of the country already teleworking. France, on the other hand, was transitioning to remote work with less urgency. Just 40% of its country’s workforce have made the move.

The good news is that people seem to be enjoying teleworking. Approval of remote work is almost unanimous around the world—according to the global survey results, 74% say they like or really like it. 

This could be connected to the many benefits respondents listed they’ve experienced since remote working. Respondents gave their top home working advantages and the most popular included:

  1. No commuting
  2. Adjusting work hours around personal life responsibilities
  3. A casual dress code
  4. Being able to do more work than usual
  5. Taking care of children and pets.

The most cited work from home benefits for Australia was in line with the global results; no commute (44%), adjustable work hours (36%) and a casual dress code (34%).

The future is remote: 55% believe their business could continue functioning with a distributed workforce

The crisis is pushing digital transformation and shows companies how important it is to not only adapt products and services but also work processes. Remote work had been the reality for a small number of employees around the globe: Only 11% of employees worldwide worked remotely full-time before the crisis. 

If people enjoy working remotely, and management doesn’t perceive a drop in productivity during this period, the future will continue to trend toward this type of working. In Australia alone, 87% of employees want their employer to allow them to carry on with a remote working policy. More than half (54%) of this number said they want to combine remote working with going to the office, while 33% said they want to switch to a remote regime completely.

Remote working happiness

According to a prediction by Gartner, Generation Z will drive this trend further and faster. Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010) is the generation of true digital natives. They have honed their digital collaboration skills throughout their lifetime, and prefer digital collaboration over in-person collaboration. Generation Z’s preference to work remotely will solidify remote working as a standard working practice moving forward.

Adapting to a remote workforce:

Brian Kropp (VP at Gartner) gives his advice on how to help your employees stay productive when working from home:

  1. Ensure employees have the right resources: Equip employees with the technology they need to be successful. This covers everything from the right hardware to the software for team collaboration
  2. Focus on outputs: Focus more on what employees should be accomplishing and less on the processes they should follow to get there. Set up clear objectives to create greater clarity for employees but allow them to figure out the roadmaps.
  3. Increase recognition: ‘During periods of disruption, employees’ desire for being recognised for their contribution increases by about 30%,’ says Kropp. Recognition can be a public acknowledgement, tokens of appreciation, development opportunities and low-cost perks.
  4. Use two-way communication: Two-way dialogue between managers and employees is essential —especially during change. Employees must understand the reasons behind decisions and their implications. Similarly, managers must be aware of employees’ challenges and concerns.
  5. Trust in your employees: Managers may be nervous to lose constant visibility of their employees’ work activities, but micromanaging isn’t the correct response. It will only disengage already stressed employees. Instead, put confidence in your employees and trust them to get on with their job.

70% of companies globally adapted their products and services so they could deliver them virtually

Encouragingly, many companies were able to react to the crisis successfully. According to the survey, 70% of companies altered some or all of their business offerings so they could deliver them virtually during the lockdown. In Australia, this number was 72% which puts them slightly above the world average.

Business product adaptions

Gyms are keeping members active through at-home workouts, held via video conferencing tools. Restaurants have marketed dining in as the new dining out—made possible through takeaway and food delivery software services. Similarly, real estate agents are giving buyers and renters tours of potential new homes through virtual tour software. These are just a few examples of innovation the world has witnessed during this period.

Digitising your product or service is one step on the way to earning new digital revenue. If you want to further transform your business offerings, here is a how-to list we created to guide you through the process. 

6 ways to earning digital revenue

Gartner vice president Hung LeHong gives 6 key ways to earn new digital revenue:

  1. Sell existing digital assets: Start with the digital assets you already have, such as selling your expertise or creating market insights out of your owned data.
  2. Digitalise a service or product: Sell (or adapt) your product or service so it’s accessible to customers while social distancing restrictions apply. Deliver services virtually, for example, or offer online delivery options for physical products. 
  3. Offer a pay-as-you-use service: Buyers will be more likely to use your digital assets if they don’t have to sink resources into owning or managing them.
  4. Use shared metrics to vary prices for buyers: Offer flexible pricing models for a specific service level. 
  5. Run a platform business: A platform business allows you to trade products and services without having to own or distribute them. One example of this business model is Airbnb.
  6. Move into new industries: Does your area of expertise cross over into another? Use your knowledge and industry know-how to launch into other markets where you can add value. 

60% of SMEs worldwide bought or plan to buy new software to accommodate remote working environments

Companies had to quickly adapt their usage of technology to respond to the crisis. Our data shows that 60% of companies across the globe bought (or plan to buy) new software tools for being able to work remotely. The survey also found that 64% of employees worldwide (61% for Australia) learned how to operate the new tools with ease.

Software infrastructure has also been impacted around the globe. Businesses increased their investment in cloud technologies, with 39% of companies worldwide saying they now use cloud products to support remote work. The Netherlands adopted cloud-based services the fastest (at 53%), while France had the lowest adoption rate (31%).

In the following graphic, we’ve highlighted the most popular remote working tools around the globe:

Most used remote working tools worldwide
Most popular tools for remote working during the global quarantine (Source: Capterra)

Important note: Most software products were adopted to enable:

  • Team communication
  • Collaboration 
  • Remote support. 

When purchasing new tools, it’s important to invest in IT security at the same time (such as network security software, cloud security software and computer security software). Otherwise, the risk of cyberattacks increases.

Communication is the top challenge of working remotely

While the majority of employees identified they enjoy working from home, some challenges were also evident. The biggest issue is the lack of communication. It’s important to address and solve these challenges, so employees can be successful and productive while remote. 

Remote working challenges globally
Global remote working challenges identified during COVID-19 (Source: Capterra)

The study shows just 37% of companies provide guidelines on communication and team meetings. This isn’t enough. Supporting employees during this crisis, such as providing software for communication and guidelines in the right areas, is crucial. 

Want to know more about how to create strong communication processes? Check out our 10 Effective Communication Tips For Teams Working Remotely.

