How To Compare Social Collaboration Software Vendors

Tips & Tools for Comparing Collaboration Tool & Intranet Software Vendors 

So your company has finally decided to embrace and leverage the benefits of social collaboration at work, and now you are responsible for comparing social Intranet or  collaboration tool vendors and recommending a short list to management. What do you do?  Where do you start? Jacob Morgan, author of the Amazon best-seller “The Collaborative Organization”, suggests there are eight critical variables upon which you should evaluate Intranet or collaboration software vendors.

eight collaboration tool comparison vendor tips

Eight collaboration tool comparison vendor tips









Intranet or collaboration tool vendors may appear to be all the same at first glance.  However, there are some major differences between vendors, like which deployment options they offer (shared cloud, private cloud, and on-premise), the functionality from mobile devices, and advanced features and integration. Which vendor is best for your organization depends on your specific needs, and also the size of your company.   Look here for the top 5 social collaboration vendors for SMB/mid-market customers, and the top 5 for Large Enterprise customers.

Track & Compare Your Intranet & Collaboration Vendor Results

Once you identify what’s most important to you, download this template to help as you compare & evaluate Intranet & collaboration vendors.  Use this template to guide your questions, track the answers of each vendor, and compare offerings at a glance. The best vendor for your specific needs is likely to jump off the sheet once this template is filled in.  If you find more than 1 vendor fits well, great.  You can gather a group of co-workers to test out both options.  Most vendors now offer a free plan that allows for trying the service with no risk.

social Intranet & collaboration tool vendors - vendor matrix xls

social Intranet & collaboration tool vendors – vendor matrix xls

Read the Fine Print, All-Inclusive vs. à la carte Social Collaboration vendors

Make sure you know what’s included with each vendor.  Some vendor offers are all-inclusive (such as MangoApps & Yammer) meaning everything is included at one price, with no extra add-on fees.  Other vendors offer a base price with additional add-on fees for things like MSFT Office & Outlook integrations, mobile access, and additional feature modules such as Idea Management. It’s also important to understand the licensing model.  Does support include all future upgrades, both minor and major?  Or will you be required to pay more for new licenses when the vendor’s next major release comes out? You should also ask up front about professional services fees.  Some vendors include a certain amount of customization along with your initial license fees.  Others charge hourly rates (some > $250/hr) from the start for any customizations or integrations.  And some do not allow any customizations at all. The good news is your efforts will be rewarded.  Social collaboration is a significantly more efficient and productive way for workers and teams to communicate.  You might just win “employee of the year” for helping bring your company into the social age. As for MangoApps, we make it super easy and completely free for you to evaluate MangoApps and see for yourself if it is a fit with our freemium plan. If you have additional questions  or would like more detailed information or walk thru’ of MangoApps..just let us know.