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Cloud collaboration services: the top 10 for SMBs

Office365 gives users a team site on which they can create, edit and review reports, proposals, calendars, and budgets with others in real time. Users are also able to assign tasks that can be viewed on a timeline.

Businesses also get SharePoint as part of their subscription, which gives users additional ways to manage projects and share documents and insights with colleagues, partners and customers.

Yammer

Web: https://www.yammer.com/

Price: Basic network is free - Enterprise network starts at US$3 (about £2, or AU$3.20) / user / month)

Yammer main screen

Microsoft turned heads in July last year when it officially completed the acquisition of Yammer, a creator of social networks for businesses, for $1.2 billion. Since then, it claims the number of registered users have grown by more than 55% to nearly 8 million, and paid networks have increased more than 200% year-on-year.

Yammer's content collaboration features include file sharing, versioning and the ability to compile notes. The company aims to encourage employee engagement through the use of Trending Files and Popular Content features, in addition to employee profiles and an Online Now live chat feature. Users can also set up polls and events to be shared internally or externally.

Also included are groups, which allow users to filter information based on particular search terms based on shared content. Other features are aimed at making it easier to share content; these include bookmarking and sharing websites and content from within the browser.

Box

Web: https://www.box.com/

Price: £11 (about US$16.50, or AU$18) / user / month (Free for 14 days)

Box screenshot

The 'Dropbox of the enterprise', Box touts itself as an file transfer protocol replacement and stores files in the cloud by syncing with users' folders stored on their PCs.

It provides advanced features that include sharing files and folders through the use of links, fine-tuned user permissions, and an integrated file view that works with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop and others, without leaving the browser.

Files of up to 2GB can be shared, and any interaction in the way of downloads, uploads or comments added to files can be tracked in real time. Box also features extensive integration with third party services, including Zoho, Google Gmail, Google Analytics, eFax, DocuSign, FedEx, Watchdog and Twitter.

MangoApps

Web: http://www.mangoapps.com/

Price: (Business package) US$5 (£3.36, or AU$5.45) / user / month, or US$50 (£33, or AU$54 / user / year) (Free for 30 days)

Mango Apps

MangoApps is a free service that wraps up employee social networking, team collaboration tools and an intranet into a single service. Aimed at the mid market, it's best described as a personal LinkedIn-style offering tailored for individual businesses.

It even offers direct integration with LinkedIn, allowing employee profiles to be instantly populated with details like contact information, skill sets and expertise. Other features include instant messaging with automatic availability updates, group chat, videoconferencing, and the ability to create private groups and projects.

MangoApps can also work with other applications via open application programme interfaces, allowing integration with business systems such as customer relationship management, payroll or other HR systems. Accounts can be managed securely using Active Directory, and the service can integrate with enterprise systems such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and Box.