Home working global statistics


Cybersecurity measures within SMEs could improve worldwide

One of the most important things for remote work is creating a safe working environment. We recommend the following 5 steps to help ensure IT security for your business. 

1. Don’t use personal devices to work

40% of the employees globally use only their personal devices to work remotely. It’s highly recommended that employees don’t work from personal, unprotected devices. Employees should resist working from their own devices because it leads to a higher risk of exposing company data. If it’s unavoidable, employees should ensure the personal device is sufficiently secured. 

2. Invest in cybersecurity resources

Only 39% of all employees worldwide have antivirus software installed and 29% use Firewalls. Invest in security tools, such as antivirus software and firewalls. These two systems should be the standard in every business. Additionally, consider implementing network monitoring and endpoint protection.

3. Educate staff of types of cyberattacks

32% of global respondents were victims of a phishing attack. Of those, almost half (49%) happened since COVID-19. 

Despite this, only 22% use email security software. Email is one of the most important forms of communication in businesses, but unfortunately, also one of the most insecure. However, email security software can reduce the risk of phishing attacks by identifying malicious emails and eliminating the threat.  

Tip: Companies should consider implementing a company-wide phishing test. The test helps to determine the susceptibility of employees to this type of attack.  

4. Install a VPN

Less than one-third of companies use a VPN, also known as a virtual private network.

Invest in a VPN if your business needs to access and transfer business data remotely. VPNs provide an encrypted connection to the Internet that prevents third parties from viewing network activity.

5. Strengthen passwords to online business accounts

Worldwide, just 36% of employees are following recommendations for strong passwords, with randomised letters, numbers and characters. Additionally, only 29% of employees worldwide use a password manager. 

Good password management will help prevent cyberattacks. Companies should use this time to educate their employees about the importance of strong passwords. A good password manager is the most secure solution and also makes sharing passwords with colleagues much more convenient.

Tip: When exploring password managers, look for one that offers two-factor authentication (2FA). Most authentications don’t activate automatically, so remember to set it up before sharing it with your team!  

To see how remote employees are managing their passwords across the globe, check out the graphic below:

Password security infographic worldwide

Remote working trends that emerged from this experience

Across the world, small and mid-sized businesses were driven out of their comfort zones and forced to be more versatile to survive. What can we take from this unusual and unexpected experience? There are some key learnings—and they aren’t just relevant during a crisis, but also for when we come out of it.

3 key takeaways:

  • Companies are quickly adapting to working remotely and offering their product virtually
  • Companies are adopting new software
  • Employees like the option to work remotely.

However, we’ve also learned that companies need to improve:

  • Communication with employees
  • The use of security tools
  • Password policies.

Companies have had to put greater trust in their employees to do the right thing: Honour their work responsibilities in their allocated hours. As a positive consequence, staff are enjoying casual dress codes, flexible working hours and more. What is clear, however, is that trust has proven to go further than micromanagement. Employees working remotely are happier now that their company is providing them with a bit more flexibility.

Similarly, companies have had success with creating new and dynamic offerings by adapting what they sold before so it can be delivered virtually. They‘ve showcased innovative thinking, versatility and resilience in a time of historical uncertainty. Looking forward, it seems possible that businesses across the globe will come out stronger than before.

Want to know more about remote working software solutions? Check out our list of remote work software.

*Survey methodology

To understand the current and future remote working trends across the world, we conducted an online survey between 4th April 2020 and 14th April 2020. We surveyed 4600 employees of small or mid-sized businesses, who are working remotely as a response to COVID-19. The participants come from various business sectors and levels of seniority. Respondents are from Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands and the UK.

Note: The graphic about top challenges working remotely had multiple response options, so the total sum of the percentages exceeds 100%.

What Is A Virtual Data Room? Plus The Tools & Tips For Setting Yours Up

What is a virtual dataroom

With COVID-19 continuing, a large part of the working population is performing their 9-5 online from the comfort of their own home. But many entrepreneurs are now aware that not all of the data they need is accessible online from home. In some cases, it’s because it’s confidential. For others, it’s because they didn’t store data on a central server.

A virtual data room, whereby businesses can store data securely in one place, offers companies a valuable solution for managing a distributed workforce. 

What is a virtual dataroom

What is a virtual data room (VDR)?

A virtual data room is a highly secured online archive to store documents. This includes confidential documents such as financial transactions, insurance documents, patents; and other due diligence documents. A VDR essentially houses all documents that are important for your business. VDRs are increasingly used today by:

  • Banks, insurance and other financial institutions
  • Lawyers, consultancy and accountancy firms
  • Real estate, trade and brokerage
  • Large and small companies that want to share confidential documents online with employees, business partners or customers.

What benefits can SMEs experience by using a VDR?

Key advantages of a VDR are security and central availability, including:

  • Advanced multi-level authentication procedures to prevent hackers from accessing your documents.
  • Advanced encryption for the transfer and storage of data.
  • Access rights determine which staff members are authorised to carry out particular actions.
  • Having everything in one central location (which staff can reach at all times from anywhere.)
  • Registering and reporting changes in documents (who changed what, and at what time).

Information sharing 

You can share VDR documents with people inside and outside the company. An administrator determines which documents are shareable and with who. They also determine access rights, such as who can read, change, upload or download, documents. This is useful when working in the cloud for management and employees, but possibly also for customers. For example, they can view their own contracts and delivery terms.

Temporary virtual data rooms

A virtual data room doesn’t have to be set up for life. You can temporarily rent a data room for purposes such as contract negotiations with a large customer, an audit, or a special project. It saves travel and accommodation costs, and parties can exchange and work in documents directly and confidentially. 

What are the key differences between VDR and cloud storage

Businesses in Australia have a wide selection of (free) cloud storages available to them today, including OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. The three main major differences between generic cloud storage and a VDR are:

  1. VDRs meet the highest safety standards. The opportunity for cybercriminals to steal data is (almost) zero. The software uses advanced encryption and bit keys during data transfer and storage. The files can only be read by authorised persons. With generic cloud storage, these protections are not available.
  2. VDRs have document management software. It registers and reports all actions that occur within a document.

Steps to set up a virtual data room

Setting up a VDR starts with a thorough inventory of the data you want to include. This gives you a good overview of the size of the VDR you require. From this, you can start to look for a provider. In addition to the price, you should consider a number of factors:

  1. Security: Choose a provider that uses a high level of encryption; at least a two-step authentication procedure.
  2. Document management and control: What functionality does the VDR offer, what are the options for recording authorisations for persons and documents, and what reporting options are there.
  3. Ease of use and accessibility: Can you also access it with a smartphone or tablet? What happens if many users want to work at the same time.
  4. Support: 24/7 support is particularly useful if you operate in international markets.

5 VDR options for SMEs in Australia

VDR software is a cloud software, so you don’t have to install anything: An internet connection is enough. To help you find a VDR provider, we have selected five options for you. Find the detailed methodology at the bottom of this page.

The five tools mentioned meet the following basic conditions:

  • Suitable for SMEs 
  • Web-based, but it is also available via a smartphone or tablet (Android and iOS)
  • Use a security system with at least a two-step authentication procedure.

1. iDeals Virtual Data Room

iDeals Virtual Data Room interface
iDeals Virtual Data Room permission granting interface (Source)

This is a data room with extensive functionality, including protecting documents against screenshots and photos. Setting up this data room doesn’t require extensive IT knowledge. In addition, iDeals offers free training with the Pro and Business packages to its users. You can work with the iDeals data room from AUD$150.00 per month (annual billing) which gives you:

  • 30-day free trial
  • Maximum 500 MB of storage
  • Maximum 10 users, 2 administrators and one project room
  • Drag-and-Drop function to easily and quickly move files to the data room.

Read more

2. Clinked

Clinked profile and dashboard
User dashboard for Clinked virtual data room (Source)

Clinked is a simple platform that’s quick to set up, with a clear dashboard that provides direct insight into activities of (project) groups and accounts. For important files, you can stay updated via email notifications. Clinked’s data room starts from AUD$140 per month and offers:

  • 10-day trial with 10 users
  • 100 GB storage
  • Up to 100 users, unlimited ‘fellow users’
  • Integration with Zapier is possible for expansion and integration with other platforms.

Read more

3. Box

Box user activity dashboard
User activity dashboard on Box (Source)

Box is a somewhat lighter software but offers more than enough possibilities to experience working with data rooms. Users report some challenges with the upload speed, but with the most basic version, you can rent a virtual data room for AUD$7.50 per month, per user. For this, you get the following features:

  • 14-day trial period
  • 100 GB storage
  • Maximum 10 users 
  • Box is always free with one user, which works well for freelancers.

Read more

4. Onehub

Onehub new user setup
The setup process for new users on Onehub (Source)

Onehub distinguishes between paid users and free users. Free users can only view, print and download, and their number can be up to 200. The platform integrates with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. A clear dashboard immediately gives users a good overview of the actions in their virtual workspace. The most basic plan costs AUD$23.00 per month and includes:

  • 14-day trial period
  • Maximum 3 paid users (+ 200 free users) with a maximum of 50 workspaces
  • Maximum 1 TB of storage
  • 20% discount to non-profit organisations and schools.

Read more

5. Koofr

Koofr data synchronisation
Koofr data synchronisation (Source)

With Koofr, you can connect your existing accounts to various online storages, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. If you have the Koofr app on your smartphone or desktop, you can automatically synchronise all documents and photos. It is a limited data room, but a good option to try out for the first time. There is a free version that gives you 2 GB of storage. The simplest paid version costs AUD$10 per year, with the following features:

  • 10 GB storage
  • Unlimited sharing of (password protected) links to documents
  • Unlimited file size.

Read more

Want to know more? Check out our catalogue of virtual data room software to discover more products.

*Methodology

The above tools were chosen according to the following criteria:

  • Suitable for SMEs
  • Customer rating of 4.5 stars or more on GetApp
  • Available on Android and iPhone
  • Web-based
  • With a mobile web app

Note: the five software platforms have been listed in a randomised order.

Online Document Management: How To Get Organised Fast & Free

online document management tools for small businesses

How many hours have you wasted hunting for a document that’s gone missing? How much anxiety have you felt searching through messy digital folders in search of an essential file? 

If these issues sound familiar to you, you’re likely in need of an online document management system. The necessity of such systems is even greater when employees are collaborating while working remotely. Having everything stored in one easy-to-access space can be a game-changer when workers are frequently switching from one device to another, or working at different times of the day. 

Think you’re ready for a secure records management system? Below, we’ve outlined some of the benefits and tips for getting set up on a document management system ASAP, as well as a review of some of the most popular platforms available.

The benefits of a document management system

Ask anyone who has switched to an online document management system, and they’ll be able to tell you how much life improves once you are set up and organised. But if you’re still on the fence wondering whether it’s worth the effort needed to switch over, here are some of the top benefits of a document management system: 

Improved organisation

By far the biggest advantage of a good system is how easy it is to be organised. With everything stored in one place and accessible from any approved device, as well as smart search functions, it’s much easier to stay organised. 

Better collaboration

Most document storage systems allow you to create “live” documents. Meaning if you’re working on something as a team, you won’t need to email versions of documents back and forth every time someone makes a change. Instead, any new changes will be visible in the live document stored within the system. 

Enhanced security

A good digital records management system will come with security measures that will give you peace of mind. You can limit who within your organisation has access to any given document, and if an employee’s workplace device is stolen or lost, you can easily deny the compromised device access to your documents. 

Easy backup storage

Traditional document storage relies on a hard drive to save files. This means if your computer malfunctions, you’ll lose every document stored on it. With an online document management system, this is no longer a worry—everything is stored safely in the cloud. As a bonus, this will free up lots of space on your hard drives.

How to create a document management system

The technology you use to store your online documents is a vital part of your document management system, but no matter what platform you choose, you’ll need to do some planning. 

Here are the steps we recommend you follow to get ready for the transition to digital document storage: 

  1. Take stock of your existing files

The first step of transitioning to a document management platform is uploading files that already exist. This may be the most time-consuming step, as you’ll need anyone in the organisation who has created and stored documents to lend a hand. You will need to decide what documents are worth storing and what ones you can discard. It can also eliminate any duplicates or old versions of documents. 

  1. Start building your folders

Most document management systems allow you to create folders, and these will be key to keeping everything organised. Creating folders first will make it easier when it comes time to upload individual documents. Start with “parent” folders—for example, you might have one folder titled “Marketing”, another titled “HR”, and another titled “Finance”. Within these, you can then create sub-folders like “Branding”, “Personnel Documents”, and “Tax Documents”. 

  1. Establish a standard naming convention

Within your digital management system, you’ll be able to sort documents alphabetically. Your system will be much easier to manage if you establish a naming convention for all files, and enforce that convention across your business. Many companies use the date of creation to name files, starting with the year—for example, call a document something like “2020-April-3 Blog Article”. You can also use words like “Draft” or “Version-2” or “FINAL” to help indicate where documents are within your internal processes. 

  1. Set security rules and regulations

As mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of online records storage is the added security you get—but this won’t mean much if your employees don’t adhere to your security standards. Once you have a good understanding of the security settings you want to employ, create a guide for employees so they will be able to follow suit with every document they create. 

Free document management software reviews

Below you’ll find an overview of some of the most widely used digital document storage platforms. We’ve listed them from highest to lowest based on user recommended score, and we’ve put details on their overall rating and ease of use, customer service rating, their cost, and some of their primary features. 

For a detailed methodology of how we put together this list, see the bottom of the article.*

1. Google Docs

Rating: 4.7/5

Features: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.7/5

Customer support: 4.3/5

User recommendation score: 9.2/10

 

Google Docs collaboration tool for online document management
Multiple users access a shared Google Docs file (Source)

 

About Google Docs:

Google Docs is an all-in-one document management system used by countless organisations around the world. If your business is already using Gmail or other Google Apps, then the transition to Google Docs should be pretty simple. 

Google Docs is part of the larger Google Drive suite, a cloud-based storage system that allows you to create and manage everything from word documents to photos, videos, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations, all in one place. 

Fans of Google Docs praise the simple interface, as well as the ease of sharing and collaborating on documents. You can also upload existing files with a simple drag-and-drop method. This makes it simple to transition to Google Docs if you have existing files stored on hard drives.  

2. Dropbox

Rating: 4.5/5

Features: 4.4/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer support: 4.2/5

User recommendation score: 8.6/10

 

Dropbox online document management
Dropbox online document management interface (Source)

About Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most common document management systems on the market today. It has an estimated 500 million people worldwide signed up for the service. The platform is a straightforward system, with an easy drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to move and store files no matter how many people are working on the same system. 

Dropbox works within the cloud, but users can also install a Dropbox extension on their personal devices, meaning they can work on live documents even when offline. There are no restrictions on what file types you can store within Dropbox. If you use diverse multimedia, this solution may be a good option for your organisation. 

 

  1. Box

Rating: 4.3/5

Features: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer support: 4.2/5 

User recommendation score: 8.4/10

Box online document management tool
Box’s online document management folder system (Source)

About Box:

With Box, you can access any of your stored files from any device or browser. This is an advantage when you have employees working on different types of mobile phones and computers. 

Box users cite the easy sharing capabilities of the platform as one of its best features. With just a few clicks, employees can share any type of stored document with one another. You can also assign administrator roles to specific people within your organisation; these individuals will have the ability to control sharing and storage, so you can feel more secure about sensitive files on the cloud. 

Organisation is key

If you haven’t used an online document management system before, it may seem daunting to switch over to a new platform. 

There will likely be a few teething issues to sort out initially, but once you have transitioned your team over, you’ll find the added organisation and security that comes with a document management system is well worth the effort. 

To take a deeper look at some of the options available, check out our full list of document management system platforms.

 


*Methodology:

  • We reviewed GetApp Australia’s directories of document management software, which produced a list of 250 software apps (research conducted 16th March 2020).
  • Out of these products, we narrowed the list to those that had an overall rating of 4/5 stars. This reduced the list to 210 apps.
  • Many users are in lockdown, and won’t have access to face-to-face IT support. We set criteria whereby the tools must have at least 4/5 star ratings for ease of use and customer service.
  • We then cut the list to include only the most reviewed apps and analysed the written reviews. This action took the list down to 8 tools (with 3,000 real-user reviews.)
  • The tools had an established market in Australia.
  • Finally, we evaluated the number of monthly searches being carried out for each tool. To assess this, we use keyword research software to narrow the list.
  • This produced the final three tools in the list.

NOTE: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of GetApp.

Best Wunderlist alternatives for your team’s task management

Best alternatives to wunderlist

Popular task manager app, Wunderlist, is shutting down on May 6th, 2020. As a result, its subscribers will need to seek out a new tool to help manage their to-do lists. To assist those that face this challenge, we’ve researched the task management software market and picked out four excellent alternatives to Wunderlist.

The best Wunderlist alternatives

Best Wunderlist alternativen

Why is Wunderlist discontinuing?

Wunderlist, which is a Microsoft product, announced that they will discontinue the app on May 6th 2020 in a blog entry. But instead of parting ways with their subscribers, they’re asking them to join them on their journey with their new tool, Microsoft To Do

Microsoft said:

‘We’ve been working tirelessly to ensure the new app, Microsoft To Do, feels like a new home for lists. This brings us to our important news. When we first announced Microsoft To Do, we also announced that Wunderlist would eventually retire. 

We planned this so we could concentrate on building a more integrated and secure app that helps you get stuff done in a smarter way.’

 

The plan was first mentioned by Microsoft in 2015. Now, users and businesses must transition over to the new app as soon as possible to ensure smooth business continuity. 

The migration from Wunderlist to other task managers

Microsoft has worked hard to ensure users can switch over to their new app with ease—and a migration tool from the manufacturer is undoubtedly advantageous. However, it is not a necessity. Other task managers on the market are also offering migration support to Wunderlist users looking for a replacement.

If your favourite Wunderlist alternative does not currently support migration, we have a workaround for you. Zapier has a Wunderlist integration, which enables users to connect their account with thousands of applications. Integration is free for transferring 100 tasks per month.

The 4 best alternatives to Wunderlist

We’ve identified four great replacement options for Wunderlist users (presented in no particular order). We’ve selected these apps based on them having similar features and pricing to Wunderlist, plus a strong overall rating on Capterra. Find the full methodology at the bottom of this page.*

1. Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft To-Do daily planner
Microsoft To-Do’s Daily Planner (Source)

As already mentioned, Microsoft would like to see Wunderlist users switch to To-Do. The app is similar to Wunderlist and will, therefore, feel familiar to users. It offers the same functionality as Wunderlist plus some quirky, new features (such as a personalised daily planner and custom backgrounds for lists.)

Advantages & specialty

To-Do integrates into the Microsoft ecosystem. Tasks can be synchronised with Outlook. Windows users can also add tasks with Cortana (Microsoft’s AI assistant) or by entering them in the Start menu. For example, if you were to type: ‘Add bread to my shopping list’, an item called ‘bread’ will appear on the list called ‘shopping’.

Disadvantages

Microsoft To-Do is purely a task manager. In contrast to the other applications on this list, To-Do is not suitable for team collaboration or project management unless integrated with other Microsoft tools.

Cost

Microsoft To-Do is available to all Office 365 customers free of charge.

Data security and local contact

Tasks save into the Microsoft Exchange Online mailbox, which also contains data from other Exchange modules such as emails, contacts and notes. 

2. Trello

Trello for IT Teams
Example Trello board of an IT team (Source)

Trello is the most popular task management tool on this list (based on the volume of monthly searches it receives in Australia). Additionally, Trello has an overall rating of 4.5 stars and nearly 16,000 written user reviews.

In the application, users can create lists on virtual boards in collaboration with other members. They can be edited as required and provided with checklists, file attachments and due dates. Users can move maps to show where the task is in their planned workflow.

Advantages & specialty

The advantage for companies is that many employees already know the tool and are familiar with the functionalities. For example, Trello is particularly popular in IT teams. Scrum users often set up workflows with Trello boards and use, for example, the columns Product Backlog, Sprint Planning, Current Sprint, In Process and Done. 

For companies in this position, it may make sense to leverage Trello for task management too. 

Disadvantages

The free plan has limited functionality and features. The app prompts users to upgrade if they want to access specific paid-for features, known as ‘power-ups’. These include features such as alternative views, collaboration, time recording and reporting.

Costs

Power-ups in Trello cost between US$0 and US$9.99 per user.

Data security and local contact

Trello is GDPR compliant (for Australian companies that operate in European markets) and has customer support. Features, such as single sign-on, two-step authentication or encryption of stored files, are purchasable in the Enterprise version for US$20.83 per user.

Migration from Wunderlist to Trello

Trello does not offer its own migration tool. The migration, therefore, requires assistance from Zapier.

 

3. Todoist

Karma view in Todoist
Karma level view in Todoist (Source)

In Todoist, which has a strong resemblance to Gmail’s layout, users can collaborate with others, share lists, set up reminders and sub-tasks, attach files and more. 

Advantages & special features

Todoist offers unique gamification features to encourage users to stay on top of their lists. For example, users set a daily and weekly tasks completion target and receive ‘Karma level points’ for achieving their goals.

Disadvantage

The free version of Todoist limits functionality to basic needs. Users cannot apply filters, add comments or file uploads to their tasks, or access reminders.

Costs

Todoist is free for 5 users and 80 projects. In the premium version (for 25 users and up to 300 projects) the tool costs AUD$4 per month when billed annually and users have access to additional functions. For AUD$7 per month, billed annually, the Business plan allows for up to 50 users and 500 projects.

Data security and local contact

Todoist is also GDPR compliant for companies marketing to European countries. Todoist premium and business users benefit from daily automatic backups within the app. Business customers receive priority support.

Migration from Wunderlist to Todoist

Todoist provides its own migration tool for data transfer from Wunderlist. Therefore, migration is relatively straightforward.

4. Zenkit

Zenkit To Do
The new To Do App from Zenkit (Source)

Zenkit offers companies a customisable task management tool with a dashboard that can act as a Kanban board, list, calendar, table or mind map. In addition to task management, it offers functionalities for project management and CRM, so that teams can organise their workloads, customer relationships and documents in addition to tasks. 

With the task list add-on, Zenkit lists can convert into task lists.

Advantages & special features

In addition to task management, the application also operates well as a project management software. However, for users who are not looking for extensive project management, but for a simple task planner, Zenkit will soon provide this. The app will be released on April 6th. 

The app will cover the same functions as Wunderlist, including intelligent lists, the inbox and reminders. The intuitive interface of the new release is also reminiscent of Wunderlist. 

Disadvantages

Users can’t edit documents collaboratively, with several users within the document at once, without a drive connection. There is also no team chat function.

Costs

Zenkit is free for up to 3 users and 1GB of data storage. For US$9, there is an unlimited number of users and 6GB of data storage. In the business version for US$25, users will find 50GB of storage space as well as access to other functions, such as central user management, priority customer support and single sign-on.

Data security and local contact

Zenkit offers two-factor authentication in all price plans (including the free version). Zenkit’s customer service agents are available via email, chat or on the phone.

Migration from Wunderlist to Zenkit

Zenkit project management and the new to-do list application allow easy importation of Wunderlist data into its system.


Selection criteria for the Wunderlist alternatives:*

  • All task managers on our list have an overall rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra, rated by more than 200 users.
  • The tools support remote teams and offer a cloud-based option.
  • Their costs are comparable to those of Wunderlist, i.e. the software provides a free, basic version and the upgrade costs are less than 10 euros per month and user.
  • The tools offer integrations and connect to many business applications.

 

Check out Capterra’s entire directory of task management software.

 

Online Teaching: A Guide To Tools, Software And Best Practices

online teaching solutions and tips

Online teaching is nothing new. Tutors, teachers, and professors have been using technology to connect remotely with students since the advent of the internet. 

online teaching solutions and tips

However, in recent months, the Coronavirus pandemic has required more students and their educators to adapt to online or digital courses than ever before. Regulations around social distancing and isolation have come at us so quickly, many teachers and tutors are scrambling to find the best ways to convey their lessons to students, even when far apart. 

Here’s the good news: The technology required to connect educators and students in these uncertain times exists. In this article, we’ll provide tips for educators facing the reality of virtual teaching, and outline some of the best technology for building digital classrooms. 

How educators are adapting to Covid-19

The news about Covid-19 is changing every day, but one thing is for certain: Our way of life has changed fundamentally for the foreseeable future. Social distancing guidelines require us to limit human contact as much as possible, which has had an enormous impact on the traditional classroom. 

Fortunately, this is not uncharted territory. Digital classrooms have existed before, and schools in Italy, China, and other countries impacted by Covid-19 earlier have already paved the way for teachers today. And they’ve seen some incredible results.

“We were initially concerned about whether our students, particularly younger students, would adapt well to online learning,” says Hannah Titley, Director of The Golden Circle, a UK Professional Home Schooling Group. “However, the feedback is that they are proving as effective as in-person lessons.”

 

In some cases, online education may be an improvement for some students. Learning in the comfort of their own home, free from distractions found in traditional classrooms, may make it easier for them to absorb information and apply their lessons. 

Leaning on technology during the pandemic

One silver lining to the timing of the Coronavirus outbreak is that we already have the technology required to help students and educators communicate—while maintaining social distancing. 

There are many video conferencing tools, document management applications, and digital collaboration products available on the market. These tools are easy to use (for students and educators) and don’t require a huge IT team to manage. They also work reliably and are typically available for little to no cost.

We’ve outlined some of the best platforms and tools for educators. We’ve selected these apps based on the features they offer, their overall rating, ease of use, customer support, and the number of reviews on Capterra. Find the detailed methodology at the bottom of this page.*

Software for online teaching comparison
A quick comparison of the online teaching software solutions analysed in this article.

Software to run virtual lessons

Zoom Meetings & Chat

Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

SME Pricing: £15.99 per user per month

Free version: Basic plan

Zoom meetings and chat product image
Demonstration of Zoom Meetings & Chat interface (Source)

About Zoom:

Zoom is one of the leading video conferencing platforms. It’s versatility and low price point (including a free option) make it a preferred tool for businesses large and small, and educators. The tool features one-on-one video conferencing (suitable for tutors), but it also easily accommodates large group lessons—the free version allows for up to 100 participants. 

You can make the call as interactive as you like, or you can elect to be the leader on the call. This means you will be the only one able to speak out loud, and you can share your screen as a presentation. 

The free version also includes: 

  • HD video conferencing
  • Unlimited number of meetings (maximum 40 minutes runtime) 
  • Chrome & Outlook plugins
  • Breakout rooms 
  • Group messaging
  • Whiteboarding
  • Scheduling for Chrome & Outlook

Zoom is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

Cisco Webex Meetings

Rating: 4.4/5

Ease of use: 4.2/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

SME Pricing: £11.25 – £14.85 per user per month

Cisco Meetings Team Meeting
Cisco Meeting’s team meeting layout (Source)

Free version: Personal plan (recently updated with new features), plus first month free with any paid monthly plan, and four months free when purchasing an annual plan (updated: April 2020).

Over 110 million professionals use Webex to connect every month. Though originally developed for business use, Cisco Webex has become a popular option among educators in the virtual classroom as well. 

Webex works particularly well for education settings because a number of its built-in features allow for collaboration that mimics traditional classrooms. For example, Webex allows “virtual hand-raising” so students can ask and answer questions, and it also has live chat features so that pupils can discuss the lessons with one another without interrupting the teacher. 

Additionally, Cisco Meetings includes: 

  • Brainstorming features
  • Attendee and invite management
  • Web conferencing and screen sharing
  • Collaboration tools
  • Screen capture and recording
  • Presentation tools

Cisco is compatible with Apple and Windows products. 

Join.me

Rating: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

Pricing: £9 – £20 per month for multiple users

Free version: 14-day free trial

Join.me screenshare function
Join.me’s screen-sharing feature demonstrated (Source)

About Join.me

Join.me has been helping groups connect virtually since 2003. Users highlight the tool’s simplicity—it’s easy to set up, and once you’re on the platform, launching meetings with small or large groups only takes a few clicks. 

Join.me also features personalisation features. For example, you can customise backgrounds and chat bubbles to suit your personality—this may be particularly appealing to educators who are keen to help students express themselves and have fun while learning. 

Join.me also includes: 

  • Meeting prep tools
  • Action item tracking
  • Time-zone tracking
  • Desktop/browser sharing
  • Real-time chat
  • Mobile access
  • Multi-hosting. 

Join.me works on both Mac and Windows products, as well as iOS and Android. 

Communication tools

Further requirements: To aid remote working environments, we extended the tool requirements to include a live group chat conversation feature.

Slack

Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.6/5

Customer service: 4.4/5

Pricing: US$8 – US$15 per user, per month

Free trial: Available (contact sales for free trial options)

Slack group communication channels
Slack’s conversation channels group communication (Source)

About Slack

Slack is a versatile communication tool, and it’s used widely by businesses of all sizes. However, it’s well-suited for educational purposes as well. 

Slack works in your browser, as a mobile app, and also as a downloadable app for laptops and desktops. At its base level, Slack is a customisable chat platform that allows users to create chat rooms within a single, digital environment. For example, teachers could create a room for every course they teach or create small groups for students to work on projects together. 

Slack also features one-on-one chat features, and it’s very simple to share videos, screenshots, hyperlinks, and other forms of media with anyone on any channel. 

As a communication tool, Slack features: 

  • Realtime chat
  • Task management
  • Chat search
  • Chat threads
  • Audio and video calls
  • File sharing
  • Third-party integration.

Slack is compatible with virtually any browser and can be installed on Mac and Windows machines.

Google Hangouts Meet

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.6/5

Customer service: 4.3/5

Pricing: Free with a G Suite account

Free trial: 14-days free trial (G Suite)

Google Hangouts live chat function
Google Hangouts live chat function (Source)

About Google hangouts

If you use Gmail, you may already be familiar with Google Hangouts. The communication platform is built into G Suite, making it easy to hop on a chat or video call with anyone else who uses the platform for email (or anything else). 

Google Hangouts allows you to start a one-on-one or group chat with other users, or you can start an audio or video call in just a few clicks. You can also schedule meetings, which comes in handy for tutors or teachers who want to make sure their students are available at certain times. 

In addition, Google Hangouts includes: 

  • File sharing
  • Real-time chat
  • Audio calls
  • A mobile app
  • Private chat
  • Recording & playback ability.

Microsoft Teams

Rating: 4.4/5

Ease of use: 4.2/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

Pricing: Free with Office 365

Free version: Try 1 month free

Microsoft Team Group Conversations
Microsoft teams group conversation features (Source)

About Microsoft Teams

If you and your students are comfortable with Microsoft products, then Microsoft Teams may be a logical tool for you to manage your virtual classroom. The diverse product, which includes features such as one-on-one chat to group video conferencing, is well-suited for educators of all sorts. 

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one, cloud-based solution. Not only can you use the platform to communicate with teams, but you can also use it to manage documents, as it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft’s OneDrive

Other features of Microsoft Teams include: 

  • Discussion threads
  • Surveys/feedback
  • Task management
  • Presentation streaming
  • On-demand webcasting
  • Presentation tools.

Collaboration software:

Further requirements: Must include a document management feature.

Dropbox Business

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

Pricing: £12 – £18 per user per month

Free version: 30-day free trial

Dropbox document management interface
Dropbox document management team folder interface (Source)

About Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular document storage and management tool for businesses, but it’s also well-suited to students working in a virtual collaborative environment. With Dropbox, anyone who has access to a “box” can upload documents from their mobile device, browser, or desktop/laptop. 

Once documents have been uploaded, they can easily be accessed by anyone else who has permission to organise the “box”. Documents can be updated live, or downloaded in their original form. It’s a way for teachers to share syllabuses, worksheets, and other documents students will need. On the flip side, students can upload their papers and projects for a teacher’s review. 

Some other great features from Dropbox: 

  • Access control
  • Backups
  • Archiving & retention
  • Encryption
  • Project management
  • Real-time editing.

DropBox works on both Mac and Windows products, as well as iOS and Android devices.

Trello

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer service: 4.3/5

Pricing: US$12.50

Free version: Free plan

Trello education features
Trello education board (Source)

About Trello

Trello’s unique design allows users to create visual task management dashboards, where anyone can see the different projects and tasks happening at any given time. 

Trello allows you to add labels, assign tasks to specific people, group tasks together, and add backgrounds to your projects. Users can also upload imagery, videos, and links to your different tasks, making this tool a diverse task-management platform too. 

Trello also includes: 

  • Milestone tracking
  • Resource management
  • Project roadmapping
  • Idea management
  • Agile & traditional methodologies
  • Gantt charts
  • Customisable templates.

Slack

Slack's document management feature
Example of document management within Slack (Source)

About Slack

We’ve already discussed the benefits of Slack as a communication tool, but it’s also an option for document management. If you need students to be able to exchange documents, find them later on via search, and collaborate on live documents together, Slack can fulfil these needs

Slack integrates with third-party document storage platforms you or your students may be using. While you can exchange documents via the platform itself, you can also integrate Slack with Google Drive storage or Dropbox, for example. This means that students can easily share their work, even if they are using different storage tools. 

Check out Capterra’s directory to discover more document management, collaboration and web-conferencing software.

 


*Methodology 

All of the software on this list meet the following criteria: 

  • Rated 4+ stars by users on Capterra.co.uk
  • High search volume in the UK
  • Free version available
  • Rated 4+ stars for ease of use
  • Rated 4+ stars for customer service.

Note: The tools included in this article have been listed in no particular order.

Gratis software om de bedrijfscontinuïteit te garanderen ten tijde van de coronavirus-crisis

gratis software tijdens coronavirus

Van het aanpassen van workflows tot het beheren van werknemers op afstand, deze tips en hulpmiddelen helpen om je bedrijf draaiende te houden.

Door alle veranderingen die COVID-19 teweegbrengt, wordt het aanpassingsvermogen van je organisatie als nooit tevoren op de proef gesteld. Letterlijk van de ene op de andere dag is thuiswerken veranderd van een leuke bijkomstigheid tot een absolute noodzaak om de bedrijfscontinuïteit te waarborgen.

Daarom hebben we deze lijst met hulpmiddelen en gratis software samengesteld om ervoor te zorgen dat je bedrijf over het beleid, de procedures en de technologie beschikt die nodig zijn om medewerkers thuis te laten werken en het bedrijf draaiende te houden.

gratis software tijdens coronavirus

Gratis software om de bedrijfscontinuïteit te garanderen ten tijden van de coronavirus-crisis

header remote work coronavirus13 software-aanbiedingen om bedrijven te helpen met thuiswerken

 

Vind software-aanbiedingen die speciaal voor kleine bedrijven worden aangeboden om werken vanuit huis te verlichten!

Nu lezen


noodplan coronavirus10 essentiële vragen om een coronavirus noodplan mee op te zetten.

 

Een handleiding gebaseerd op die van Gartner om een coronavirus noodplan op te zetten om medewerkers te beschermen en bedrijfsprocessen te garanderen.

Nu lezen


coronavirus cybersecurityHoe cybercriminelen profiteren van het coronavirus om je computer te hacken

 

Hackers gebruiken het coronavirus om phishingmails te sturen en brengen je bedrijfsgegevens in gevaar.

Nu lezen


motivatie thuiswerkers3 tips om de betrokkenheid van medewerkers die remote werken te vergroten

 

Medewerkers die remote werken, voelen zich vaak eenzaam. Ze hebben het gevoel er niet bij te horen. Het is de taak van de HR-afdeling om ook deze mensen bij het team te betrekken.

Nu lezen


gratis tools De 4 beste open source en gratis videoconferentie tools

 

Een shortlist van de beste gratis en open source videoconferentie software voor videovergaderen en videobellen, op basis van reviews.

Nu lezen


virtuele teams managenZo effectief mogelijk een remote team managen 

 

Een goed draaiend remote team vereist planning. Met de volgende drie stappen leer je hoe je de productiviteit van je thuiswerkend personeel kan verbeteren.

Nu lezen


Vind de juiste (gratis) software!

Tijdens deze moeilijke tijd helplt Capterra bedrijven met het vinden van de meest geschikt tools voor de bedrijfscontinuïteit tijdens de coronavirus pandemie. De volgenden softwaretools kunnen je bedrijfscontinuïteit garanderen:

 


Over Capterra

header remote work coronavirusCapterra helpt organisaties overal ter wereld bij het vinden van de juiste software. Meer dan vijf miljoen kopers vertrouwen sinds 1999 maandelijks op Capterra in hun zoektocht naar de software die het beste bij de behoeftes van hun organisatie past. Capterra’s brede scala van wereldwijde softwareproducten vormt samen met de geverifieerde reviews, op maat gemaakte vergelijkingstools en onafhankelijk onderzoek de ruggengraat voor een vakkundige softwareselectiebeleving. Ga naar capterra.nl voor meer informatie.

On-premise vs cloud: which option is better for your company?

on premise vs cloud

Take our test below and find out!

 

Last Saturday Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder, winning the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight crown. Boxing is a more complex sport than it looks like – behind every punch, there is a carefully crafted strategy to beat the opponent. 

on premise vs cloud

If you have ever watched a boxing match you will understand how it feels when you have to choose software for your company for the first time – when you are looking to make a decision for the first time it can feel a bit like being in a boxing match, two opponents in the ring looking to win.

You then find yourself having to make a decision between software-as-a-service (SaaS) and on-premise, and most of the time don’t understand what each does – or which one is more suited to your business.  Do I need it to be hosted in the cloud or in my premise? Do I want to pay a one-off fee or a subscription? Do I want to have full control over it or should it be handled for me? 

Implementing new software is not an easy task. Today there are a number of options available in the market, both on-premise and SaaS, and can get a bit overwhelming when deciding which one is better suited for your business. In this article, we’ll look at both and examine the advantages and disadvantages of each one. 

On-premise vs cloud: What are the differences?

SaaS is defined by Gartner as “the software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” 

This means that the software is not physically at your office and is hosted in the cloud. The software provider offers users the infrastructure and the applications that they will need to perform the work. In a nutshell, you only need an internet connection to log in and access the applications needed (CRM, ERP, etc) via the internet. This option is normally subscription-based (usually 12 months).

On-premise software is installed on a company’s on-site servers and requires the company to purchase the license to use it, normally this is a one time fee. A good example of this is Microsoft Office, you can purchase the license to use it and store it on your internal servers. Traditionally this was the only option you had but a few years ago, Microsoft launched Office 365, the cloud version of the Office package, giving customers two options.

If you are still unsure of what software is best for your company, take our test below:

The right option for your business

As previously mentioned, when looking to implement new software, this being CRM, ERP or any other, there are normally the SaaS and the on-premise options. It’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each one before making a decision. As it will depend on the needs of your business as well as the longer-term usability.

Below we have listed the main factors to take into consideration when deciding between on-premise and SaaS.

Implementation 

Both differ greatly in how they are installed and the resources needed. For example, the implementation of cloud-based software is faster since there isn’t hardware to be installed and you just need an internet connection. You only need to pay a monthly subscription and you are practically ready to go since the support and the hosting is provided by the vendor.

Installing on-premise software is a long process as you need to make sure it is installed and in all the company computers – this also means it can’t be normally accessed outside the company grounds.  

It’s worth taking into consideration the long term implications, for example, if you’ll need to access applications outside the office, a cloud-based option is a better choice as it can be accessed outside the office by many devices.

Maintenance

Typically, on-premise software installation requires an internal IT team that can take care of the installation and maintenance of the software, something that is not needed with the SaaS option as this is handled by the provider and included in the subscription. 

 It’s important to take into account your company’s internal resources, as it will directly affect the installation and maintenance of the software.

Cost

Perhaps one of the most decisive factors when choosing software. The key differences are that with SaaS you will be paying a 12-month subscription fee as opposed to a one-off fee to purchase a license for on-premise software. 

Security

This is linked to hardware access since on-premise software could be breached through physical means such as people breaking into your offices or through digital techniques such as phishing.

With SaaS, this is managed by the provider at the cloud. Both on-premise and SaaS options can be vulnerable to attacks, but cloud providers take strict measures to ensure that data is not just in one place. Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google or Microsoft don’t have its data centres in just one place, they spread them in different locations, called regions. This means that within those regions they have a number of data centres, ensuring that the client data is not just in one location.

So if this was a ‘SaaS vs On-Premise’ match, you know that the ultimate goal is to make a decision but you need to be very strategic in each round to make sure you win the round and the match by choosing the right software for your company.

Choosing software can be a daunting decision, and there are many factors to take into account such as your resources and also your long term goals. We have over 800 software categories on our site, from CRM to ERP Systems and HR software.

What has been your experience so far when choosing software? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @SoniaNM55, I look forward to receiving your questions!